Before I even get started and present the evidence, let me say this: There is a clear difference between paying homage to another artist and profiting off their lyrics.
That said, I give you Exhibit A. You will hear the source artist first and Jay-Z second:
This is the one I have with Cam’ron narrating the track:
And here’s Exhibit B only you will hear Jay-Z first and the source artist second this time:
The funny thing: In 2006, Jay-Z went public with his interest in coming out of retirement as a recording artist. Two years earlier, DJ Felli Fel did the presentation you see in the first video after several listeners noticed familiar lines in many of the songs Jay-Z is known for–What’s My Name (if that title sounds familiar, this was the song that introduced the world to Snoop Dogg in 1994), Hard Knock Life (This song was famously featured on 20/20 in 1998 to coincide with the anniversary of the movie Annie. Jay-Z remixed the song from the movie in his version of the song) and 99 Problems to name a few. The song played on Hot 107 and was heard by everyone with a radio in New York City.
In 2008, Cam’ron used it to target Jay-Z once he announced his comeback tour. The obvious career-ending and embarassing evidence has been largely unanswered by Jay-Z to this day though like many other established artists he has no shortage of enemies. It’s interesting to note everyone whose songs he took lyrics from in the second video don’t even like him and neither did Tupac according to Cam’ron. Everyone and their brother’s borrowed lyrics from The Notorious B.I.G. and that’s one thing.
It’s another to take lyrics from several dozen songs and almost a dozen artists over a 20-year career, become famous over, give no credit and claim your songs are 100% original. This is exactly what he did. I have family members who’ve done work in the music industry in the past and I played the above song (the one with Cam’ron’s commentary) for them. They all told me it would’ve been one thing if he only did it a couple times on B-tracks or at the very least gave the original artist/writer a mention but he does neither.
I have friends and family in Brooklyn and the laundry list of Regular Joes Jay-Z basically used during his climb to fame and return to international stardom can probably circle the planet a few times. Surprisingly, if someone in Brooklyn tells you they personally know Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, they’re probably telling the truth. Even though at one time he was referred to as one of The Notorious B.I.G.’s chosen successors as the King of New York alongside Nas, he himself is guilty of turning his back on the people who had his back when he was an unknown. This is why he was targeted by 50 Cent and later Cam’ron and The Diplomats.
A big Asterisk should be put next to his name for every reward and honor he’s ever won.
He’s a fraud and it’s obvious he’s an attention whore. When I first heard the track above I lost all respect for him as an artist. I’ve also noticed in his more recent live tours he avoids doing the songs with lyrics he took from others. Either that or he’ll remix the song in his live shows to exclude the stolen lyrics. This tells me he’s aware people know he ripped off alot of folks.
To the Jay-Z fans in the crowd, what say you? Can you honestly tell me you support a guy who build a multimillion-dollar empire on a foundation of lies? I couldn’t.
As much as folks like to bash Michael Jackson, at least he did it all himself. He didn’t need help from someone else. Speaking of which, it’s also intreresting to note everyone who’s ever done a cover or spoof of one of MJ’s songs got his permission before they did it as a show of respect. Jay-Z doesn’t have any respect for anyone from what the evidence says.