music / Columns

411 Music Fact or Fiction: Does Jay Z Hate Kanye West?

October 28, 2016 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Welcome to the 411 Music Fact or Fiction! This week, Tony Acero takes on Jeremy Thomas.

The Showtime-Madonna special seems skippable.

Tony Acero: FACT – The only reason why this is Fact for me is simply because I’m not interested. At all. Madonna has lost her luster with me for some time now, and it’s not because she sucks or she’s a shell of her former self, or any other unnecessarily mean feeling towards her. In fact, I’m quite apathetic towards the pop starlet. She is an icon, and she’s in and out of the news from time to time, but honestly, I wouldn’t have even known about this special had it not been for this question.

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – Whatever else we can say about Madonna, it’s undeniable that she gives one hell of a stage performance. If you’re a fan of hers (and I am), this is one that should be well worth watching. Madonna has her fair share of critics and she certainly has that penchant for saying and doing things that draw fire, but when it comes time to perform she still absolutely has what it takes. I really enjoyed Rebel Heart and I know a couple of people who attended the tour stop here in Portland who raved about it, so I’ll definitely be giving it a look.

The news of unreleased Prince songs being made available is exciting.

Tony Acero: FACT – It’s a very hard decision to make when we hear of unreleased materials of our fallen entertainers. More often than not, these songs are “unreleased” for a reason. I remember a time when an entire album of Tupac’s music came out, and it was very noticeably unmastered and somewhat juvenile. So much, in fact, that I think Pac would not have released them without proper production, or, at least, his approval. Same with Michael Jackson, whose tracks seemed to be lacking that all important Jackson spark for some reason. Still, there is something to be said about a trunk full of music left unheard of by the greats, and maybe it’s the fan in all of us that want as much as we can get. I’m excited, even though I feel just a slight bit sad about it.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT – Posthumous releases can sometimes be a bit of a mixed bag, and perhaps the best comparison to Prince would be Michael Jackson both in terms of style and perfectionism. While Jackson’s first posthumous release Michael was a disaster, the second one Xscape was a great piece of pop music that wiped the first attempt out of most of our minds. So it all depends on how Prince’s estate handles his unreleased music. In this case, I have no reason to believe they won’t do the utmost to preserve his legacy. The Purple One reportedly had countless songs in his vault (as opposed to Jackson’s many fragments) and it shouldn’t be too hard for the estate to pull out enough great pieces that they don’t have to fill it out with junk.

Eminem’s track ‘Campaign Speech’ wasn’t up to his usual standards.

Tony Acero: FICTION – Before I answer, I want you to know that this is going to be a completely biased answer, because Eminem could rap his shopping list at a sex shop, and I’d think it’s the best thing ever written by any man ever. Eminem is amazing, and even his worst verses are better than most of what we hear today. “Campaign Speech” was jarring, and unexpected, and I could assume it will leave many people uncomfortable due to its stripped down nature, but I want people to just listen for a second with a poetic ear and see just how amazing this man is. This isn’t just a song of jabs, it’s wordplay at its finest. Seriously, just listen. This is poetry, guys. Good lord, is it poetry…

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION – It wasn’t on the level of his best work for sure, but on the mean I thought it matched the quality. There are a couple of things to take into account regarding this one; it’s not a polished studio track for one thing. This one is formatted a bit more like a freestyle and while it’s more than likely not an actual freestyle its structure makes it best compared to songs that are less specifically constructed for radio play, sales, et cetera. The minimalistic background works and Em’s lyrical flow is as strong as ever. While the Trump lines got the most attention, the whole thing is solid from start to finish. I dug it.

SWITCH!

Suge Knight’s lawsuit against Dr. Dre will go nowhere.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT – I mean, let’s be honest here. First off, if Suge Knight thought he had any actual evidence against Dre on attempting to have him killed, he’d have gone to the cops. Instead he’s filing a lawsuit about contractual interference because he thinks he can use it as some kind of unsubstantiated defense in his murder trial, and it’s ridiculous. If Suge had a lifetime management deal that earned him 30% of Dre’s profits, I am 100% certain that we would have learned about it long before now and it would have been challenged by Dre in court. It’s complete nonsense and filed only because at this point, what does Suge have to lose?

Tony Acero: FACT – It’s 2016, and these two names are still tied together in the same question – which, by now, has grown nothing but tedious. I wish I could say this stems from the movie, but I fear there will always be an issue between these two. What’s not even the saddest part is the fact that these cats are both in their 50s, or are approaching it. Some people just can’t let beef die down. Still, just as the answer to this question, I’m sure it’s going to end up going nowhere.

You don’t believe the rumors that Jay Z can’t stand Kanye West.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT – I know this line isn’t usually my bag, but I think “I don’t care” is a more appropriate way to put it. I mean, if it was true I would be somewhat disappointed that we wouldn’t get a Watch the Throne 2 but outside of that, it’s not a deal to me. That being said, I don’t think that it’s true because among other things, I don’t think there would have been a first collaboration. This is Kanye being typical emotional Kanye and popping off at people in the wake of his wife’s admittedly traumatic situation. I was expecting Kanye to go off on some rants, and I don’t think this is a big deal. He’ll calm down and Hov knows perfectly well what he’s like so he’ll let it go. We’ll have forgotten all about this by January at the latest.

Tony Acero: FICTION – I’d like to think that a lot of us have a friend like Kanye. He’s a bit out there, says outlandish things, and totally believes in his own hype. From time to time, he gets annoying, but he’s a freakin genius, and at the end of the day, you really only have to put up with him for as long as necessary. I’m sure, when people talk badly about said friend, you’re not as quick to defend him as you are to nod your head in slight agreement. Still, that’s the homie, and I’m pretty sure that even if there is a bit of a rift between the two, at the end of the day, they’re about as close as you and your annoying friend. Also, if you DON’T have a friend that’s annoying or like anything I described above, then it’s likely you. Wanna know a secret? I’m the Kanye of my core group.

Lady Gaga’s appearance on ‘Carpool Karaoke’ was one of the best so far.

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION: I enjoyed it, but was it on a level of Adele, Michelle Obama, Elton John or Red Hot Chili Peppers? I can’t say it was. Gaga was having a lot of fun and they did some good carpool renditions of her stuff, so I enjoyed it but it just didn’t have the memorable feel of those top-tier segments. There’s nothing wrong with that though and it was perfectly fine on its own. I love Carpool Karaoke and even some of the worst are a fairly good time. This one was about in the middle of the pack.

Tony Acero: FACT – Guys, it’s Lady freakin Gaga. I didn’t really jump on the Carpool Karaoke bandwagon till recently, and it’s not nearly as “awesome” as some would have you beleive. It gets kinda tiresome, but still, there are fun moments to be had, and Gaga’s ranks right up there with Adele’s performance. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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