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Michael Jordan (Wizards) > Jay-Z Circa 2008

Remember how Hov used to refer to himself as the “Mike Jordan of rap?”

Around the time The Black Album dropped, I remember Hov saying he retired because he wanted to go out on top. One of the reasons he cited was that he was a big Michael Jordan fan and was disappointed when Mike came back with the Wizards. Let’s face it, Mike is still the G.O.A.T. There’s no way dude would have let anybody handcuff him for an entire series like Kobe did. But, that brief stint with the Wizards definitely tarnished his legacy. Basically, we wish Mike hadn’t come back. We were content with his six rings, five league MVPs, six final MVPs, ten scoring titles and countless jaw-dropping highlights. And we were content that Mike ended his career in classic air fashion with a clutch jumper to put the Utah Jazz away.

Well, you know what? I’m starting to wish Hov hadn’t come back. Dude can’t even run with the to dudes no more. I mean, listen to “Swag Like Us” and tell me any different. Matching up Jay with three of the dopest MCs in hip-hop, the song just exposes him for being a deteriorated MC. His lyrics actually haven’t been too atrocious, but the main thing Hov lost during his three-year retirement is the “it” factor. He’s just not that dude anymore. Listen to “Ignorant Shit” off American Gangster, a song he recorded during The Black Album era. Off course, AG had a few good joints on there, but his vocal performance on “Ignorant Shit” is just superior. It’s the way he pronounces words, the cadence, the swag, everything. It sounds easy. It’s just effortless. Cool, he had a few cute lines on Jeezy’s “Put On” remix, but don’t tell me that delivery was effortless. The God Emcee man is flowing on crutches nowadays.

So much for him being disappointed in Mike. Hov, we’re disappointed in you. At least those of us who aren’t giving him a pass just because he’s Jay-Z. His addiction to the spotlight is apparently grave enough that he’s willing to tarnish your legacy by barely keeping up with rappers who idolized him in his prime. I wish Dame Dash was still around. He wouldn’t have let him put out all that mediocre stuff. We were fine with The Black Album being the last album. We could always go back to listening to Reasonable Doubt, the In My Lifetime series and the first Blueprint. A third Blueprint installment just isn’t necessary. And if “Jocking Jay-Z” is any indication of things to come, the music isn’t getting any better.

At this point, Jay has damaged his legacy worse than MJ. I still enjoyed Mike contend for the MVP in his last All-Star game, but I don’t like Jay embarrassing himself with every new verse. Hopefully, he’ll read this, take a page from MJ’s book and cook up a classic album to shut me and other skeptics up.

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