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JAY might have tipped the scales in his favor with “ Super Ugly, ” a freestyle over Dr. Dre and Knoc Turn-al ’ s “ Bad Intentions ” that aired out some personal drama in an uncharacteristically fiddling fashion. thus much so that JAY ’ s mother actually admonished him for releasing the track in the first stead. Despite the blatant disrespect, “ Super Ugly ” did not mark the termination of the beef as “ The Story Of Adidon ” did for Pusha T and Drake. There was indeed a second polish, and while it isn ’ t discussed closely a much as the first, it however gave us two incredible songs from both corners in Hov ’ s “ Blueprint 2 ” and Esco ’ s “ The last real N***a Alive. ” In terms of timbre alone, there ’ s a casing to be made that the second round of golf is even better than the first. Though the impact of the blows was true lessened — which credibly explains why it ’ south rarely discussed with the same reverence as “ Takeover ” and “ Ether ” — the tracks shine for different reasons. For one, both are far more reflective, positioning Nas and JAY as strategic generals rather than soldiers carving it up on the battlefield. impressive though it was to marvel at their martial art, it was equally compelling to observe how they assessed the rap landscape in the wake up of the bloodshed. The way one reacts to adversity reveals genuine character. In JAY ’ randomness casing, he opted to reserve the championship track of his expansive Blueprint 2 for his official second-round reaction. Given the built-in significance a title track possesses, it was clear that he had a lot to say.
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There are some who would go so far as to call “ Blueprint 2 ” the realest crap JAY-Z ever wrote. It would not be a hot accept. One does not queue up an implemental build from Ennio Morricone score from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly only to earphone it in. concisely after “ unleashing the flutes, ” a tone is set. That of a lone spider surveying a bare barren, dangerous to approach and wise beyond measure. Hov suits the original well, only concisely breaking submergence to channel one of cinema ’ s bang-up alpha males — Austin “ Danger ” Powers. After establishing his mentality in the afford verse, JAY shifts focus to Nas in the second, likening him to a fake prophet — “ the blame interpretation of T.D. Jakes. ” Yet rather than focusing entirely on tearing down his foe, he alternatively spends ample prison term building himself up. Citing his function in easing efforts for both Columbine and 9/11, Hov admonishes listeners for failing to see the bigger mental picture. “ And y’all buy the asshole, caught up in the hype, cause the ni*ga wear a kufi, it do n’t mean that he bright, ” he raps. “ Cause you do n’t understand him, it do n’t mean that he nice / It merely means you do n’t understand all the bullshit that he write. ” Directly subsequently, Hov accuses Nas of hypocrisy, highlighting oppositional messages within his music — with particular focus on his attitude toward women. “ Is it Oochie Wally Wally or is it One Mic ? Is it Black Girl Lost or shorty owe you for internal-combustion engine ? ” he ponders, giving fans distance to draw their own conclusions.
interestingly, Hov appears to acknowledge himself as the failure of the conflict, taking consolation in lessons learned in kill. In doing so, he besides presents a new slant with which to attack : the narrative that in sparking the gripe, he played a send function in revitalizing Nas ’ career. “ You street dreamin ‘, all y’all ni*gas livin ‘ through me, I gave you life when ni*gas was forgetting ‘ you emcee, ” he raps. “ I ‘m a legend, you should take a video with me / You should be happy to be in my bearing, I should charge you a fee. ” Between the calculate authority with which JAY-Z raps and the birdcall ’ mho undeniably triumphant aesthetic, “ Blueprint 2 ” has gained much retrospective acclaim in the years since its handout. If not for anything, it showed that were he provoked farther by a potential Nas response, he was fix and will to square up for another round. Despite JAY having written off his opponent as inauthentic and basically non-threatening, at the end of the day, there ’ s a rationality Nas is a staple on thus many top ten lists. His penitentiary game can be truly acute, his storytelling pedigree elect. It ’ sulfur possibly unsurprising that he decided to take that route for his “ Blueprint 2 ” reception, loading up his God ’ s Son album with the historically-dense “ last Real N***** Alive. ” In exchangeable manner to Hov, Nas stayed his hand in favor of a more introspective analysis. As JAY moved to paint Nas as an unreliable narrator, Esco retaliated by placing his cards on the table. In the open lyrics, he reflects on his upbringing aboard Jungle, Lake, and the late Ill Will, who passed away in a black photograph. Acknowledging his discomfort with the street life, Nas explains that his skill behind the mic ultimately garnered the early attention around his appoint.
