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Staff Top 10
Top Ten Reasons Why Jay-Z Sucks

hawn Carter? Don’t you just love him? Of course you do, you like both kinds of music: indie and Jay-Z. We don’t like him. His (completely disingenuous) retirement hasn’t seen him spend any less time being annoying and omnipresent. Here’s 10 problems we have with him (and an Annie sample ain’t one).

1. Jay Z is Fugly
Rappers aren’t the most attractive of people. The very fact that Andre 3000, who to all intents and purposes looks like one of the chess club from Saved By The Bell, passes as manpretty in the world of hip-hop should tell you all you need to know. However, in a field where the competition consists of the horse-faced one from the Black Eyed Peas and the entire roster of Def Jux, Jay-Z still stands out as a spectacularly ugly man. He permanently looks like he’s pressing his face against a sheet of plate glass. He so ugly, when he goes into the bank, they turn the cameras off.

2. Beyonce is a rubbish beard
Okay, so you pick a name that is one consonant away from Gay-Z. You put a kick-me sign on your own back with "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" so large even Nas can see it. And you think the best way of quelling the rumours is by dating someone who is forbidden to have sex with you by God? Smart move, Jay! No wonder "Bonnie And Clyde 03" was so unconvincing. Still, at least it provides cheap, yet wholesome, fun by allowing you to set up your own When Will Jay-Z Come Out pool with your friends.

My money's on 2009, just enough time for his second comeback to fizzle out.

3. Roc-A-Fella has launched its own brand of whiskey.
Because he ran out of rhymes for Cristal, obviously, or he ran out of things to namecheck. Or just possibly because he heard that Victoria Beckham swills Cristal, and as such it is no longer cool and trendy for serious rap types. Victoria Beckham is also a better rapper than Jay-Z. Maybe it's an attempt to get back to his street roots, by drinking the same beverage that people on the street actually drink. Well done, Jay-Z!

4. The easily-impressed Prince Charles was not impressed
When meeting Jay-Z, The Big Ear Man, who would obviously have a fine ear for a tune just said "Hi".

Far from being just a slur at the nouveau-riche Mr Carter, Prince Charles was making it quite clear that he prefers Atomic Kitten, and so should you.

He even prefers Hear’Say.

5. Jay-Z ringing Nas’ doorbell and then running away
It’s received rap wisdom that his feud with Jay-Z lit a spark under Nas, inspiring him to his current levels of recorded output. Thus, “I Can” is entirely Jay-Z’s fault.

6. He practically invented the superfluous guest verse.
Case in point: Mariah Carey's "Heartbreaker". A song all about how some dude has broken M's heart and left her feeling all shit. And who pops up in the middle? Why, Jay-Z, to whinge about some wailing bint who was too clingy and keeps whingeing about him being a heartbreaker. Way to disrupt continuity! And as for "Crazy In Love", where Jay, convinced of his greatness despite all evidence to the contrary, decides that talking over the horn sample actually makes him the star attraction.
Beyonce: I am in love with my boyfriend, he's great.
Jay-Z: Hi. I'm rich.
Grrrr. Particularly unforgivable for giving the idea to Ghostface Killa and that twerp that did the rap in the middle of Kelis's "Good Stuff".

7. He has the worst white fans of any rapper
Now that the Beastie Boys are all in the severe stages of senile dementia, “99 Problems” has become the default “I am now ending the rap section of my set and am entering the guitar section” choice for certain DJs. I once heard a student bar DJ mix from “99 Problems” into Razorlight, whilst saying “the best of American hip-hop, and now the best of British indie”, and I wanted to cry, I really did.

8. He isn’t really that popular outside of America
I have a severe problem with things that are massively popular in America that nobody could possibly care about in other countries. NASCAR, Dave Matthews Band, schoolyard massacres—whilst our tardy-war entering cousins across the pond flip their lids for those, the rest of the world stares on in confusion. The same with Jay-Z. Apparently, Jay-Z can have number one singles in America. In the UK, he’s “that ugly guy that’s always hanging out with Beyonce”. To prove as much, here is a list of selected bands whose 2003 album release achieved more success in the UK charts than The Black Album, which spent one week at #40 before vanishing completely (the same as Modest Mouse’s new album, incidentally):

Ed Harcourt (“From Every Sphere”, #39)
Ryan & Rachel O'Donnell (“The Celtic Chillout Album 2”, #37)
Evan Dando (“Baby I'm Bored”, #30)
Alkaline Trio (“Good Mourning”, #32)
Bonnie Raitt (“The Best of Bonnie Raitt”, #37)
Less Than Jake (“Anthem”, #37)

Jay-Z: less popular than Bonnie Raitt.

