Jay-Z is one of the most successful rappers in the music industry. Besides selling millions of records, he is also praised for his longevity in the music business. But when asked if there was another rapper who really rivaled him, only Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls came to mind.
Jay-Z had to find other ways to motivate himself after Biggie’s death
Biggie Smalls’ death had a profound impact on many. The rapper touched many lives with his music and personality, but of course he was particularly missed by loved ones like Jay-Z. Jay-Z and Biggie both went to the same school and chained a few hit songs. “Who Shot Ya” and “Brooklyn’s Finest” are some of their most memorable performances.
But after Biggie’s death, Jay-Z once admitted that it had an effect on his music, both good and bad. The Brooklyn entertainer dedicated a few songs to his son on his second album, In my life Vol. 1, to his friend. But his death took away any potential fun he might have had on the album.
“The album for me – this album was no fun for me reasonable doubt, because it was like, it felt really slow to me, and I had no intention of doing that, I just look back now and listen to it now,” he said in an interview with 1998 published by MTV News.
Other than that, few artists could push Jay-Z’s artistic boundaries like Biggie could. So after his death, for a while, the music mogul had to find other ways to tap into his motivation.
“I don’t have anyone to bounce on, you understand? We bounced off each other like, ‘Oh that was crazy; I have to do something crazier. When you don’t have that, you don’t have that gauge,” he said. “It’s just hard to adapt; you need to find other ways to motivate yourself.
Jay-Z once considered Biggie Smalls his only competition
Jay-Z has seen the rise of many hip-hop artists in the music industry. One of these artists was Eminem. In an interview with Playboy, Jay-Z admitted that Eminem, with whom he collaborated, was the only rapper to sell more records than him at the time.
“He’s an extraordinary talent. He’s a genius after all. But race has something to do with it,” Jay-Z said. “If you listen to his record ‘White America’, he touches on this subject.”
When asked if there was anyone else Jay-Z thought he personally competed with in rap, Biggie was the only person he thought of.
“There was one person: Big. If I heard ‘Who shot you?’ in a club, I left and I was going to make music. It’s not to take anything away from Eminem or Nas, I just don’t look at them like that,” he explained.
Jay-Z would go on to compare his relationship and rivalry with Big to Michael Jordan’s with Magic Johnson.
“Right. I heard Jordan say when Magic had AIDS he felt like he was cheating on him. ‘Are you leaving now? Yo, I need you. You’re gonna define my greatness. That was selfish “, did he declare.
Jay-Z doesn’t believe anyone can beat him in a Verzuz battle
Jay-Z recently commented on his competition with other rap artists in a Verzuz battle. The platform has seen many rap artists pit their career bests against each other to see who will come out on top. Jay-Z, however, doesn’t believe there’s a rapper on Earth who can beat him in a Verzuz.
“With no disrespect…everyone is amazing. No one can stand on this stage with me. There is no chance in hell. I don’t care how long,” Jay-Z said in a Twitter Spaces conversation (via People).
He went on to say that there are performances he’s never done that he could use in a Verzuz. This would only tilt the odds of victory further in his favor.
“Do you have to stand in front of the ‘Grammy Family Freestyle’ live?” No one’s ever seen me play that, gotta stand by that? It will never happen,” he added.
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