NPR Politics and Foreign Policy (yes, NPR and FP) explain today’s rap battles as compared to world politics.
Jay-Z is the United States
The Game is North Korea
You can’t make this up folks.
Marc Lynch drops it like it’s hot …
NPR Politics: Foreign Policy: Jay-Z Schools Us In U.S. Hegemony
See, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) is the closest thing to a hegemon which the rap world has known for a long time. He’s #1 on the Forbes list of the top-earning rappers. He has an unimpeachable reputation, both artistic and commercial, and has produced some of the all-time best (and best-selling) hip hop albums including standouts Reasonable Doubt , The Blueprint and The Black Album . He spent several successful years as the CEO of Def Jam Records before buying out his contract a few months ago to release his new album on his own label. And he’s got Beyoncé. Nobody, but nobody, in the hip hop world has his combination of hard power and soft power. If there be hegemony, then this is it. Heck, when he tried to retire after The Black Album , he found himself dragged back into the game (shades of America’s inward turn during the Clinton years?).
NPR Politics: Rapper Feud Mirrors World Politics
The difference today is that we’re in a uni-polar world with the United States on top. In the rap world, Jay-Z is that guy.
The Game is the erratic wildcard.
"He’s North Korea; he’s Iran," Lynch says. "He might not win, but he can hurt you if he drags you down into this extended occupation, this extended counterinsurgency campaign."
Why is he doing this? After Jay-Z released "D.O.A. (‘Death of Auto-Tune’)" The Game saw an opportunity to peel off Jay-Z’s key alliance partners to form a coalition and undermine Jay-Z’s hegemony. Even if he loses the fight with Jay-Z, The Game’s stock goes up because he’s "in" with the big guy. All The Game has to do, Lynch says, is survive.
But what do the streets other policy wonks have to say?
Spencer Ackerman: The Only Blogger To Rewrite History Without A Pen
We have only one question: which country is Lil Wayne ?