T Nation

Who Was Better: Eminem or Jay-Z?


Okay, this is a hip-hop question. I know not a lot of peepz in the forums would much rather listen to metal/rock, but I think this one's a legit question.

It's been hotly debated for years but I'd like to ask it here. Who out shined who on this song? Personally I think Eminem just straight up slaughtered this shit. A lot of people hate on EM (CT. ROCKULA) but I think this song shows why he's well respected by his peers and why not a lot of people would even dare put them on their songs.

So, Eminem or Jay-z?








You can hate on the motherfucker but he is/was one of the best.


Can't say, two completely different styles.


I bet you're amazing on making dates. Let me guess it goes something like this:

you: So, you want to go out sometime?
girl: Sure
you: well what do you want to do?
girl: i'm not sure what do you want to do?
you: we can do whatever you want to do...
girl: Yea i'm washing my hair
you: what night?
girl: every night...

(I'm just busting your chops)




In that particular song, there's no question Em completely upstaged Jay. There's no real debate on this that I know of either, pretty much everyone knows Em shat all over Jay on Renegade.

Overall? I'm still going with Eminem. Even on Relapse Em showed his gift with words, and on the other albums he was way more expressive that Jay-Z.

I like Jay-Z (up to the Black Album for the most part), but he's massively overrated. For a guy being mentioned as a GOAT candidate, he's not really that consistent, and his mic skills are above average but nothing amazing. His main talents are that he has a good presence, and he has a knack for choosing good beats (on his GOOD albums). But those are the same talents 50 Cent has, and 50 is everyone's favourite punching bag now.


haha, spot on.


But really, I'm more of a fan of Jay-Z's style but lyrically I think Em did a little better on the song. Guess it's where you want to place more emphasis: style, delivery or lyrics.


Eminem = Better Rapper

Jay-Z = Better Businessman



This is kind of like the classic question... Who's a bigger cunt: Rosie O'Donnell or Sarah Palin?

(Pssst... they both suck(ed.))


I think lyrically I would give it to Eminem, but Jay-Z has been around much longer and has proven better longevity.


In this particular song Em, but overall Jay-Z is the better rapper up until the Black album, everything after the Black album has been sub par.

Side note: Nas takes them both out, hands down.


what the hell was eminem talking about?

I have to give this to Jay-Z, I mean his verses were just so real, gotta love it. I relate to that. Eminem was just babbling about how much people don't like him. Em talks faster than Jay, so what? He rhymes better, again so what? It doesn't matter (or shouldnt) how well you say something if it doesn't mean anything

I mean just read the song without listening, who has a more potent message? Eminem talkin about how much people hate him, or Jay-Z talking about how real ghetto life is? I can understand this, what J is saying because I've been there, his words really mirror situations from my own life. I can't get down with Slim, in this song he makes two verses about virtually nothing. "Oh, lord people don't like me" I mean whaere's his message? What are we supposed to get from this? We all know he's hated by alot of different groups why does he keep talking about it?

Motherfuckers -
say that I'm foolish I only talk about jewels (bling bling)
Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?
See I'm influenced by the ghetto you ruined
That same dude you gave nothin', I made somethin doin'
what I do through and through and
I give you the news - with a twist it's just his ghetto point-of-view
The renegade; you been afraid
I penetrate pop culture, bring 'em a lot closer to the block where they
pop toasters, and they live with they moms
Got dropped roasters, from botched robberies niggaz crotched over
Mommy's knocked up cause she wasn't watched over
Knocked down by some clown when child support knocked
No he's not around - now how that sound to ya, jot it down
I bring it through the ghetto without ridin 'round
hidin down duckin strays from frustrated youths stuck in they ways
Just read a magazine that fucked up my day
How you rate music that thugs with nothin relate to it?
I help them see they way through it - not you
Can't step in my pants, can't walk in my shoes
Bet everything you worth; you lose your tie and your shirt

Since I'm in a position to talk to these kids and they listen
I ain't no politician but I'll kick it with 'em a minute
Cause see they call me a menace; and if the shoe fits I'll wear it
But if it don't, then y'all'll swallow the truth grin and bear it
Now who's these king of these rude ludicrous lucrative lyrics
Who could inherit the title, put the youth in hysterics
Usin' his music to steer it, sharin his views and his merits
But there's a huge interference - they're sayin you shouldn't hear it
Maybe it's hatred I spew, maybe it's food for the spirit
Maybe it's beautiful music I made for you to just cherish
But I'm debated disputed hated and viewed in America
as a motherfuckin drug addict - like you didn't experiment?
Now now, that's when you start to stare at who's in the mirror
and see yourself as a kid again, and you get embarrased
And I got nothin' to do but make you look stupid as parents
You fuckin do-gooders - too bad you couldn't do good at marriage!
(Ha ha!) And do you have any clue what I had to do to get here I don't
think you do so stay tuned and keep your ears glued to the stereo
Cause here we go - he's {Jigga joint Jigga-chk-Jigga
And I'm the sinister, Mr. Kiss-My-Ass it's just the

