Monday, September 19, 2005

Despite Much-Publicized Retirement, Jay-Z Cannot Abide Rappers Talking Greasy; Boston Crab To Ensue

Hip-hop's most famous retiree is back in the headlines. First, Billboard reported:
Def Jam president/CEO Jay-Z [...] is mulling the creation of the label Def Jam Left, which he describes as "an artist-driven label with very low deals so people are not pressured by first-week SoundScan [sales], so we can build artists." Jay-Z is also hoping to make the Roots the first signee to the imprint. "I'm talking to the Roots right now," he adds. "I'm confident to put out there that we might make this happen. The label would probably begin at the top of the year, but I hope to have the Roots signed by the time they get off their international tour."

In late April, Roots drummer ?uestlove told Billboard.com the group was about 60% finished with a new album, "Game Theory." The set is tipped to feature a collaboration with Black Star's Mos Def and Talib Kweli called "Where I Come" and another song with just Mos Def, "Workin' on It." The Roots were previously signed to MCA and then Geffen.
Not only that, Jay-Z adds that he may get around to recording another album of his own.
"You all are hearing things from me -- you just haven't heard an album," he says. "Who knows? I'm still going in the studio, getting on remixes and things like that. But it's the people. When people want something bad enough, it happens. And they want it bad (laughs). I'm trying to hold out, but I don't know how long I can."
Shortly thereafter Billboard reported that Jay-Z is performing onstage in New Jersey and Philadelphia in October. These shows began making headlines in earnest when the retiree declared war on wack MCs. MTV News, among others, covered the story.
"I declare war!" Jay said. Hov told radio personality Ed Lover that he's been hearing some rappers talking greasy about him and he is going to "air them out" onstage.

Doomsday — at least for some — is scheduled for October 27 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. That's when Power 105 is staging its Power House concert, for which it's turned the reins over to Jay for another Jay-Z and Friends outing[...]

"I got a lot of records," Hov told Lover. "I'm getting the itch. I need to see the people. It's time for a good show in New York City ... I gotta flip on some people."

Jay said that despite his track record, some rappers are "hard-headed" and "not too many people make it out of the figure-four leg lock. I gotta put 'em in the choke hold, the Boston crab. I gotta smash a couple of people.... Everybody better make up and be my friend."
There you have it. Last month U.N. Spacy warned of a major retired MC showdown. Today U.N. Spacy reports that that day has come. I don't wanna raise unrealistic expectations, but I daresay we're on the brink of a retired MC renaissance.

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