Jay-Z Insists ‘Rap Is Poetry,’ Compares Biggie to Hitchcock
Jay-Z thinks MCs are not getting the credit they deserve. In a previously unreleased clip that was part of a series of videos used to promote his book 'Decoded,' the Brooklyn MC and mogul explains at length why rappers and MCs should be given props for their talents with words.
"I hope readers take away from this book that rap is poetry," says Jay-Z. "It's thought-provoking and there's thought behind it and there's great writing in rap as well. You never hear rappers being compared for like the greatest writers of all time. You hear Bob Dylan. So is Biggie Smalls in a Hitchcock way. Some of the things that Biggie wrote ... Rakim, I mean listen to some of the things he wrote. I mean if you take those lyrics and you pull them away from the music and you put 'em up on the wall somewhere and someone had to look at them, they would say, 'This is genius. This is genius work.'"
Since passive listeners may be quick to miss the point of lyrics, Hova stressed the need to forgo quick judgments in favor of trying to relate to the music being heard. It would thus grant those listeners a better understanding and appreciation of the work.
"Listen to the song, listen to its intent," says Jay-Z. "Try to figure out why a song like 'Big Pimpin'' can exist. The same way you try to figure out a song like 'Meet the Parents' exists. It's clearly obvious that this has different meaning, but this, on the surface, is just fun and party music but there's reasons behind that as well. So I really wanted to lay this out in a clear and concise way that people could look at it and say, 'OK, if there's thought and there's intelligence and there's reason and logic behind it, then maybe you have to deal with everything like that.'"
Jay-Z's 'Decoded,' which debuted at No. 3 on 'The New York Times' Best Sellers list, was released in November 2010.
Watch Jay-Z's 'On to the Next One'