Jay Z’ Verses on Drake’s “Pound Cake” are Wack (aka The Poop Sandwich Principle)
For the most part I use the @RefinedHype to
DM strippers throw out songs, jokes and story ideas that are interesting but not worthy of a full post. But sometimes my replies will blow up like a p and it will turn out that what I thought was an indisputable statement is actually a deeply contested issue. Case in point.
Well then, looks like I'm going to have to turn this into a whole thing. For the record, we're obviously talking about Jay No Hyphen Z' verses on Drake's "Pound Cake". The second verse is worse than the first, but really neither are particulaly impressive. Let's listen:
Now, I'll admit that there's an element of this debate that's just subjective, personal opinion. Although, I'd also like to add that if I say eating a poop sandwich is digusting and you say eating a poop sandwich is delicious, that doesn't mean poop sandwiches are just a matter of personal taste. It means you're the guy eating poop sandwiches. Speaking of which, let's take a gander at these lyrics:
Cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, cake
500 million, I got a pound cake
Niggas is fronting, that's upside-down cake
Get 'em a red nose, they clown cakes
They shoulda never let you 'round cake
Look at my neck, I got a carrot cake
Now here's the icing on the cake
Cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, uhh
I'm just getting started, oh, yeah, we got it bitch
Be honest with me. If you didn't know it was a Jay Z verse, and I just showed you those lyrics, you would have guessed that was 2 Chainz. In fact, you would have pointed to it as proof that 2 Chainz is terrible. The man rhymes cake with cake 17 times (seriously, count for yourself), and it's not like every "cake" reference is that unique or clever. As good as it gets is "Carrot/carat" cake, and that's about as deep as high diving into a kiddie pool.
And it's not like the verse gets much better from there. It's mostly rhyming "million" with "million" a lot, taking a shot at Beanie Sigel (which at this point is Bill Murray rejecting a little kid in "Rushmore") and referencing Jordans and Gucci. This is about as average as Jay No Hyphen Z has ever sounded*.
"Fine, we'll admit the second verse is wack," say the people I'm debating in my head as I write this, "but he absolutely murdered the first verse!" Huh...well...stop me when I get to the part where I should be making an "oh shit!" face. "The all black Maybach but I'm not a racist / Inside's whiter than Katy Perry's face is"? That easily could have been a Rick Ross line. "I just might learn to speak Mandarin / Japanese for the yen that I'm handling"? I mean....that's cool. "Shout out to World Wide Wes / Everywhere we go, we leave a worldwide mess." Ok, that one's just straight up bad.
Now, there are some dope lines sprinkled in there. I'll hand it to Jay on "I've done made more millionaires than the lotto did", that's a dope brag, and "My saint's Sean Don, light a candle / El Gran Santo on the mantle" is a dope couplet, but this is Jay Motherfucking Z we're talking about, a guy who's at the very least been in the Greatest Rapper Alive discussion almost the entire time we're been aware that he's alive. If Jay Z is the Rap Game Michael Jordan, then "Pound Cake" is one of those nights when Jordan put up 12 points and 3 assists. Your average role player might pat himself on the back for a performance like that, but for Jordan, average isn't nearly good enough.
I don't want to neccesarily spin this into a larger "Jay has fallen off" discussion, but I don't think that's entirely true. Lyrically "MCHG" was sub-par for Hov, but I can't remember a single "what the fuck moment" off that album like when I heard Jay's second verse on "Pound Cake". Being "hungry" might be a cliche, but there's also some truth there. If you're Drake and you know Jay Z' going to be on the same track, you rewrite your verse 157 times, you spend a solid month on it if you have to, so you can say you didn't get murdered on your own shit. But if you're Jay? You probably get in the studio, record the verse, it's good enough, then you get in your private jet, fly to dinner with the Obamas, and
So if anyone's earned a pass on a wack verse, it's Jay Z, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a wack verse. So yeah, I'm not feeling "Pound Cake", and yeah, it does say a lot about me. It says I've been listening to Jay for too long to ignore how much better he can do:
* Maybe I got a little carried away there, but it's a good question. If I'm making a list of Jay Z' wackest verses, what's on it?