I had to hustle, my back to the wall, ashy knuckles
Pockets filled with a lot of lint, not a cent
Gotta vent, lot of innocent of lives lost on the project bench
Whatchu hollerin'? Gotta pay rent, bring dollars in
By the bodega, iron under my coat, feelin braver
Doo-rag wrappin my waves up, pockets full of hope
Do not step to me - I'm awkward, I box leftier often
My pops left me an orphan, my momma wasn't home
Could not stress to me I wasn't grown; 'specially on nights
I brought somethin home to quiet the stomach rumblings
My demeanor - thirty years my senior
My childhood didn't mean much, only raisin green up
Raisin' my fingers to critics; raisin' my head to the sky
BIG I did it - multi before I die (nigga)
No lie, just know I chose my own fate
I drove by the fork in the road and went straight

See I'm a poet to some, a regular modern day Shakespeare
Jesus Christ the King of these Latter Day Saints here
To shatter the picture in which of that as they paint me
as a monger of hate and Satan a scatter-brained atheist
But that ain't the case, see it's a matter of taste
We as a people decide if Shady's as bad as they say he is
Or is he the latter - a gateway to escape?
Media scapegoat, who they can be mad at today
See it's easy as cake, simple as whistlin Dixie
while I'm wavin the pistol at sixty Christians against me
Go to war with the Mormons, take a bath with the Catholics
in holy water - no wonder they try to hold me under longer
I'm a motherfuckin spiteful, DELIGHTFUL eyeful
The new Ice Cube - motherfuckers HATE to like you
What did I do? (huh?) I'm just a kid from the gutter
makin this butter off these bloodsuckers, cause I'm a muh'fuckin

Jay-Z wins on realness. That is why he is considered GOAT. The streets have known this cat since he was a boy, he'd be a legend even if he wasn't a rapper. That is what makes Jay respected, most who have any recent connection to the game (not rap) but the actual "distribution" game has dealt with him or still does.

Jay-gets props for his ambition, for taking the story from this song and making an alternate ending to it.

The Immortal


Lyrically, I think Eminem is above and beyond Jay-z. And as for Nas being the better/out of the 3, I don't think there's been a more consistent rapper than Nas since he came out, but he can't hang with Em lyrically. I'd give it a tie between the two and Jay-z being a close third.


About time you showed up!

That's why I said it was a real debate over who outshined who on the song. I agree on the realness of jay's verses and certainly think it was a great verse. But, context isn't just the only thing to account on a song. That's why we don't see Immortal Technique, MF doom, Talib Kweli and others being mentioned in the GOAT conversation, is because they basically don't have any "flow". And those guys are as "real as it gets".

If you listened to the song over and over, Em's flow is just absolutely ridiculous, plus his rhymes and the way he structured his verses are incredible.

Why is BIGGIE considered by many as GOAT? Mainly because of his incredible flow and clever rhymes. And his subject? Killing people, raping women, selling drugs and gangbangin'. That was him for most of his short career.

It's not necessarily what you talk about its how you say it. Em took this song and slayed it. He flowed like an instrument. And jay ain't even top 5 really. Lyrically, he's not all that. His flow is suspect and to be honest, the guy is over rated. The only things going for him are Beyonce and his dough.

Plus, if the two FREESTYLED EM would murder JAYz and I think that's something we can all agree on.


jay -z has done more for hip hop than eminem. if em was black he'd be just another rapper.


Jay-Z: better rapper, better beats, better albums (up to the Black Album)

Eminem: more creative


I had to wonder if people were really listening to lyrics or just the style that's spit.

As for a song Em ripped it, lyrically Jay. Who won? Em at the end of the day it's music whatever sounds better wins IMHO. Unfortunately the art of music got lost with the association of rap having to be hardcore, so you have a majority of pop culture saying nothing with some ear catching music, and Underground artist who can only make a song talking about how underground they are but can't find a beat to save their life.

I still like to stick to Rakim's definition of MC and that means Move the crowd. Bests

2Pac, nobody had more people across the board who would follow him.
Jay, If you saw Madison Square Garden Move you wouldn't question why. Besides He killed autotune in one day, killed Throwback jerseys in a month, and had young kids rocking button ups as the thing to do. Be blind if you want but he's moving something.

I dissagree with whoever said if EM was black he'd be just another rapper. If he was black I'm sure there would be way more topics he'd cover since everything it wouldn't be as controversial. Then people would be able to see how truly great he is lyrically.