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Old 05-02-2005, 06:10 AM   #1
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Jay Z vs Tha Game?

Jay-z vs. Game? - Is Jay-z following in MJs footsteps?

Ok, for those of you who haven’t done the math yet, Hov is no question the Mike Jordan of rap. The comparison goes way beyond his dominance of hip-hop. But if he’s not careful, his career will end up just like MJs. Consider these facts:

* MJ started his career dominating the league in scoring but was unable to win a championship until later. Hov started his career with Reasonable Doubt – Heavy Respect but no platinum plaque.

* MJ finally won his first championship at the mid-point of his career. Jay was finally able to score a multi-platinum with Life and Times of Shawn Carter Vol. 2, which he happened to release right at the middle of his career.

* MJ retired to play baseball, but he couldn’t stay away for long. He came back and eventually won 3 more championships. Jay has been retiring forever. After the lackluster (but still platinum) Vol. 3, Jay claimed he might retire but eventually came back the following summer to reclaim the throne with the Blueprint. .

* Mj won 6 championships. Jay released 6 albums that went platinum within a year of being released (Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Dynasty, Blueprint, BluePrint 2, The Black Album) which in the record industry is the equivalent of winning a championship.

* MJ ended his Bull’s career with the perfect story book ending. Even Hov has said it couldn’t be more perfect. He stole the ball from Malone came down and hit a game winning shot to win the championship. After realizing that the Bulls dynasty was coming to an end (Phil Jackson wasn’t coming back and the Bulls were not going to resign Scottie Pippen) MJ decided to retire and end his career on that high note. But we all know that the Game called MJ back. Initially, MJ came back as an executive for the Wizards but it didn’t take long for him to throw on the Jersey. By now a light bulb might be going off in your head. Jay ended his career with arguably his best album, the Black Album. An album that reached every demographic known to man. To top it off Jay performed at Madison Square Garden in what ended up being one of hip-hop’s magical moments. Jay was truly riding off into the sunset with the “hottest chick in the game” by his side. It couldn’t be more perfect. Rocafella, similar to the Bulls, was dismantled with Dame and Biggs going their own way. The Dynasty was over (Although, don’t be surprised if part of this is a move to promote the movie Death of a Dynasty). Soon after that, Jay was named President of Def Jam (much like MJ being named President of Basketball Operations for the Wizards). But of course, several months after leaving, it’s quite obvious that the Game is calling Jay back.

* The problem is, if Jay is not careful, his career will end up like MJs. MJ ended his career with the Wizards, a team that lacked the talent to get into the playoffs. Def Jam’s current roster is not very different. No disrespect to Bleek, but he has yet to show that he could reach the platinum level. Foxy might be past her prime and there has yet to be a female rapper that has reached platinum success on a consistent basis. With Beans, Nore, and Cam possibly rolling with Dame, Jay is not left with much. Jay always said that it would take a Kobe Bryant or a Tracy McGrady to bring him out of retirement. Well, if Jay, Dame, Biggs and Rocafella represented MJ and the Bulls, then Eminem, 50 cent, G-Unit and Interscope represent Kobe/Shaq and the Lakers; A team so dominant that they could win despite their lack of cohesiveness. Jay’s recent freestyle aimed at the Game shows that he understands that Shady/Aftermath/G-Unit is the current team to beat in hip-hop.

Oh and that brings us to meat and potatoes of this article; Jay’s recent freestyle that was no doubt aimed at the Game. Jay is taking on the Game. It’s hard to miss the irony in that. Jay is no dummy so in taking on the Game he understands that he might potentially be taking on the entire Shady/G-Unit/Aftermath family. Although many would love to see Jay come back as Def Jam’s franchise player, if a full battle ensues with the Shady/Aftermath/G-Unit camp, the result might be embarrassing for Hov. It’s not that Hov is necessarily past his prime -his recent freestyles show that he’s still at the top of his Game (sorry we couldn’t help ourselves), it’s just that he doesn’t have the team to win.

So at this point, you’re probably asking yourself, what can the Jigga Man do to change his fate. Simple - He needs to build a team of talented artists who share his dislike for the Shady/Aftermath/G-Unit camp and who could help him and Def Jam take on Interscope machine. Jay’s laid out the Blueprint for us so many times, we had to repay the favor:

o Step 1 – Sign Jadakiss, Styles, and Sheek and all of D-block. We all know that 50 recently got at Jadakiss on the song “Piggybank”. This was the moment where 50 may have bitten off more than he could chew. Jada’s got the street credibility and lyrical prowess to more than hold his own against 50. Also, because he’s the underdog (Remember Jay-z vs. Nas), the streets would no doubt embrace him. However, since they’re both on Interscope, Jimmy Iovine has prevented Kiss from formally responding to 50’s diss. Kiss’s response has been relegated to subliminal stabs on a couple freestyles. However, if Jay signs the LOX and D-block, Kiss will have a greenlight to go toe to toe against 50. Plus the LOX are the only crew in hip-hop that have the street cred, lyrical ability and album sales (Read Money, Power, Respect) to man-up with G-Unit.

o Step 2 – Make Joe Buddens a priority. Lyrically he can hold his own against anyone and he’s had his share of dissension with the G-Unit camp. He just needs the support of a crew and the full power of the Def Jam machine behind him

o Step 3 – Bring Camron and the Diplomats back to Def Jam. We know Jay has had his differences with Cam, but Cam is a free agent with a strong following that includes the streets as well as the ladies.

It’s not too late for Jay to change his fate. Remember, Jay prophetically asked us years ago, “since when yall know me to fail”. Not often, but this might be his biggest challenge to date. Yet, as the new Jordan XX Ad campaign suggests, maybe by coming back despite the possibility that he may not truimph, Jordan was able to beat the Game because he showed that his love for the Game would always outweigh his fear of falling victim to it. Maybe Jay was wrong when he said “I’m sorry Mrs. Rosie Perez, I call a spade a spade, it just is what it is”. Maybe Rosie was right when she said almost laughably in White Men Can’t Jump that, “Sometimes when you win you really lose, sometimes when you lose you really win, and sometimes when you Win or Lose you really tie.” Maybe if he comes back without a strong team and fights the good fight but loses, maybe he’s really winning. Who knows? Still, with all that said, let’s hope he comes back like MJ of the Bulls and not MJ of the Wizards.
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