Nobody wins when the family feuds
That line, from Family Feud on 4:44, is the first thing that came to mind when I read the latest update on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s boy sh-t. Boy sh-t usually brings me joy. Usually, I’m entertained. Usually, I live for petty drama between celebs. But when the boy sh-t involves two of my all-time favourite rappers and hip-hop’s former quintessential bromance, there is no joy. I just want the fam to get along.
In a new interview released on TIDAL with Rap Radar host and legendary hip-hop journalist Elliott Wilson, Jay opened up about his feud with Kanye. He confirmed that their kids still don’t play together. Last year, I wrote about Kanye’s on-stage admission that Blue Ivy and North West aren’t the BFFs of my daydreams. Kanye also disrespected our Queen with some blasphemy I refuse to repeat. While Jay says he shoulders some of the blame for the business part of his fallout with Kanye, he says ‘Ye’s concert rant “crossed the line.” When Jay’s song Kill Jay-Z dropped, it was interpreted to be a direct response to his beef with Kanye because of the following lyrics:
You walkin' around like you invincible
You dropped outta school, you lost your principles
I know people backstab you, I felt bad too
But this 'f-ck everybody' attitude ain't natural
But you ain't a saint, this ain't kumbaye
There are also some jabs about how Jay casually gave Kanye $20 million, as one does. In the TIDAL interview, Jay says those lyrics are more than just shots at Kanye.
“It's not even about Kanye, it really isn't… His name is there, just because it's just the truth of what happened. But the whole point is 'You got hurt because this person was talking about you on a stage.' But what really hurt me was, you can't bring my kids and my wife into it. Kanye's my little brother. He's talked about me 100 times. He made a song called 'Big Brother.' We've gotten past bigger issues. But you brought my family into it, now it's a problem with me. That's a real, real problem. And he knows it's a problem.”
So, Jay thinks Kanye went too far. Jay’s right. The kids should be off-limits. But Kanye, as Charlie Murphy (RIP) would say, is a “habitual line stepper.” He said some sh-t during those on-stage rants that even I – a habitual Kanye apologist— couldn’t defend. A few days after those rants, Kanye cancelled his tour and was hospitalized for ten days. When Kanye emerged from that hospitalization, he was posing for photos with Klan President (the latest, most appropriate nickname for Donald Trump, thanks to Black Twitter). My point: Kanye went on these rants at his lowest. He went on these rants at a point when he probably needed his “big brother” most. Jay thinks that Kanye knows he went too far.
“I know he knows, because we’ve never let this much space go between one of our disagreements, and we’ve had many, because that’s who we are. That’s what I like about him. He’s an honest person, he’s open and he’ll say things and he’s wrong a lot of times and he’ll confront it.”
Kanye is wrong A LOT. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be Kanye’s friend, dealing with his ego and his f-ckups but his honesty is also part of his charm. This quote hit me in the gut because Kanye and Jay have always been able to get through their sh-t in the past. And I’ve always thought that if anyone could get through to Kanye, it’s Jay. Well, clearly Jay hasn’t been able to get through to ‘Ye for a long time. Understandably, Beyoncé reportedly wants nothing to do with Kanye’s wife’s family. Jay and Bey have nothing to gain from resolving this feud. They don’t need Kanye. But Kanye may need them. On Family Feud, Jay raps that “we all lose if the family feuds.” In this case, Kanye seems to be the one who lost the most and even though he brought it on himself, I can’t help but feel sorry for him.
Will there ever be a day when Jay and Kanye’s kids play together? I mean, North West is play-pretending spa days and learning how to contour while Blue is dropping classic verses and fulfilling her destiny as the future greatest entertainer of her generation so we’re not exactly dealing with kids on the same level. I’m not sure that playdate would go very well anyway.
If you’re a hip-hop fan, Jay’s entire sit-down with Elliott Wilson is worth your time. Watch the full interview here.
Attached - Kanye out in LA today and Jay at Chiltern in London on the weekend.