I just copped that new Diddy album and will probably review it on my own site later this afternoon or this evening. I’m only two tracks in, but I notice that a) the first track samples “Head over Heels” by Tears for Fears, and b) the beat for the second track has more or less the same beat as Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got,” sans “Rump Shaker” horns.
If you’re not into stealing from people who are already rich, you can check out the whole thing for free via MTV’s the Leak, provided your computer is up to date enough for that sort of thing. I just got my shit this year and I can’t get the damn thing to work. It’s times like these when I wish I had more Asian friends. No Boutros.
Speaking of Jay-Z, there’s an interesting story in today’s New York Times comparing him and Diddy. Both of them are at the top of their respective games right now, with Diddy opening his own Burger King commercial channel on YouTube and Jay-Z fulfilling his lifetime dream of rapping over both MC Hammer and Wreckx ‘N Effects songs.
Which one is having the best week evar? I compared the two on all of the points that matter and came up with a definitive answer.
The New York Times story makes it a point to note that Jay-Z is one of the most highly revered MCs of all time, while Diddy can hardly rap. This is more or less true, though it’s worth noting that Diddy has gotten somewhat better recently, if only because he can afford to hire better ghostwriters than he could back in the ’90s.
Also, lest we forget, rap is just Diddy’s side hustle. His main talent is obviously dancing. It’s what he started out doing before he was a rap mogul/fashion designer/reality TV producer. And for what it’s worth I’m sure Diddy is a better rapper than Jay-Z is a dancer.
Record Label Management
If you notice, none of these esteemed hip-hop moguls (Diddy, Jay, Rush, etc.) are particularly good at running a record label. Genius that he is, Russell Simmons at least had the sense to keep a bunch of Jewish people around. (Ironically, I was actually taught this in business school. Way the fuck out in Chicken Switch, MO, even.)
Neither Jay nor Diddy has been as successful. Where as Rush sold his stake in Def Jam to Universal for somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 gozillion, Jay-Z only got some relatively measly pittance for his stake in Roc-A-Fella. Diddy got a little bit more for Bad Boy, but only because he owns Biggie’s publishing. Pete Townshend would call that a bargain!
As the Times story notes, Diddy actually managed to score two of this year’s biggest hit records with Cassie’s oral sex anthem “Me & U” and Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin’ Down,” even though he probably didn’t have much to do with either of them. Jay-Z, meanwhile, has done nothing but run Def Jam into the ground as of late.
Scoring with Chicks
That said, who cares how much money either of these d-bags have or whether or not they’re any good at running their respective labels? Obviously the most important issue is the caliber of trim they’re both nailing on a regular basis.
While Diddy once scored with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, these days he’s mainly seen with his baby’s mother Kim Porter, who looks like a guy. In fact, I’m convinced the main reason he even sticks with her is because she’d grill his ass on child support payments otherwise.
Jay-Z, meanwhile, has been two-timing Beyonce with Rihanna.
Winner: Jay-Z, by a wide margin
Overall Winner: Diddy
[Note: Now I'm about half way through the Diddy album, and it's surprisingly incredible. Really. Anybody else heard this shit?]