JAY-Z Has Dissed More People Than Any Other MC

Earlier this month, JAY-Z appeared alongside Pharrell Williams on Pusha-T’s latest single, “Neck & Wrist.” While the G.O.O.D Music/Def Jam Records single initially prompted discourse regarding Jay’s lyrics regarding his late friend and collaborator Biggie Smalls, the song also contains diss bars that some may have missed.

Jay’s guest verse opens: “The phase I’m on, love, I wouldn’t believe it either / I’d be like, ‘JAY-Z’s a cheater,’ I wouldn’t listen to reason either / All I know is he’s a felon, how is he sellin’?” The wordplay references Friday actor Faizon Love, who had made some disparaging remarks about Shawn Carter. In 2020, the actor told the Hip-Hop Uncensored Podcast, “I like JAY-Z. I like him as a guy, and the whole thing he created about this fake dope-dealing. That’s when I stopped liking him. This ni**a ain’t sold no cocaine in his life—I don’t think he’s ever won a fight.” The comments prompted former foe, Cam’ron to publicly defend JAY-Z and his street rep. Expounding on the point later that year to Vlad TV, “JAY-Z creates this ‘drug dealing drug lord, I’ma drug dealer, I’ma drug lord.’ These kids are like, ‘We gotta do it, too,’ not knowing that this is all made up sh*t.” Love also used the term “puppet” to describe Jay.

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Jay’s response is the latest in a career that rarely has minced words towards critics, opponents, and peers. While Jay is recognized for his high-profile lyrics aimed at Nas, Prodigy, Cam’ron, 50 Cent, Jayo Felony, Lance “Un” Rivera, and others—Jay has made a massive impact by not even saying his target’s name—or in the case of Faizon Love, having some fun with it.

On episode #80 of Ambrosia For HeadsWhat’s The Headline podcast (video and audio embedded below), we dive deep into JAY-Z’s last five years. While looking at bars from pre-2017 that many speculate were aimed at Ma$e, The Game, LL Cool J, and others, Hov’s last half-decade includes a long list of jabs. Kanye West, Eric Benet, Drake, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Funkmaster Flex, Roger Goodell, George Zimmerman, and the IRS are just some targets. The podcast examines and unpacks these lines, with admiration for how they are presented. What’s more, Jay can diss somebody (Drake, Kanye, Goodell, and Lil Wayne) and then share a song or break bread with them afterward. The hosts agree that no Hip-Hop artist has dissed more people than Jay. The episode #80 conversation also examines new music from Pusha-T and JAY-Z, ScHoolboy Q, and more.

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The time codes for episode #80 of the What’s The Headline podcast:

0:00 Intro
2:56 Will Smith is banned from the Oscars for 10 years. Does it matter?
10:15 Black Star are releasing their new Madlib-produced album in a few weeks. What to expect
19:24 Black Star are releasing their new album through an alternative distribution platform
28:14 Pusha T and JAY-Z have released their latest collaboration
32:37 Both JAY-Z and Pusha-T are using new flows on Neck & Wrist
35:55 JAY-Z raps about what his position in Hip-Hop would be if Biggie was still alive
38:18 JAY-Z dissed Faizon Love on Neck & Wrist
40:00 JAY-Z is the king of sneak disses. Decoding some of his subliminal lines and listing his many targets
1:20:39 ScHoolboy Q shows his growth as a man on his new Soccer Dad song
1:30:20 Kidd Creole from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five is convicted of manslaughter
1:32:05 New music of the week from Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Wiz Khalifa & Girl Talk, Vince Staples, Quelle Chris, Termanology & Paul Wall, Method Man, Redman & KRS-One, and more.

AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. The podcast also has interviews with Joell Ortiz, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available to view or for listening wherever you stream your pods.

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#BonusBeat: An Ambrosia For Heads original video that examines what if JAY-Z had stuck to his plan of retiring after Reasonable Doubt: