Jay Z, Drake & The Greatest Beef That Never Was

How you feel about the end result of Jay Z and Drake's mini-feud may say more about you as a Hip Hop fan than any real or perceived beef between the two of them.

If you’ve been paying attention to the media at all in the last two weeks, you’ve no doubt witnessed the back and forth between Drake and Jay Z. As Hip Hop sparring goes, this ranks somewhere between any given Monday night on the WWE and some good-natured ribbing between frenemies. By now, you most likely know the bullet points of this story. In a February Rolling Stone interview, Drake poked fun at Jay Z’s multiple art references, saying, “It's like Hov can’t drop bars these days without at least four art references! I would love to collect at some point, but I think the whole rap/art world thing is getting kind of corny.”

Jay shot back on Jay Electronica’s “We Made It” by rhyming, “Sorry Mrs. Drizzy for so much art talk / Silly me rappin’ ‘bout shit that I really bought / While these rappers rap about guns they ain’t shot / And a bunch of other silly shit that they ain't got.”

Just for good measure, Drake made the NBA playoff series between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets interesting to non-basketball fans by accusing Jay of being “somewhere eating a fondue plate” as Drake popped in during Game 1 between the team Jay used to own a minority stake in and the team which currently employs him as a brand ambassador of sorts.

It’s not so much a beef as it is the soft shit people pass off as a form of beef on hors d’oeuvres. This is more like pâté. Nevertheless it’s making headlines, and maybe it could lead to something more. Or nah? Whatever the case, I enlisted the help of DX’s Editor-In-Chief Justin Hunte to trade some opinions on what a feud between Drizzy and Hov might mean and why (or if) we should care.

Are Drake & Jay Z fighting to legitimize Hip Hop within mainstream society?

Omar: Kind of. I think Drake is fighting for a certain kind of legitimacy on his own. Technically, he’s from another country—even if that’s easily remedied by a ferry ride and having one’s passport in order. And Drake earned a certain amount of fame from his acting career before he was established as a rapper, so regardless of how irrelevant those issues seem, some hardcore Hip Hop fans are always going to look at Drake as a cultural interloper. On a larger scale, I think Drake is fighting to legitimize his particular brand of Hip Hop. As a reluctant fan of some of Drake’s work (I ride with the guy who made “9 AM In Dallas” and “Stay Schemin’,” but he can keep anything that sounds remotely like “Marvin’s Room”), I struggle with the issue of Drake’s place in Hip Hop or if he even has one. And I think a lot of other aficionados of Hip Hop’s Golden Era have similar struggles.

“I caught a lot of scrutiny on the last record because there were distinct singing moments,” Drake explained during a 2013 interview with Jian Ghomeshi. “There were borderline ballad moments. I realized that as important as that was for that period of time for me… I love that music, I love that album and it was important for me to make. What I tried to do with this album was blur the lines…”

I think Drake incorporated elements that are stereotypically associated with effeminate R&B, Emo and Indie Rock into commercially successful Hip Hop albums. I honestly don’t know if that means what he made is still Hip Hop by traditional standards. Is he pushing the art form forward or creating some weird, cross-genre hybrid? However you slice it, I think it definitely creates an environment where Drake has to fight for some form of legitimacy.

I think Jay Z is fighting for legitimacy, but it’s a different battle of sorts. For selfish purposes, it benefits Jay to link himself with the art world and high culture. For someone entering his late 40s, each step further into the art world looks more like the work of a cultural ambassador and less like a cash grab. Look back at the following quotes from his Decoded press junket:

“You never hear rappers being compared for like the greatest Rap writers of all time. You know, you hear Bob Dylan…so is Biggie Smalls, in a Hitchcock way. Some of the things that Biggie wrote… Rakim—listen to some of the things he wrote.  If you take those lyrics, and you pull them away from the music, and you put them up on the wall somewhere, and someone had to look at them, they would say, ‘This is genius.’”

Historically, Hip Hop was originally linked with the art world. Guys like Jean Michel Basquiat and “Fab 5” Freddy Brathwaite kept one foot in the art world in a manner similar to what Pharrell Williams is doing today. I assume Jay has linked his own desire to stay relevant and continue boosting his net worth into the hundreds of millions with a genuine aspiration to take Hip Hop back to that place. I think it’s a lot easier to wear a leather snapback in your forties when it’s done under the auspices of being art dealer chic.

Justin: I don’t think Drake and Jay Z are fighting a similar battle to legitimize Hip Hop at all. I don’t know what the idea of legitimizing Hip Hop really means in 2014. I look around and all I see is Hip Hop. I see high top fades and streetwear everywhere. I see corporations enlisting anyone and anything they believe will attract the coveted birth-to-near-death demographic. I see Fallon doing Hip Hop dances on The Tonight Show. The premise of legitimization of Hip Hop feels more a product of the idea that youth culture is more interested in EDM than quintessential boom-bap. Maybe that’s the case, but the premise is nowhere near consensus. The youth are raising questions on their own.

DJ Mustard did an interview with HardKnockTV questioning Hip Hop deejays that feel the need to switch to EDM in order to spin major music festivals. He’s 23-years old.

“I feel like they don’t have to do that,” he says. “I feel like it’s cool because I want to do EDM, too. I think that’s dope, but why can’t a Hip Hop deejay do that? I can. I know it’s possible because I just did it. I just did the Ray-Bans thing, South By Southwest. I’m doing a Brisk Bodega tour. I feel like that’s by being a Hip Hop deejay. I don’t do any EDM records right now. That’s all by being a Hip Hop deejay. A lot of people like Hip Hop. Everybody don’t just like EDM. Make your Hip Hop build up like the EDM.”

Of the two, Jay Z is closest to still fighting a battle for Hip Hop legitimization. He’s negotiating with multi-billion dollar corporations and politicians and tagging #NewRules all over the industry and dropping bars about priceless works of art. The #NewRules branding feels like something a guy worth $550 million yet is still treated like an asterisk creates. Even in his camp, you see the same thing. Kanye West’s Rant World Tour was centered around the idea that there are still places that Hip Hop is not a welcome owner of high fashion. There are still barriers to entry.

When I look at Drake, I see a guy who’s surprisingly one of few undefeated league leaders in Rap history. His approach constantly merges culture, whether nationalistically or artistically—whether it’s R&B or Hip Hop or however you choose to classify “Hold On We’re Going Home.” This guy came up with a target on his back since Degrassi and beefing with Aristo and Big Page in Canada. He came out on top of both. He won the Common battle. So far he’s gotten away with all of the snarky side shots he tossed at Kendrick. He said Macklemore’s apology to Kendrick was wack and said he felt he deserved an apology from Macklemore as well, because of course Kendrick wasn’t the only one in the field who put together a better “Rap” album than The Heist. He feels like he’s putting out Hip Hop’s best music. He talks about how he sees no competition and in the same breath describes his favorite candle on Chelsea Lately. I don’t see him as one who’s trying to “legitimize” Hip Hop. I see him as someone who’s reveling being perched atop Hip Hop. Sure, he has his business endeavors; his festivals and NBA team partnerships and whatnot. He’s more similar to Jay Z in 2001 than arguably any other possible GOAT since. He’s not afraid to ever say exactly how he feels about the gaggle of eventual also-rans, and he does it with an unfamiliar approach. We see him and we think he’s weird or soft or corny. But maybe he’s just Canadian. Maybe we think his outfits or courtside lint brushings are weird, but really that’s just what Canadian style mavens do. I don’t see Drake trying to legitimize Hip Hop at all. I think his success is the biggest example of how legitimized Hip Hop is.

Do Jay Z and Drake need each other to a certain extent?

Omar: I think when Drake rapped about crying if Jay Z died on the song “Fear,” it was a way of showing listeners that just because he was mixing some weird cross-genre shit into his Hip Hop, he still fundamentally understood the principles of Hip Hop. For the times when Drizzy wants to dabble back into Hip Hop’s more masculine, competitive roots, Jay Z is a great ally and/or adversary. When it’s time to flex on people like me who double over in laughter at both “Find Your Love” and the various memes inspired by the Take Care artwork, it’s handy to enlist Jay for a song like “Pound Cake.” If Drake needs to draw a line in the sand, and make the argument that all the boom bap, beef and broccoli Timbs aesthetics are relics best used for ‘70s and ‘80s babies, it’s convenient to fire a shot at Jay as the old guy in front of a fondue plate.

I also feel we’d be remiss to forget that Jay sees himself as a master strategist. Golden Era romanticists like myself would love another Reasonable Doubt (or at least another Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life). But Jay has larger plans, and features from the likes of Rihanna and Drake allow him to simultaneously continue being an arbiter of all things cool, an artistic ambassador of Hip Hop culture and a very rich man. And some friendly fire with Drake keeps Jay Z relevant while he plots on how another multibillion dollar corporation can pay him for yawning through an album. But let’s be clear: I think Jay Z will go down as one of the greatest emcees of all time. So he doesn’t really need drake, but Drake serves a purpose.

Justin: I think Drake needs Jay Z as a pace car. Drizzy’s at a place in his career where he’s exploring new ideas. One of the things people seek out when they’re shedding into a new space is a new level of competition. Drake is super competitive. So when he’s looking at someone worth half a billi and largely self-made, it’s inspiration and a blueprint (pun intended). Some of his recent moves lean in that direction. Last year, he allegedly put his career back into the hands of his family and closest friends because of financial disagreements with Baby and YMCMB. He was the guy everyone questioned his need to sign to a label at all. He was already a when he came in. Other than legitimacy, why would that guy need a record label?

The blueprint Jay Z’s laying is another opportunity for Drake to continue to see the faux ceiling. It’s like what he says on “Thank Me Now”: “And that’s about the time your idols become your rivals.” Post Black Album, Jay and Drake are neck and neck musically, but there’s a lot more that Drake wants to accomplish. He’s throwing festivals now, like Hov (the OVO Festival). He formed a partnership with the Toronto Raptors. He’s expanding his portfolio in a very Jay Z kind of way. I don’t think a Jay Z co-sign makes it any easier for Jigga’s staunchest Golden Era fans to feel Drake. Drake is cool sometimes, and sometimes he’s not cool. That demographic won’t fuck with Drake regardless of how baggy his jeans might be. They’ll never like Drake.

If Jay Z needs Drake, it’s as an added talisman to a historic legacy. Shawn Carter The Hustler is now in his fourth decade. He began rhyming in the mid 1980s. He’s two years younger than Rakim and went to high school with AZ. I don’t remember the last song Hov sounded like he wanted to out-Rap someone, but every time he touches a track with another generation’s new hotness, it’s another totem added to the list of accomplishments. More than that, it’s critical for the narrative that he’s an arbiter of cool. It’s never cool to be the old dude in the club, unless you own the club.

What do either Jay Z or Drake gain from an all-out feud with each other?

Omar: Right now, I think the risk of losing a real beef outweighs the reward for both Jay and Drake. Jay has traded barbs with Nas, Prodigy, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Cam’ron, Ma$e and even his former mentor Big Jaz. He doesn’t have anything to prove, and even if he thoroughly demolishes Drake, it doesn’t really matter. Drake and Jay Z aren’t really selling albums to the same crowd, and even if he took a publicity hit from a quarrel with Drake, I think the average person is probably too stupid to realize Jay at least incrementally wins when they support the dozens of celebrities affiliated with Roc Nation.

Drake is still kind of riding high from the whole “Stay Schemin’” thing with Common. And I think there’s a big difference between winning a feud with Jay Z in 2001 versus winning one in 2014. Jay versus Nas was essentially a battle of the last two great Hip Hop titans. Jay versus Drake is a nice headline, but when you’re dealing with two guys damn near 20 years apart in age, you’re also dealing with fanbases that fall along the same lines. Do fellow 40-plus-year-olds really care what Drake thinks about Jay Z? I doubt it. When you have a mortgage, kids in college and whatever else may come at that age, I don’t think you’re really hunched over the laptop waiting to exclaim, “Ooooh…WorldStar!” at the next clever diss Drake throws at Jay Z. Conversely, if I’m in the coveted 18-24-year-old demographic right now, seeing one of the most popular rappers throw shots at Beyonce’s husband isn’t topping my priority list. Ultimately, I think this Jay Z versus Drake thing is going to be forgotten about in the next few weeks.

Justin: Jay Z has nothing to gain by battling Drake. What’s winning a battle with Drake actually look like? I don’t have an example. I don’t even know if the way information moves is set up for Hov to beat Drizzy. What is popular opinion now—a Facebook poll? Hearts on an Instagram meme? How educated is the Hip Hop audience on the tenets of a Rap battle? When I talk to younger artists, they say they love Drake. Artists at every level describe him as a genius. Kids love his music. How much time does Shawn Carter The Hustler really have to engage in a worthy lyrical sparring session with anyone? Have you heard “Holy Grail?” Hov barely has time to think about rhymes. When’s the last time he had a Rap beef people even cared about? Thirteen years ago?

Hov’s awesome at ignoring idol threats. But he snaps back at jabs from the guy that raps about digging through his date’s pocket book? How many cool points does he get to keep if Mr. Marvin’s Room lyrically smacks him around? How many copies does Samsung buy in advance next time if he becomes the latest strikethrough on Canadian Slayer’s list? Will any of this make any difference? Probably not. Is it fun to talk about? Absolutely.

RELATED: Aggressive Content: Common, Drake & the Hip Hop Beef Double Standard

 

Justin "The Company Man" Hunte is the Editor-in-Chief of HipHopDX. He was the host of The Company Man Show on PNCRadio.fm and has covered music, politics, and culture for numerous publications. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @TheCompanyMan.

Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native who has contributed to various magazines, newspapers and has been an editor at HipHopDX since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @omarburgess.

85 Comments

  • Honey Lux

    Drake is Whack. Go back to Canada with your soft wanna be emotional self.

  • Anonymous

    Mrs. Drizzy won the battle against Common? Really? p.s. By the way it's 'idle' not 'idol'.

    • Honey

      I am all women, I'm not weak, I think Drake is a sell out bitch. Please he's pure whackness don't be that groupie ass kiss.