9. Jay-Z isn’t as clever as he thinks he is
Jay-Z was the main instigator of the “I have just said something clever” pause in rap. For a while, “Kill at will, solid water, ice cube” was the worst rap lyric ever. J seems to believe that the punning wit inherent in this line was so great that it required a slight breather whilst the listening public revelled in the genius of his, quite frankly, sub-Richard Whitely wordplay. Of course, Jay-Z has now retired and the baton has been passed in so many ways to Kanye West. If anyone out there can listen to, say, “Trying to be a millionaire I used two lifelines”, or the low-point of 800 years of the English language: “Story on MTV/ But I ain’t trying to make a band”, and the ensuing raised eyebrows that follows them, without wanting to kill, indeed, at will, please tell me how.

10. Jay-Zeezer

By: Dom Passantino and Edward Oculicz

Log In to Post Comments
Posted 09/24/2004 - 01:55:28 AM by scottmckeating:
 re 3: didn't Roc-a-fella buy Armadale Vodka? Do they have a Whiskey brand too?
Posted 09/24/2004 - 02:22:56 AM by samuelbloch:
 Really, it's a shame there aren't more articles like this on Stylus
Posted 09/24/2004 - 02:30:31 AM by ddrake:
 Haha that's pretty funny. I'm surprised you're so proud to be living in a country where Less than Jake and Bonnie Raitt are more popular than Jay-Z though. Shame, shame on the UK.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 02:34:45 AM by furiousgeorge:
 so you pile heaps of praise on linkin park last week and then devote a whole article to how jay-z sucks? wtf mate
Posted 09/24/2004 - 07:28:38 AM by AUnterberger:
Posted 09/24/2004 - 07:46:01 AM by Lambert:
 If Jay-Z isn't that popular outside of the US, then why are we in Europe constantly being forced to watch his video's and listen to his music? My God, the guy is so overrated! I'm getting tired of Hiphop. Am I the only one?
Posted 09/24/2004 - 09:03:37 AM by JoshLove:
 If only he could flow like J-Zone, now THAT'S an emcee!
Posted 09/24/2004 - 11:59:54 AM by Jank82:
 Jay-Z rapping over a J-Zone beat would be cooler.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 12:35:38 PM by DomPassantino:
 J-Zone > Jae Millz > J-Five (the white guy) > J5 (Chali 2na and hangers-on) > J-Kwon > J-Live > Jay-Z
Posted 09/24/2004 - 12:35:58 PM by DomPassantino:
 Although Jay Jay Okacha > all of them.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 12:39:32 PM by hutlock:
 I may be in the minority here, but I really liked the Ed Harcourt album... and I've never heard an entire Jay-Z track the whole way through. After that one that sampled Annie (that was him, right?) I just couldn't do it. That was a nightmare for me. Nothing against hip-hop, but I've always thought this guy was nothing more than P-Diddy with more street cred. And actually, I think PD dresses better.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 01:42:34 PM by Tachikoma:
 J-Pop > Jay-Z
Posted 09/24/2004 - 01:56:56 PM by Portegno:
 You limey douchebags. I would really like to understand how you think you can get away posting a story without doing your homework. So you don't like Jay-Z, I don't really give a shit, what I do care about is the quality of the story. It is so ridiculously mediocre that I am getting the impression that the person who penned it is probably no older than 17 and a c-class student at best. good luck with your career, hope you can parley your journalistic endeavors further than Stylus On-Line Magazine. Maybe I can be honored and read an amzing review of some overhyped British rap act. Maybe you should try and get a chance to intern at a New York City publication, read and get some pointers as to where to drop off your resumé, oops, I mean C.V. Take care douche, can't wait to read more dribble.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 02:03:54 PM by hutlock:
 Clearly a dsigruntled Jay -Z fan. But what "homework"? It's a fucking Top 10 list. It's opinion, it's lightweight, it's entertaining. It's not meant to be a fucking doctoral thesis. If you're taking it that seriously, I strongly suggest that you are the one with the problem here.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 02:45:56 PM by AUnterberger:
 Jay Kay > J-Pop
Posted 09/24/2004 - 03:24:08 PM by rsross:
 So true.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 04:25:44 PM by janinedm:
 I have to agree with Portegno, the article isn't very well thought out. I can think of a million reasons to hate Jay-Z but none of them have anything to do with comparative success on the UK charts (I need not remind you that Posh and Becks are at best B-list here in the US and Robbie Williams is seen here as just another fat guy who can't tan.) Nor does it have anything to do with Prince Charles. Here's a freebie: He makes lame rhymes about how well he rhymes. See, was that so hard? If I were a huge hip hop fan, I'd be blue faced after reading that (whether I liked Jay-Z or not). That's the sort of disingenuousness and laziness you expect from a crappy magazine like Rolling Stone or Spin. I just found this site two weeks ago; don't you dare suck like Spin!