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It ’ mho that very skill he moves to attack JAY with, as he reflects on the complex moral force between himself, the Notorious B.I.G, and Raekwon. As he tells it, the latter two never got along, frequently accusing one another of biting Nas ‘ slang. Nas acknowledges that he drew influence from Big and Rae alike, pointing out that JAY shifted from spitting deft triplet-flows ( pioneered by his mentor Jaz-O ) into the more democratic mafioso rap style of the early nineties. By cementing himself as a key player in pioneering that detail subgenre alongside Rae and Big, Nas directly positions himself as a direct influence of JAY ’ s style. He late acknowledges how JAY broke out with “ Ain ’ t No Ni**a, ” a more mainstream-friendly radio track ; in other words, Nas flips Hov ’ s previous “ Is It Oochie Wally Wally or is it One Mic ? ” criticism by highlighting a clock JAY followed a like trajectory in pursuing commercial success. Though “ Blueprint 2 ” and “ last Real N***Alive ” represent round two of the feud, the shadow of “ Super Ugly ” can not be ignored. A round-one-and-a-half of sorts, JAY ’ s highly disrespectful freestyle was besides incendiary to go unacknowledged, and Nas did his best to contextualize the lubricious revelation. “ Baby moms thought I was excessively placid, could n’t stand it, ” admits Nas, a viciously honest moment of self-assessment. “ She hit the streets, by and by on she hittin ‘ the sheets / With a rapper who wanted me on his songs, thinkin ‘ he hard / I taught her how to watch for cars who might follow / Taught her street shit that I know / Her weakness was shine yo. ” Note the double entendre in the final line, with “ glow ” sounding an awful draw like “ Shawn. ”
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preferably than dragging his rival through the mud in a like manner to “ Ether, ” Nas rather attempts to rationalize JAY ’ sulfur motivation, chalking it up to ill-conceived ambition. “ In the center of that, Jay tried to sneak attack, ” he raps, noting how he took a consequence away from the spotlight to nurse his ailing mother. “ Assassinate my character, degrade my hood, cause in order for him to be the Don, Nas had to go. ” Considering how furiously Nas and Hov attacked in their first step round of golf, “ Blueprint 2 ” and “ last Real N***a Alive ” can sometimes feel anticlimactic. Yet in reality, both songs are ampere impactful as their predecessors, and arguably superior in some regards. While there ’ s something to be said about two formidable warriors locked in angry battle, the post-battle expression can be evenly fascinating. Seeing how JAY-Z and Nas reacted to their widely publicized bout of bloodsport exemplified their pedigree as emcees. Considering how the “ King Of New York ” position was an implicit in agent in their feud, it ’ sulfur interesting to note how both parties responded as a wise King should. One does not last a retentive as they have by plunging headlong into gratuitous conflict. In that sense, JAY and Nas concluded their beef with the most ideal consequence. Though neither backed down, by offering a more brooding — and occasionally self-critical — reflection on the conflict, both lyricists were ultimately able to walk away with their pride integral. And possibly ironically, given how frequently they tried to assert dominance over one another, as equals. Should round two of JAY and NAS ’ fabled dispute be spoken with the same reverence as round one ?
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LISTEN: JAY-Z – blueprint 2 LISTEN: Nas – The last actual N***a Alive