Lynne d Johnson



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01.16.02 03:11 PM

Nas .vs. Jay Z

The Nas and Jay Z battle have made it to the major press. First, on January 6, in The New York Times, Douglas Century remarked that as hip-hop attempts to remain relevant, it has returned to its roots with an old fashioned battle. And in today's Village Voice, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, former HNIC of and The Source, dissects both artists albums, merit for merit.

"Two of Rap's Hottest Return to the Dis," By Douglas Century, The New York Times, January 6, 2002

"In a season when real-life war in Afghanistan has made much of the violence in the entertainment industry seem like quaint posturing, hip-hop—a musical genre struggling to remain relevant—has returned to its roots with an old-fashioned, insult-laden feud. Past rap battles, not coincidentally, have been excellent for CD sales. Now, two young, up-from-the-housing-projects African-American multimillionaires—once fast friends, now bitter rivals—each acclaimed as among the most talented rappers of all time, are trading put-downs and below-the-belt innuendo."

"Kings of New York," By Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Village Voice, January 16-22, 2002

"After all, Jay-Z's done everything possible over six summers to certify his chokehold on hip-hop, if not pop music at large. Why shouldn't we believe he could drop an album, The Blueprint, on the very day America found itself rocked back on its heels, and then proceed to sell some 465,000 copies over the course of a week dominated by national fear, anger, and growls of war? And in the wake of such a performance, who could doubt or challenge his hold on the elusive hip-hop throne? Well, at least one person, as it turns out—Nasir Jones, formerly known as Nasty Nas, then Nas, then Escobar, and now, thankfully, Nas once again."

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