Posted 09/24/2004 - 04:27:39 PM by ddrake:
 OK hold on a moment. I thought this was really funny because it was humorously written. But if you are SERIOUSLY denying Jay-Z's skills, or suggesting that J-Kwon, J-Live and that lame ass from Jurassic 5 are even touching anything he's ever done - if you are SERIOUSLY suggesting that - I'd recommend actually listening to his music. Because he's easily one of the best MCs of the past decade, no question. Far from overrated, if anything he was underrated until after he'd dropped some of his best material - the critical appreciation only came AFTER he released Blueprint, even though he had an entire career's worth of incredible music PRIOR to that album. I recommend everyone read Kelefa Sennah's AMAZING piece on Jay-Z that was written right BEFORE Blueprint dropped that led to the critical re-appreciation of the work he was doing at the time. Jay-Z could have a 3 CD best-of if he wanted to release it. And it would be one of the best documents of hip-hop ever released.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 05:39:58 PM by JoshLove:
 I think part of the reason this piece raised so many hackles is because Dom's an English writer and wrote the article in his trademark, distinctly English voice and sense of humor (not to slight Ed, but he hasn't written nearly as much for us and therefore hasn't had the chance to develop as consistent of a voice as Dom's, so I can't ascertain his specific input). We Americans tend to be real protective of our hip-hop because, well, we invented it, perfected it, and only a fool would contend that the UK's gotten any more than a toehold on our dominance (and I LOVE Dizzee btw). In that sense, Dom's piece is sort of like if I wrote "Top Ten Reasons Why David Beckham is Shit" in hip-hop slang. Certainly neither Jay-Z nor Becks is inviolable, but since the US has barely any men's soccer history or culture to speak of, it's inevitable some diehards would read such a piece as kinda presumptuous. I think Dom's a great writer, and obviously he was mostly just taking the piss here, but hip-hop heads are notoriously demanding that you know your shit, which is probably why it's easy to construe this list as reactionary rather than simply comical. What's REALLY funny though is how Dom brought so many indie-spoonfed hip-hop haters out of the woodwork.
Posted 09/24/2004 - 08:07:05 PM by J.Timmermann:
 Oh no you di'nt!!
Posted 09/25/2004 - 01:51:56 AM by deamous:
 I can't decide what's more irritating: pointless overpraising of Jay-Z or pointless snarking about Jay-Z. I do wish there was a middle ground.
Posted 09/25/2004 - 01:59:12 AM by anthonymiccio:
 personally I think this is the funniest thing I've read on a music web site in ages. who cares if it captures the whole picture if gets this many great jabs in? I think Jay can handle the flaming and the rest of you can provide the boring in-depth analysis. great job, guys!
Posted 09/25/2004 - 02:06:25 AM by JoshLove:
 Flippancy, thy name is Miccio
Posted 09/25/2004 - 03:27:45 AM by IanMathers:
 We don't suck like Spin; we've got our own special technique.
Posted 09/25/2004 - 01:02:45 PM by ddrake:
 Haha us >>> Spin Who gets to be Chuck Klosterman? BTW Dave Eggers is totally overrated.
Posted 09/25/2004 - 05:30:25 PM by Jank82:
 Dom just dissed J-Live. That makes me disgruntled. He's got about twice the talent than all of Jurassic 5 put together.
Posted 09/26/2004 - 06:36:08 PM by IanMathers:
 I like all of my fellow Stylusites too much to compare them to Chuck Klosterman, David.
Posted 09/27/2004 - 04:25:43 AM by yoshi4:
 "J seems to believe that the punning wit inherent in this line was so great that it required a slight breather whilst the listening public revelled in the genius of his, quite frankly, sub-Richard Whitely wordplay." HAHAHAHAH ! U who wrote that are the true genius' y.
Posted 09/27/2004 - 05:52:52 AM by holystoning:
 Ha ha ha... yeah, Kanye's an ungodly-bad emcee. Thanks for the sideways glance at the kid there, Dom. Mr. West is due this treatment next month, k?
Posted 09/27/2004 - 03:59:49 PM by ddrake:
 Kanye is a fine rapper, clever and all that too.
Posted 09/28/2004 - 01:32:45 PM by tonybricker:
 Prince Charles, that infamous arbiter of taste, will totally high-five Dizzee Rascal if they ever meet seriously though, the list is funny in a shock value kind of way but is still pretty stupid say whatever else you want to about him, but Jay-Z can rap and ranking J-Kwon and J5 over either J-Live or Jay-z is just plain wrong
Posted 09/29/2004 - 06:40:32 PM by robuptight:
 You have to enjoy how many of the comments simply reinforce Reason #7.
Posted 09/30/2004 - 01:40:32 AM by Slumberlord:
 "Top Ten Reasons Why David Beckham is Shit"

Reason Why Jay-Z Rules: rhyming "Beckham" with "rectum"
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