Welcome to “Take It Outside,” where music greats battle for supremacy. Our first bout will be between the most famous couple in the business, Jay-Z and Beyonce. Both have new albums scheduled to be released next month, but let’s see how their most recent work stacks up against each other.
Jay-Z 1, Beyonce 0
Quality: American Gangster was a big step up after the mildly disappointing Kingdom Come. The 70s-style production really fits the theme of the album and Jay actually sounded motivated for the first time since “retirement.” It ranks up there with his best work.
Likewise, B’day was an improvement over the highly-overrated Dangerously In Love, even though it wasn’t as well-received. The upbeat production mostly works but she sounds a little too high-strung. It’s a good album, but not great.
Jay 2, Beyonce 1
Crews: It’s no secret that Roc-A-Fella diamonds don’t last forever. Jay dumped that annoying Damon Dash and longtime friend Kareem Biggs years ago. His rap henchmen Freeway and Beanie Sigel are still putting out albums but you probably didn’t even know that. Kanye is too wrapped up in himself to be considered part of the crew. That just leaves Memphis Bleek, who basically picks up the KFC and dry cleaning at this point.
At least Beyonce’s girls Kelly, Michelle and Solange are releasing music. I didn’t say it was any good, but at least they’re getting a check. If Beyonce’s daddy doesn’t get to the checks first.
Jay 2, Beyonce 2
Celebrity ex’s: Jay’s been linked to such women of virtue as Blu Cantrell, Foxy Brown, Charli Baltimore and Karrine “Superhead” Steffans. That last sentence makes my crotch itch.
Notice how ALL their ex’s wear lip gloss? But at least Beyonce probably didn’t catch something from MH.
Jay 2, Beyonce 3
Paper: Hate it or love it, Jay is arguably the best rapper alive and definitely the most finanically successful rapper alive. But when it comes to the paper, Beyonce’s no slouch. According Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, Beyonce came in at No. 4 spot with an approximate salary of $80 million. Jay was ranked at No. 7 with $82 million. Jay grossed more but was ranked lower when Web and press mentions are added to the mix.
At the end of the day, they’re pulling down more than we’ll ever see, so it’s a draw.
Jay 2, Beyonce 3
Legacy: Jay has at least two classic albums under his belt (maybe three, depending who you’re asking). For better or worse, he’s influenced an entire generation of rappers, which is why we have to put up with the T.I.s and Lil Waynes these days.
People LOVE to hate Beyonce, but the woman can sing (when she’s not hollering) and you can’t deny her success. She’s at the level that most of today’s female R&B artists hope to attain, which is why we have to put up with the Rihannas and Ciaras these days.
Jay 3, Beyonce 3
I guess they’re really meant for each other. The power couple ends in a tie.