    • Anonymous

      I'll say it once and say it again, Drake haters are the softest dudes around. White suburban b-boys posing as thugs. Look at this guy correcting someone's spelling - idle / idol. Jeez

    • Anonymous

      Nobody gives crap about real heads opinions lol

    • Anonymous

      Didn't read the comment before I posted but real heads do agree Mrs. Drizzy won nothing.

  • Drake Crowned King - The real is on the rise

    A message to all you drake-hating 90s- grimey beats obsessed, fake gangsta-rap-loving hipsters -drake owns this shit. he is killing it. Get over it. What you thought was "real hip hop" is almost all a giant lie but you couldn't tell because most of you clowns are suburbanite white kids thinking you really understand hiphop when you just became enamoured by phony cliques, gimmicks and lies about ghetto life. Drake is bringing real raps about real life. that's what hiphop is supposed to be about.

  • Joe Dirt

    Speech-bubble caption contest GO

  • Anonymous

    2 "pass the grey Puopon" ass niggas arguing bout who's richer, who gives a fuck???

  • DeleteThisDX

    Deleted my last comment.. where the fuck is it? I said you guys are pathetic losers that likely make 30k but that is a stretch I'll bet you guys get $50 an article if lucky. This is fucking garbage. From start to finish. I'm not even going to waste my time dissecting this trash

  • Los

    I'm not even a Jay fan like that, but wtf?! Drake? Fuc king drake? This justin cat must really be some hipster pansy to even mention that emo ass fairy emotional sensitive ass thumb with eyebrows looking fuc ker on the same sentence as Jay. Although Jay is not as great as some of you newer fans to hip hop might think at least he is hip hop, not like Justin's man crush, that lame ass fool drake. Just watch, Rihanna will bounce on ol boy when she figures out she's more masculine than him. Women don't keep sensitive emotional men around. Just watch.

  • Los

    You gotta be fuc king kidding me! Drake is a fuc king 12 yr old girl. His music is fucking garbage and he caters to nothing but bitches. If you're a man and you like his shit, go buy some high heels and a skirt and just come out the closet already.

  • DennisCannon

    L.A. emcee/producer Tha Boogiewoogie Man Support !!!! 4 DJ's,Hip-hop heads, Support!!! (3 songs from The Gathering),(3 songs from 33rd Degree) 1 New Song 7 Free Downloads! @ http://www.audiomack.com/artist/tha-boogiewoogie-man http://waterboogiemusic.com/tha-boogiewoogie-man

  • Anonymous

    Drake undefeated? just cause you dont wanna respond to disses dont mean your undefeated, it means you want wanna battle

    • Anonymous

      If you don't have to respond, you are kind of winning though. Ja Rule had to respond to 50 Cent. Nas and Mobb Deep had to respond to Jay-Z. But Jay-Z didn't have to respond to 50 cent. Eminent didn't have to respond to Everlast. Drake simply defended himself with subliminally in Draft Day against Jay-Z but the truth is he didn't have to do shit, which reflects his stature. Everyone is trying to push him off the throne but he is still crowned/undefeated.

  • Gucci The Realest

    Let me tell you this Jay-Z or Drake will never start beef with a street nigga like Gucci Mane: * Jay-Z rapping since he was 15 years in the group High Potent. So when did he sold drugs? Between 10 and 15 years? Nobody in Brooklyn can confirm his crime stories. Did this nigga Jay not called the LAPD the get his masters back? * Drake i'm not gonna discuss this faggot. * Ice Cube was 14/15 years old when he was in the group C.I.A. Same story Lying-Z. * Nas Escobar stole his name from druglord Pablo Escobar but the only thing Nas Escobar ever sold in his life are records. * Dr. Dre the nigga who never make beats but uses ghostproducers. (Sam Sneed, Daz, warren G, Cold187um, The Glove, Mell Man etc.) Dr. Dre is as gangsta as there are ghosts. NOT! * 50 Cent sold drugs but on a small level. End of the crime stories. After that he snitched on Murda INC to get a restraining order. FACTS! * The Shame oops i mean The Game a former male stripper and now a attention whore. His own brother said that The Shame is a phony. So who do you you believe? * Flopp Deep oops i mean Mobb Deep some former arts of school studenst and balerina's. Nobody in Queens can confirm there crime stories. * Young Jeezy already exposed by Pimp C as a phony. FACTS! * T.I. he snithed to the feds. Illegal weapons charge thats 10/15 years jail. Come on. * Lil Wayne i aint gonna discuss this faggot. The list goes on....... they all OSG Original Studio Gangstas but NOT Gucci straight up FACTS about selling dope, killing and beating people.

    • Honey Lux

      Jay Z is far better than this Drake Bitch Puppet bum boy. ILAMO

    • BS killer

      To Gucci the Realest. Your post is some of the most ignorant shit to be posted. Sounds to me like just cause YOU heard from some whatever source YOU believe about Gucci being the type to KILL someone and Sell a lotta drugs makes him worthy of praise over all the other rappers. REALLY who wants to work with someone who does that on a business level. And who the fuck really goes around lookin for confimation on what rapper really sold drugs.Before you do that get a life of your own. ITS SO FUCKIN IRRELEVANT DAWG. who the fuck cares. It only takes one person who doesn't like you to spread words and a DUMBASS believes it. so fuck haters live life.

