News: Jay-Z Asks Can He Live, "You Never Hear Rappers Compared [To] The Greatest Writers Of All Time" [Video]
Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 11:00AM
Grammy-winning rapper Jay-Z has shared his opinion on the lack of respect hip-hop artists receive for their craft and why critics should pay more attention to emcees' writing abilities.
Referencing rap greats like the late Notorious B.I.G. and Rakim as prime examples, Young Hov said hip-hop artists should be given more props.
"I hope readers take away from this [Decoded memoir] book that rap is poetry," Jay said in a video. "It's thought-provoking; there's thought behind it. There's great writing in rap as well. You never hear rappers being compared for like the greatest rap writers of all time. You hear Bob Dylan. So is Biggie Smalls in a Hitchcock way. Some of the things that Biggie wrote... Rakim, I mean, listen to some of the things he wrote, if you take those lyrics and you pull them away from the music and put 'em up on the wall somewhere and someone had to look at them, they would say, 'This is genius! This is genius work!' I want people to take that away." (Rocawear)
Jay also suggested listeners pay more attention to the content in hip-hop songs and try to relate.
"I want people to also take away the quick judgments. Listen to the song, listen to its intent," Jay added. "Try to figure out why a song like 'Big Pimpin' can exist. The same way that you try to figure out a song why 'Meet the Parents' exists. It's clearly obvious that it has different meaning, but this, on the surface, is just fun and party music but there's reasons behind that as well. I really wanted to lay this out in a clear and concise way that people could look at it and say, OK, if there's thought and there's intelligence and there's reason and logic behind it, then maybe you have to deal with everything like that." (Rocawear)
Jay's Decoded memoir contributor dream hampton previously spoke to SOHH about rappers putting out their own books.
"Even as a writer, I don't privilege the written word over the [spoken] word. I don't think that a culture is less valid because it's primarily oral and I don't think that all of these hip-hop books validate or make hip-hop more real or more important. Hip-Hop would be just as important as it is without anybody writing a book. With that said, there are a million ways that, because of someone like Jay-Z, hip-hop is becoming more formalized. And that was inevitable. We're 30 years into this at least and it was just inevitable that hip-hop would make its way into universities and [grade school], and that it would be used to teach texts and all of the things that's evolved to do." (SOHH Guest Star)
Outside of book talk, Jay is currently gearing up for the release of his joint album alongside Kanye West, Watch the Throne.
The Source has received a solid date for the release of Jay-Zand Kanye West's collaborative and highly anticipated album Watch The Throne: July 4th. The information was shared exclusively to The Source by a source very close to the Hov and Ye super project. Later on this evening there will be a G.O.O.D. Music event presented by Heineken and Kanye West held at a still undisclosed location in New York City. Rumors are speculating that at said event, Kanye and Jay-Z might be making an announcement about the July 4th release date. Once the July 4th date is confirmed, remember that you heard it here first. Fireworks indeed. (The Source)
Check out Jay-Z's interview below: