Wednesday, July 22, 2009

npr on jay-z vs. the game.

Yes! My good friend from work, Travis, informed me yesterday that NPR would be putting up a story today and the Jay-Z and Game beef, wherein the participants are discussed as geopolitical parallels to the United States and Iran. Suffice it to say, an article that combines my interest in geopolitics, the recent obsession with Iran, the greatest rapper alive, and Mr. Name Dropper? This is too good to be true.

The actual radio piece can be heard here and I think it's necessary that you listen to it before reading this article because, while it's far from my rightful place to argue with Marc Lynch (whose name, by the by, NPR apparently does not spell right in the original article, and who, semi-unbelievably, doesn't have a Wikipedia page), there is at least one thing that he says that I find incredulous.

Just to get it out of the way, he loses credibility as a rap fan (despite his self-labeling as having, "always been a rap fan") when he calls Ja Rule an established superstar, whom 50 Cent destroyed, and again when he defines Snoop Dogg as one of the, "most important, rising powers, or rising powers." However, the piece turns into one of those great (and hilarious) comparisons that you might have in a college seminar class when he draws lines between the Game and Iran and waging war: "He might not win, but he can hurt you if he drags you down into this extended occupation, this extended counterinsurgency campaign."

If the Game is geurilla warfare, I want a detailed analysis from Lynch on the beefs of the past. Talk about LL Cool J! Talk about NWA! Talk about Roxanne Shanté! (Realistically, he could skip the Biggie/Tupac war because, honestly, haven't we had enough of that?) God, the fun that he could have with the moment Eminem entered the game (first [truly, commercially] successful white rapper, backed by Dr. Dre, starts beef with nearly everyone on a superficial, but with some others on a more realistic level) would be worth an RSS subscription alone!

Bottom line is that while this isn't any kind of super-serious analysis and it mainly says things that fans of geopolitics already knew about the world and that fans of hip-hop already knew about this beef (and, honestly, I hesitate to even label this with that word) it's still a fun little intersection. Good work to NPR for having a little fun with a subject that most people attempt to suck all the interest out of.


Rachel said...

This was awesome! Erm... was going to write something a little more substantial, but that's all I got for now. Thanks for the heads-up on a cool piece.

Michael said...

Thanks for the comment, Rachel. I love when things combine like this for us nerdy types. :)