  • DX STAFF SUCKS

    Another pointless article by DX about a pop rapper and a canadian faggot.

    • Georgia ATL

      Yeah, Drake sucks. Only sheeple who are brain washed groupies would take this guy seriously. Like really?? Do you really listen to what these fools are singing about? Whack as hell. Drake is Bitch Made!

  • @corypeitsch

    First of all, there is no beef between Drake and Jay. The only beef that exists is the one you're trying to create, DX. I love this website but your editorials have been lack luster as of late. It's almost like you post things now-a-days just to have something for your viewers to read. Tweets Is Watching and Instagram Flexin? You can get rid of that garbage along with this crap editorial as well. Or at least put some more effort into them by supporting your arguments with legit facts. I wouldn't say either artist is trying to "legitimize" hip hop. As a genre it doesn't need to be legitimized by anyone, it might not be the boom bap that it once was but that's because hip hop isn't boom bap anymore. Stop trying to force it back to what is was and appreciate it for what it is. Hip hop has evolved as should it's listeners. I like where hip hop is today. Now let's point out the flaws of the article, first of all what do you mean you're a "reluctant" fan of Drake? Are you too much of a pussy to admit you actually like him or are you too much of a pussy to admit that you don't? And Drake isn't technically from another country, genius. He IS from another country. And he won those two beefs with those other two Canadian artists because first and for most, no one knows or cares who those other artists are. And you can't say he came out on top in the beef with Common, that's just plain ignorant and solely opinion based. Let's look at the facts, Common made "Sweet", Drake made a verse, Common added a verse...how does that put Drake on top of that beef? I'm not arguing that either artist won I'm just saying that you saying Drake won does not actually mean Drake won. And I'm sick of hearing this Macklemore & Ryan Lewis bullshit. Mack and Ryan made a phenomenal album that won them a Grammy, end of story. Of course every rapper and his homie are going to argue that he didn't deserve it and Kendrick or Drake or whoever else did. That's hip hop though, you don't have hip hop with out haters. I swear, its like if Kid Cudi makes and alternative hip hop album and wins a Grammy, nobody panics because it's all part of the plan. But if one little kid named Macklemore from Seattle makes one and wins, well then everybody starts losing their minds! Get over it. Drake I'm a fan but Nothing Was the Same doesn't even touch good Kid mAAd City let alone The Heist. And I hate to break it to you DX, but Drake isn't sitting atop hip hop either and don't say that he's doing this stuff because that's what "Canadians" do because that's not the case at all. I don't think Canadians go out and make it rain at strip clubs because that's just what Canadians do. No, that's what Drake does. It's almost like you're saying things because you like to hear the sound of your voice so anything that comes out of it must be worth hearing. I'm sorry if this sounds like I am anti-Drake because that's not the case at all but really you're not comparing apples to apples when it comes to Drake and Hov. Drake has a lot of potential in rap music but let's stop making the GOAT references right now. It's too soon. He might reach that status some day but not today. And Justin, don't close out an editorial by asking rhetorical questions to make yourself sound smart because it comes across as just the opposite.

    • Amy

      Drake is a poor representation of Canada. Drake isn't as bad as Justin Bieber. Canadians know Drake is terribly laughable. Drake and Justin are a Joke, we don't want them back in Canada you American's can keep them, and they can take their minstrel selves and jump around on your stages screaming vulgarities. Losers music.

    • Anonymous

      If your not sure who won Drake vs Common, then, Drake clearly won. Common had the last response and didn't seal the deal. Common had the last chance and didn't convince you. drake won. drake's verse won accolades across the board while Common's verse gained a couple chuckles but Common could not have had an easier opponent - a Canadian bi-racial kid from degrassi who sings about being dissed by chics over Sade beats? Common had everything going for him and used all those disses to try to destroy Draje but never even came close. He actually lost credibility. Drake is still making millions and Common is making nothing and less sense .

  • A Trillionaire

    You call this a mini beef? This was a non existent beef! How could anyone could write an essay about 2 lines of a rap song? I guess I would know if I actually read the article...

  • EMCEE 187

    DRAKE DID NOT DEFEAT COMMON SENSE.PLZ QUIT SAYIN DAT...DATS UR OPINION NOT FACT.

  • nigga

    drake is like an infomercial you can find him on any tv channel anytime of the day or night but hes boring and aint nobody trying to buy shit this nigga trying to sell

    • Devin Knowles

      Drake must have souled his little soul to the Devil for Fame cause this Canadian is pure weakness on wheels. Common is Old School. Commons music is classic. This bitch boy drake can't hold a torch, and if he does he sucking hard on some white man music executives dick.

    • Drake

      Youre a mofee tofee. im so happy that you ate a mutton pie in the chicken abbotoir

  • Anonymous

    More then half of the articles on this site are not even written by the site. Most of it is just circulated news. Copy/paste

  • Anonymous

    NO! All this shit says is that ya mad that ya weren't able to capitalize off this BS that nobody cares about. So now ya reaching one more time to see if ya can stir something up and hook people in to a beef nobody wants to see. SMH! This is what Hip Hop and Hip Hop journalism has come too. SMH!

  • Anonymous

    50 cents 4 albums: over 22 million worldwide G-units first album: over 3 million worldwide Get rich or die trying movie soundtrack: over 3 million worldwide Games first album: over 5 million worldwide Lloyd banks first album: over 4 million worldwide Tony yayos first album : over 1 million worldwide Young bucks first album : over 1 million worldwide Total sales: 39 million Jay-Z's 12 albums: over 28 million worldwide Jay-Z's 5 collab albums: over 9 million worldwide Beanie sigels 6 albums: 2 million worldwide Memphis bleeks 4 alums: over 2 million worldwide J Coles 2 albums: over 1 million Total sales: 42 million 50 got 3 number 1 songs on billboard hot 100 (with only one feature, nate dogg, allthough 50 wrote the hook for him) and a total of 9 top 10 songs on the same chart(2 more with no features, total of 4 nonfeatured) Jay-Z got 1 number one (which featured alicia keys) and a total of 11 top 10 songs(4 of them had no features), plus one with watch the throne 50 cent got one number one feature, and 5 top 10s (1 with a singer) Jay-Z got 3 number 1 features (all with singers), and 9 top 10s (8 with singers) Get rich or die tryin' sold more than Jay-Zs 4 highest selling albums combined Jay-Z only got one album outselling 50s second album, and that is with a margin of 13 000 50 cent got an average 5.5 million sold per album Jay-Z got an average of 2.3 million sold per album If you combine the sales of ALL jay-z albums since get rich or die tryin' was released, Get rich or die tryin' still sold more 50 cent accomplished that in 4 year period, jay did it in 17 years.

    • Anonymous

      But Jay is clearly wealthier, more respected and viewed as more versatile than 50 cent. 50 cent really has one classic and then, his whole career tried to reach the height of that first classic album and never coming close. Jay has at least 2 classics but arguably 4/5 classic albums. Plus he's on Life After Death

    • dentaldamboy

      It is well known that Jay-Z is a complier. He never ran the rap game and shouldn't be regarded as a rap legend.

    • Anonymous

      Nobody cares. You typed that long ass bullshit on an article that will be forgotten tomorrow.

  • QB

    Common smoked this fool, but you want to act like Drake won just because he's "more popular".

    • DavidDanielz

      Common is working on another album dumb ass. Like he always does, lets see where Drake will be in 15 years you little delusional pop hiphop lover. FYI: Common won that small battle. Drake looked like a fool.

    • Anonymous

      no cause his verse was better and wheres common now?

  • Anonymous

    Troll article. Though this is a gossip website - I understand that the celebrity aspect of hip-hop gets more clicks than the music - the reason beefs are relevant and important is because good, lasting, artistic music comes out of it. The people behind this site know that as well as anybody else, and they shouldn't be protecting two people who think more about the PR risks than putting effort into their music for the fans who pay their hard-earned money for it.

  • Henny

    LMAO at this whole corny fucking article, what a pathetic piece of shit this was to read.

  • Anonymous

    Drake undefeated?!?! thats a goddamn laugh. luda and pusha t both smoked his fake ass with NO RESPONSE. said it before, Drake need to focus on the beef already on his plate.

  • fuck-U

    quite possibly the dumbest article ever written.

    • InternetThug

      that's what I said, but this hipster DX Staff be in starbucks writing up this dumb shit. too many latte's to the brain bruh. might as well just work at starbucks instead of writing this dumb corny shit yo.

  • THE REAL DEAL

    Not a bad article that tries to be balanced but I only wish folks could stop living the illusion that hip hop= hard or gangsta...that's just BS. Gangsta rap simply has dominated hip hop for the last 25 years because the phony rappers who have been pushing it have been able to make it seem attractive. But it is really just a by-product of 2pac and Biggie dying and becoming indisputable legends - this suddenly made it almost mandatory for hip hop to be hardcore gangsta. but look back at the history and the origins, "gangsta rap" used to be its own genre. Is Biz Markie's Just a Friend hard? How about Whodini's Friends? The beastie boys were 3 rich Jewish kids that are indisputably hip hop but their first album was filled with frat-boy rhymes. No one disputes any of these guys hip hop credentials. But if drake drops a song saying "no new friends", everyone acts like he is softer not hip hop for saying that. It's bullshit. What Drake actually deserves credit for is taking hip hop back to its original roots. The music has been living in fake gangsta world for the last 25 years and it's giant lie being pushed by insecure phonies...... and make no mistake about it -Drake is hated because he is Canadian yes but mostly because he is light-skin and looks like some model from MTV's Real World show. The people complaining are not evaluating him on his music. THey don't like his look and his mannerisms.

