Many fans and critics of hip-hop music will tell you that Jay-Z was lyrically surpassed on the track Renegade by the song's producer, Eminem. The song, from 2001's critically acclaimed The Blueprint, raises serious concerns about the self-proclaimed "greatest rapper alive(s)" claim to the throne. Not to be outdone, Kanye West intentionally dumbed-down every lyric to his sophmore effort, Late Registration, to allow Jay-Z to outshine him as an MC and as a lyricist. Whether this was done as a good-will gesture to Hova or a cunning pr stunt, it is certain that a new claim to the throne has spoken.
This incident does well to explain the events circling Kanye's recent appearance on Saturday Night Live. Eyebrows have been raised by people everywhere by what appears to be West caught lip-syncing to the single Heartless. For anyone who has followed Kanye West and his trail-blazing career, this is nothing more than a one-up on Miss Ashley Simpson who was similarly caught lip-syncing on SNL last year. The balls in your court, Ashley, make your move.
Kanye is not content with merely lapping his peers in what some would consider "failures" or "huge disappointments", he also wants to succeed in profitable trends such as the emergence of a style in hip-hop lovingly referred to as RoboRap. RoboRap was popularized by New Orleans rapper Lil' Wayne and uses a device known as an auto tune to distort the artists voice into a metallic space-age parody of itself. Many artists including Jay-Z, TI, Akon and Cher have used this device to great success. In the recent SNL debacle, West performed Heartless in which he sings through an auto tune. Is this the part where the genius of Kanye West comes full circle? I don't think they call him the greatest rapper alive for nothing.