Scarface Says Jay Z Is The Best Songwriter Of All-Time

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Today (June 15) Jay Z is being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Announced in February, the moment marks the first time a Hip-Hop artist will receive the prestigious honor.

In celebration of the achievement, Tidal has compiled some remarkable peer praise for the Roc Nation MC. Common (who Jay once said he’d like to rhyme like), Andre 3000, Rakim, and De La Soul’s Posdnuos are among the litany of celebrated lyricists who congratulated Jay on the induction with words of respect and appreciation.

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Scarface’s words were especially powerful, as he crowns his “Guess Who’s Back” collaborator as “the best” at writing: “First and foremost, to me he’s gotta be the best songwriter of all time. Because he writes those songs in his head. He doesn’t have a Rap folder like everybody else does. His Rap folder is in his head. And he remembers all that sh*t! Think about how many albums, guest appearances, features, freestyles Jay has in total, and he remembers those rhymes word for word. If he’s not the greatest, he’s gotta be up there with the greatest,” writes Brad Jordan. “Another reason why Jay’s the best to me is that he took everything from the streets and put it on the beats and was extremely successful at it. The process of writing a song isn’t easy. I think my greatest attribute as a songwriter is my ability to articulate true to life street stories that are unmatched. But the fact that Jay is the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame means that this kid has struck a nerve worldwide with his words. He’s written songs that have touched the world.”

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Rakim Allah is quoted as saying, “For the last 20 years, Jay Z has personified not only our Hip-Hop culture, but the definition of true lyricism.”

Pharrell Williams stated, “Calling him a rapper puts him in a box…Shawn Carter’s a mystic, and he’s a one of one…none before him and none to come.”

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“[Jay Z] has assembled songs of quality that could make you think, party, and watch your step if you challenged him as an MC… this honor simply means that within the world of music a level of fairness is finally being provided through the acknowledgement: rappers are and have always been songwriters,” says De La Soul’s Plug 1.

Common expresses, “Jay Z has been a leader of the culture expressing many people’s experiences but also takes us to where our dreams and imaginations can go. His lyrics are clever, charismatic and intelligent. He also brought wit and personality to his songwriting style. His music always provides a perspective of what one can accomplish coming from Marcy to influencing the World. When I think about his body of work some of my favorites are ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle,’ ‘Public Service Announcement,’ and ‘Heart Of The City.’ He exemplifies an artist that can write in any time period and his lines have created philosophies for people’s lives.”

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3 Stacks notes, “Jay Z’s contribution to music as a writer is pivotal. You can hear his wit and hustle stylings in the backbones of some of the biggest and respected artists of today. But even more importantly, he has verbally taught new generations how to understand their personal worth and create opportunities for others around them.”

Chuck D, Timbaland, Rick Ross, and Jay Electronica are some of the other MCs who contribute. U2’s Bono, Kirk Franklin, and Jon Bon Jovi also write testimonials to Hov.

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#BonusBeat: The aforementioned “Guess Who’s Back” collabo’:

This appeared on The Fix.