    • THE REAL DEAL

      @ Cal. Was not saying Dr Dre etc we're not big before 2pac and Biggie died but when Chronic, Straight Outta Compton were hot albums, there was still a clear division between regular hip-hop and hip hop which was considered gangsta. Gangsta hiphop was differentiated. I mean, Black sheep, De La Soul, Common and the Roots all had songs/skits ridiculing gangsta rap. I found after the deaths if 2pac and Biggie, it became almost a prerequisite that hip hop be gangsta and people act like hip-hop and "being hard" is one in the same. Look at the Pharacyde's "passing me by" or "runnin"- the song admits being passed up by hot chick and never scoring. This to me is like Drakes music. It admits vulnerability (And BTW, side note: Id say gangsta started with Schooly D and Ice-T). So I feel Drake is taking bit back to the roots because his 1) his focus is not just gangsterism/phony posturing or what OC said "everything crime-related or sexual" , 2) he is more lyrical than most of the southern hip hop that dominated when he took over. And 3) he shows vulnerability and realness instead of fake gangsta posturing And yes I grew up on Rakim, BDP and all that shit. No need to school me bro. I've got 1000s of Lps on vinyl from all eras. @daviddanielz. What u say about Drake not really respecting hip hop culture in general, I will agree as far as breakdancing , graffiti etc. but lumping him in with Nelly and Ja Rule to me is going too far. I can't listen to either of those guys. They made straight pop music with no content, no smart bars period. Drake can actually rap. I mean when I hear "Hot in Here" by Nelly vs Marvins Room or Dreams Money Can Buy by Drake to me, Drake is making more thought-provoking intellectual smart music which is innovative. I do feel Nelly is innovative in terms of flow but lyrically? He'll naw. Just my opinion

    • DavidDanielz

      I can respect your opinion butttttt Guys like Biz Markie, Skee-Lo, Coolio, and Will Smith. They all had a lane in hiphop and did very well but none of them ever claimed to be something they weren't. Which was cool, because despite the lack of bullets and guns in the lyrics people still loved them and loved there music. They NEVER claimed to be the best nor did they act gangsta or talk about things they had no business talking about. None of that. Guys like Nelly, Ja Rule, and Drake are the new versions of those guys. The difference is these guys thought they were the best. They thought they could be Jay or Nas. These guys really thouht hands down they are the best and they would talk slick and start stupid beef with other artist because they were popular at the time. They were and Drake is all popular but they were never regarded as the best or maybe one day being the best. Nelly, Ja Rule, and Drake have a lot of that in common. They are all more pop then hiphop, they all make good music, and at some point they all let the popularity get to there heads. It cost Ja Rule his spot in hiphop and it cost Nelly his spot as well. Drake doesn't seem to get or doesn't want to understand the culture of hiphop. He wants it his way which is very different. Regardless I think he will be the next fallen hiphop artist that once was popular. Make all the claims you want but I'm all about the culture of hiphop and I love history and I see it repeating itself. Let's just see what happens to drake.

    • HEY!

      THE REAL DEAL: Not a bad article that tries to be balanced but I only wish folks could stop living the illusion that hip hop= hard or gangsta...that's just BS. Gangsta rap simply has dominated hip hop for the last 25 years because the phony rappers who have been pushing it have been able to make it seem attractive. But it is really just a by-product of 2pac and Biggie dying and becoming indisputable legends - this suddenly made it almost mandatory for hip hop to be hardcore gangsta. but look back at the history and the origins, "gangsta rap" used to be its own genre. Is Biz Markie's Just a Friend hard? How about Whodini's Friends? The beastie boys were 3 rich Jewish kids that are indisputably hip hop but their first album was filled with frat-boy rhymes. No one disputes any of these guys hip hop credentials. But if drake drops a song saying "no new friends", everyone acts like he is softer not hip hop for saying that. It's bullshit. What Drake actually deserves credit for is taking hip hop back to its original roots. The music has been living in fake gangsta world for the last 25 years and it's giant lie being pushed by insecure phonies...... and make no mistake about it -Drake is hated because he is Canadian yes but mostly because he is light-skin and looks like some model from MTV's Real World show. The people complaining are not evaluating him on his music. THey don't like his look and his mannerisms. I think i said it better but

    • Cal

      Gangsta rap began its takeover well before Big and Pac died. Ever heard of NWA..Dr. Dre or Snoop? They were the first to take gangsta rap to the masses. That's why people say Big brought the East back. Because Death Row had taken it from the East...check the sales. And to say that Drake is "taking hip hop back to its original roots" is the most ridiculous shit I've ever read. Guess you never heard of Rakim, KRS-1, or Public Enemy. Drake is dope. But he too incorporates a lil gangsta shit in his raps.

