Last night, Jay Z got another feather added to his already filled cap: he became the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. While this was clearly long overdue, Hov didn't waste any time in getting his celebration on, which involved him digging out his Twitter password and going on a legendary flurry of tweets, name-checking a number of influential individuals in his maturation as an artist. Some of the names listed may surprise you, considering that Jay not only referenced legends like Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, and others, but made it a point to include a number of artists he's had public beef with, including Nas, 50 Cent, Jaz-0, and Joe Budden.
While it's too early to tell what will grow from Hov's public acknowledgment of these individuals, it's just plain interesting, right? Sure, he's already deaded a number of these beefs before, but some of them kind of just lingered and faded into the background. It shows how each beef can bring something out of you, make you stronger, or at the very least make you learn something about yourself.
Let's take a look back at the more intriguing names tweeted during Jay's Twitter thanks, in hopes of this tweetstorm being the first step in Hov releasing all of his beefs into the ether (no pun intended) (OK, some pun intended).
While it's been 10 years since Kanye discussed the ups and downs of his relationship with Jay on "Big Brother," it's only been in recent months that their friendly (brotherly?) competition turned into actual, public issue. In October of 2016, during a stop on his Saint Pablo Tour, Kanye detailed his frustrations with Jay onstage, first breaking down how the version of "Pop Style" featuring The Throne (aka Hov and 'Ye) didn't appear on Drake's 2016 album Views, indicating that it was all because of some Tidal/Apple beef, which is also the reason we haven't received Watch The Throne 2. 'Ye even mentioned their kids haven't even played together. Kanye also said that Hov did call after Kim's robbery in Paris, but 'Ye was insistent that Hov should be coming by the crib, not picking up the phone.
In January, Kanye and Kim were spotted at Jay Z and Beyoncé's house, with rumors that they met to resolve any lingering issues. Since 'Ye has practically gone ghost, and Jay rarely grants interviews, there's no new indication on the status of their relationship at this time.
Drizzy and Hov have been trading barbs over the last seven years; most of it started out as Drake gunning for Hov's spot, and even though they linked up for "Pound Cake" in 2013, their bars back and forth have been a bit more pointed. It started with Drake low-key clowning Hov for talking about art in his raps, and continued on with Hov clapping back in his DJ Khaled features (including 2017's "Shining"). When you add in the aforementioned "Pop Style" controversy, you can't deny that there's something deeper brewing between the two.
Hov and Cam were no strangers when Dipset signed to Roc-A-Fella in 2001, but their beef really came to a head when Cam was supposed to be named VP of Roc-A-Fella by Dame Dash when Jay was reportedly on vacation. After Roc-A-Fella got sold to Def Jam, Cam went on the assault, lobbing disses about how he was treated at the Roc during his time there. The two spent 2006 clapping back at each other, lyrically, with Hov's "Brooklyn High" being the diss that coined the whole "men lie, women lie, numbers don't" phrase. Jim Jones told us in a 2008 interview that the beef really stems from back in 2001, when Jay bought the "H to the Izzo" beat from Kanye after hearing it in a Cam studio session.
In recent years, Cam's done everything from snap on Hov for an outfit to detail that Jay's beef with Lance "Un" Rivera (who signed Cam'ron to his Undeas imprint after The Notorious B.I.G. passed) initially stemmed from Hov's alleged feels towards Charli Baltimore.
In 2011, Prodigy of Mobb Deep broke down how the beef between Mobb and Hov started. According to P, he took offense to a line in "Money Cash Hoes": "After everything died down—and people lost their lives—he came out with that song ‘Money, Cash, Hoes,’ where he had that line ‘It’s like New York’s been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings.’ We took offense to that like, ‘How you talking now? We was out there risking our lives.’"
P said after that, it was open season on Hov. "We went after him after that. Like, I fucking hit you in the head. [Laughs.] I took it upon myself like, ‘You know what? This fucking bitch ass nigga popping shit about some shit that he wasn’t even around and his name was involved.’ Tupac was going at him. His name was all in that and he didn’t have nothing to say at that time."
We know what those disses from Mobb on Hov turned into, though: "The Takeover," which was introduced during Summer Jam 2001 and featured Hov putting photos of Prodigy from his parent's dancing school from 1988 on the Summer Jam screen.
While Nas, the other Queens-born homey in "The Takeover," had a longstanding (and now deaded) beef with Hov, it doesn't sound like Hov and Prodigy's beef ever died down, even if P and Tru Life squashed their beef.
During that era when Hov was president of Def Jam, a number of fans and artists weren't happy with his tenure. One of those artists has been rumored to have been Joe Budden, who was sitting on the shelf over at Def Jam after the release of his self-titled debut in 2003. Hov became president in 2004, and while Def Jam saw Rihanna and Ne-Yo shine under Jay's reign, Budden's sophomore album was held up due to label disagreements.
At one point, Jay hopped on Joe's hit single "Pump It Up" with what many felt were subs for Budden, only to have Joe reclaim his beat with shots of his own. After securing his Def Jam release, Joe dropped "Talk 2 'Em," which appeared to be aimed directly for Hov (a sample of one verse: "Everytime I hear you, you changing your tone up/When the new generation think about Jordan/All they remember is when Iverson crossed him/Take off the blazer, loosen up the tie/Nigga fell in love and Superman died."
Joe's gone on record regarding how much of a fan of Hov he is, but this doesn't feel like a "we need to publicly end our beef" kind of situation. Hov did make sure to indicate that, yes, his Slaughterhouse shout-out included "Mouse" (Joe's nickname), so take from that what you will.
For all who don't know, it was Jaz-O who helped introduce Jay to the world via tracks like "The Originators" and Jaz's 1989 hit "Hawaiian Sophie." When Hov started making moves on his own, he made sure to have Jaz featured on a number of singles, including "Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99)," among others, but Jaz wasn't happy with contract negotiations with Roc-A-Fella. It's said that not only did he not trust Dame and Biggs, but that he wasn't a fan of what he was being offered monetarily. Some even say that it was Jaz that supplied info to Nas for his scathing diss on Jay, "Ether." The two spent subsequent years throwing shots at each other, although Jay has always maintained that he wouldn't be where he is now if it wasn't for what Jaz taught him back in the day.
Ultimately, there might never been open-air resolutions to these specific issues Jay has had, but one has to look at that tweetstorm as an olive branch, of sorts. With Doc Brown only being a myth in a popular film series from the '80s, there's no way to go back in time; it's fair to assume that these tweets could be the start of the mending of some of these bridges... right? If even one of these beefs can be officially squashed, it's all worth it. Fair play, and fingers crossed.