This week, Jay-Z's highly-anticipated Magna Carta Holy Grail was released, and quickly became a topic of discussion amongst former associates, other rappers, and Jay himself. Meanwhile, DJ Premier provided some opinions on the beloved BET Cyphers he runs, and Evidence let the fans know who he thinks are the best rappers who sit behind the boards.
Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail Runs The Headlines
It was all Magna Carta Holy Grail everything this week, as Jay-Z's latest album, projected to enter the charts at #1, was on everybody's mind. In HipHopDX's review of the album, Hov was praised for, among other things, maintaining cohesiveness throughout the project:
"What really makes this project stand out from the overwhelming majority of major label Rap release in 2013: everything on this project sounds like it was recorded for this project," reads the review. "Beats don’t sound like they were chosen from a producer’s C:/ drive, and Rick Ross’ verse doesn’t have nothing to do with anything (see 'Accident Murderers' from Nas’ Life Is Good). Who knows whether Jay-Z knew what he had in mind when he got into the kitchen, but instead of adding every spice available to him, he used only what he needed—and the recipe benefitted because of it."
The album had everyone talking. Former business partner Dame Dash described listening to the album as a "bittersweet" experience, praising Hov's project. Meanwhile, Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt had a decidedly negative opinion of the album, telling his followers on twitter to unfollow Earl if they liked the project. Producer Wondagurl, whose work was featured on the album's track "Crown," also spoke on the project, explaining how she came up with the beat.
Jay did his own media rounds throughout the week, during which he discussed a slew of topics. In an interview with Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, Jay-Z opined that the internet devalued the album review. “I think reviews have lost a lot of their importance now because of the internet,” he explained. “Everyone is experiencing things at the same time. You can write a review like the guy from USA Today, tomorrow. Ya’ll both can write the review at the same time…That’s why the critic became important in the music space because they got the music first." During the same interview, Jay revealed that he was close to signing Lil Wayne several years ago, and that he still has love for Dame Dash.
DJ Premier Says Black Thought "Bodied" Eminem & Yasiin Bey In BET Cypher
The yearly Rap cyphers for the BET Hip Hop Awards have become a fan favorite. DJ Premier, who runs the cyphers, recently revealed his thoughts of one of the most high-profile cyphers in the segment's history: Eminem, Yasiin Bey, and Black Thought.
"I'm not even being politically correct," said Preme in an interview on The Combat Jack Show. "I loved everybody's verses but Black Thought bodied that. Bodied it. Hands down. Eminem got busy on the Shady cypher when they did it themselves, with Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf and him? That was a fun shoot."
The interview is below:
Evidence Names Dr. Dre, Kanye West Among Best Rapping Producers
Evidence has made a name for himself on the mic and behind the boards, so it was only right that he provided HipHopDX with a list of his favorite producers on the mic.
His first choice was perhaps the most famous rapping producer, Dr. Dre. "I don’t care if he wrote it or didn’t write it or if six people wrote it. He's the greatest producer to me of all time, pretty much, in Rap. [Dr. Dre's] got one of the greatest voices and he’s made some of the most classic records," he explained. "Sometimes, it’s the producer’s job to know what he excels in and what he doesn’t excel in and highlight the strengths instead of illustrating the weaknesses. Maybe writing is not his forte but beats and delivery sure are. He’s got a great delivery as well. And then, who’s to say what he wrote or didn’t write? Who can’t sing [“Fuck Wit' Dre Day”] or who can’t sing 'Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang?' Nobody. It’s pretty much impossible."
Evidence also included Q-Tip, Kanye West, and others on the list.
Other items of note: