Hovi Bryant said:
Since we have comparisons between this and LIG...here's my two cents littered through the forms.
Artisitcally and production-wise Jay-Z's album is superior.
Nas is who I categorize as an MC who is very technical in skill (storytelling, wordplay, metaphors, rhyme pattern), but lacks subtleness at times. In other words, he's an artist and a curator at the same time. He could paint a Van Gogh, but he's explaining EVERYTHING along the way. It's in the song title, the lyrics, and even on Rap Genius now. It k!lls the replay value.
He wasn't always like this though. His song titles were much more ambiguous with Illmatic and It Was Written. You can't look at the track-list and tell me One Love is a letter to a locked up friend, or Street Dreams being the life of an aspiring kingpin.
Now? The creativity has run thin. A Queen's story is just what the title says. This is also true for Accident murders, Daughters, The Don, and Summer on Smash. You know what to expect before listening.
Also, you listen to the songs and well... he's just reiterating the song title. Here's one general taboo in art; . Nas has been a violator of this unwritten law every now and then, but most definitely on LIG.
Jay-Z is an artist who's lyrics have grown increasingly ambiguous over the years since his "retirement". Jay-Z's far from vague, but his songs can hit home through a variety of ways to a variety of listeners. This is usually the norm with pop music.
However, Jay-Z's usage of traditional rap devices separate him from the best pop writers in the industry, i.e. "Tom Ford" could be a song about fashion, or braggadocio, or a diss. It's up to the listener. Jay-Z doesn't explicitly force anything on the listener to get a point across. You have to connect the dots yourself. Most answers will ultimately make sense.
Jay-Z does have a point to shoot across in every song, but you'd either have to be a die hard fan or be a critical thinker to decode his train of thought. His frequent usage of double entendres, advanced metaphors (implications and allusions versus using similes), philosophical references cover his tracks fairly well.
His usage of these efficient writing devices compact big, complex sentences and paragraphs into short bars and verses. Jay-Z may be the most efficient Hip-Hop writer ever, given his mastery of basic literary devices.
Bar for Bar
Both Nas and Jay-Z name drop on their albums, highlighting the contrasting nature of Nas' curation of his work versus Jay-Z's efficient ambiguity.
[pic - click to view]
Nas – Accident murderers
Can't play with these little n*ggas, gangsta little n*ggas
Can't hang with these little n*ggas, they k!lling, they reckless
Wish I could build with him, but will he change really
Some real k!llers
I think of Wayne Perry
Jay-Z - Tom Ford
Hands down got the best flow, sound I'm so special
Sound boy burial, this my Wayne Perry flow
Y'all know nothing about Wayne Perry though
District of Columbia, guns on your Tumblrs
Nas is attaching Wayne Perry to the theme of the song, while Jay is very clever, alluding to k!lling the beat, also noting the contradictory lifestyle of most rappers on their rise to fame. Jay-Z does in a few bars what some could write an entire song about. Nas didn't have to mention Perry at all, it's almost like a wasted line to further drive a point home.
Nas - Daughters
And I ain't tryna mess your thing up
But I just wanna see you dream up
I finally understand
It ain't easy to raise a girl as a single man
Jay-Z - Jay-Z Blue
Life changed again I was already taking off
My flight changed again
Slight change of winds
It's barely 12 noon
And my wife changed again
The contrasting nature of Nas and Jay-Z are on full display once again. Nas goes pretty hard at his daughter, while Jay-Z goes hard at himself. I think that's the stark difference between Nas and Jay, and the most ironic aspect of their critics.
Most Jay-Z detractors abhor his first person perspective of life, as it's just "bragging about x, y, and z" ... but he's giving you his train of thought on a platter with every song. I believe most people rob themselves of the experience by writing him off so quickly. Jay-Z's apparent paranoia of being a bad father reflects the actuality of Nas' song, something he could (or should) have accomplished versus blasting his daughter on wax.
Besides lyrical displays, Jay-Z's flow has evolved into something that's love or hate. This man rhymes to bass-lines, snares, high hats, it always changes up. I think it's pretty fu*kin impressive. Picasso Baby, Holy Grail, Tom Ford, La Famillia, etc, Jay's flow can change mid verse or mid song, or from just song to song. It keeps the album fresh IMO. Nas, doesn't branch out too much on LIG. Some prefer that.
I'm giving the nod to lyrics and delivery to Jay here.
Does anyone think LIG has better production than MCHG? Both albums pass the laptop speaker test, but damn MCHG k!lls the car test with flying colors.
Overall, LIG is solid, but MCHG is amazing. Spades.
too much truth
Root Of Evil said:
safe to say the only people that dont like this album are people that cant listen to both nas and jay and the people that wanted to hate on the album before it even came out