Jay-Z recently pleaded his case for rap supremacy, proclaiming himself the best rapper-- without exception--based on his set of accomplishments.
Featured on the upcoming Ocotober 2009 XXL Magazine, Hov also challenged other emcees to compare their "stats."
"But when I say I'm the best, I don't say that outta my a**," Jay said in the interview. "I say that with all my stats behind me. I put that against anybody. I mean anybody. I really believe that...I believe in a lot of things. I believe that "SportsCenter" is the best thing on TV. I shouldn't have to prove it. But I do have these stats to prove it. I'm talking about real run. I'm not talking about years off. I'm talking about straight--boom, boom, boom--back to back. We're not talking about heritage acts either. We're not talking about respect what I've done. I'm talking No. 1 [albums] 10 times. The Beatles is the only one [to have more No. 1 albums]. They got 19, and if I get a surge of creativity, I could make nine albums next year." (XXL Magazine)
Despite being challenged recently by The Game due to his age, Hov spoke on his inabiilty to leave his spot in hip-hop.
"I hear it all the time -- 'Yo, he should let the young guys, the new generation of guys come in,'" Jay explained in an interview. "But you don't become the front-runner in music because someone lets you. You have to claim your shoes...If you grow up listening to hip-hop, you love hip-hop and that's the end of it. But if you're a 30 year-old rapper still trying to make music like you're 15, then you're making it narrow. At my age, I can't relate to a 15 year-old. I deal with mature and relevant topics for my age group -- it has to all be based on true emotions. The more diversity and the more mature we make hip-hop, the bigger the net you cast...Kanye is really the father to the next generation -- he's from the school of Q-Tip, and now Drake and Kid Cudi are from the school of 'Ye. And, when you look at Kanye, you have to look at Lil Wayne. I think they're like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James." (Reuters)
Mos Def previously questioned Jay's "Greatest Rapper Alive" title earlier this year.
"My response was to me seeing an article where [Jay-Z] was referred to, with trade marks following it, as the 'Greatest Rapper Alive,'" Mos explained in an interview. "Now that don't have nothin' to do with me, but if you saying that, that's a trade claim...If you saying that, you saying you better than Slick Rick, whose still very alive and well? You saying you better than Rakim? You saying you better than Black Thought? People making that claim have never been in a position to defend that in an open forumn. I'm not talking about making a diss record or trying to go in on somebody's girl...When people start coming out and making claims they're gonna have to defend, like, who have you had to defend them against? It's certainly been with people not on your level." ("The Angie Martinez Show")
Rappers such as Weezy, who also calls himself "The Greatest," have encountered negative feedback in the past for their titles including T.I.'s "King of the South" proclamation.
"Basically the origins of this ain't beef, it's filet mignon to me," T.I. said in 2004 about his issues with Lil Flip. "He poses no threat to my health. Anytime he wants to see me, I have an open invitation. When I was gone, he made some comments. He saw fit to take shots at me while I was down. At his shows in Atlanta, he would ask people who was the king of the South. When my name was brought up...rightfully so...he said, 'OK, well tell T.I. I said game over.'" (MTV)