  • Anonymous

    The between the two is much ado 'bout not a mofo thang. Sadly, and so is this article.

  • drake runs rap

    It's obvious who would win this "beef". Drake is in a whole other league; Jay can't compete with him. Plus, I'd rather have his baby soft nuts rub up against my chin than Joe Camel's big, hairy nuts.

    • theBavarianIlluminati

      Drake is a phony-ass piece of garbage. Jay-Z sucks too. You probably do as well, judging by that last comment of yours. KY.

  • Anonymous

    these editorials are always bullshit, i like the idea, but they always talk about the most bullshit topics. Like they could try to have a voice in a editorial, instead of always seeming like they bought out by the labels.

  • ali

    "As a reluctant fan" stopped reading after the first paragraph of the argument.

  • Greg

    What kind of insecure loser says he likes someones music Reluctantly. Own up to your shit. Be true to self or lose yourself. I'm not gonna lie about the fact that When Nsync comes on, I start to sing my ass off. Yourrrre all i eveeerrr wantttteeeeddd.. ( yeaaaaahhh) so tell me what to dooo nowwwwww........ and in the same breath I Fuck with Anybody going in on the raps. You are clearly so fixated on Hip Hops masculinity that it ironically makes you a pussy....

    • Sam Snead

      If you can't beat them, join them I guess. The industry made drake, the sheeple will get in line and like him either sooner or later is what they said. "if we can make a generation of people believe Lil Wayne is the greatest rapper of all-time, surely we can get people to like this pussy"

    • Anonymous

      Hear hear!! Thanks for being a breath of fresh air in this crowd of yes men trend hoppers.

  • DavidDanielz

    Drake won that Common battle? Really? Really? First it wasn't a battle and second Common put him in his place. I hate articles like this. You guys are always looking to push an agenda. Mark my words, Jay is not stupid. Something will come at of all this and your article will look re-tarted after all is said and done.

  • Anonymous

    Ill give Drake his due credit but if he were to go at Jay hard, Jay would lyrically destroy Drake...Im not the biggest Jay fan either but dude can spit when he has to. ...Look at it this way, would Drake dare go at Nas, Prodigy, 50 or Cam? Drake needs to stay in his lane, thats what works for him. Stay out of the grimey hip hop and stick to your crooning.

  • triPAUD

    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A "BATTLE" AND "BEEF". ALTHOUGH THE RESULTS CAN BE CONFUSING, I KNOW.

  • Anonymous

    yawn, why you think its over yet?

  • Beyonce

    I agree with Drake. This is a nice article of opinion backed by quotes from the subjects themselves as well as other sources.The question was are they beef or does their beef hero to legitimize hip hop. Hop hop has changed. Now there is commercial, corporate, conscious, and compelling rap genres. Hip hop has little space in mainstream culture. Cleverly scripted beef between an emotional young by and a cool yet very old guy do absolutely nothing to get a legitimate stamp of approval from any age group. I wish them the best tho.

  • InternetThugs

    Corny article obviously written by some college hipster. This the reason I stopped goin to HHDX for a few years, step your game up. Stop serving corny Twitter beefs and "jabs". It's polluting hip hop culture.

  • Anonymous

    The word beef is misused, they threw a few jabs in the press and a few on wax which is what every rapper does damn near so it's no big deal. Drake has his own lane it's a R&B hybirdized style highly popular amongst the bitches and it lacks any type of street element but JayZ has been rich for so long that most of his music is lacking in that rawness that it used to have so I'm not the biggest fan of either of their current music. I would rather see an all out war of words between Kendrick and Drake or Troy Ave go after Curtis, Minaj sexy ass need to go at these new bitches necks instead of LiL Kim and give us some MC Lyte type disses.

  • son of a sax

    LMAO!!! Cmon, this wasnt the greatest battle that never was. Ra & Kane was!!! Lets get it right. This was kind of a joke. Like Krs and Nelly. Don't even waste your time

  • Anonymous

    Drake won the Common battle? ...stop just stop

    • Anonymous

      I cringed after reading Drake won the battle with Common. You can fool some people some time but ....eh you know the rest. You can have your opinion but we know the facts.

    • chi-town born/raised

      stopped reading at that point. Did I miss something after Common tore through "Stay Schemin" and destroyed Aubrey?

  • Drake

    Well written article but... there is no beef here just competitiveness. They probably actually talk to each other. People crack on each other all the time and if you dont know their relationship you probably think its beef.

  • Anonymous

    These fools ain't really beefn. Ain't got time to.

  • Wun

    Wasted article. YOu over way overreaching.. HHDX Step your game up.