'Are you sure you still got this?': Jay-Z questioned place in rap game after Lil Wayne's 'Dough Is What I Got'
Lil Wayne had stated that he was 'better than Jay-Z' and what did Jay-Z have to say for it? Looks like the beef between the two Carters was not all mean and bad as it was made out to be
The beef between rappers Jay-Z and Lil Wayne began back in 2007 with a bit of freestyle rap.
When Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter) 'retired' back in 2003, Lil Wayne ( Dwayne Michael Carter Jr) dropped a mixtape featuring 13 tracks, nine of which were freestyles done over Jay-Z's instrumentals. Many considered this to be Wayne's attempt at taking Jay-Z's spot now that the rapper was seemingly out of the game. Jay-Z made a comeback three years later in 2006 with 'Kingdom Come'. The lead single, 'Show Me What You Got' (which itself samples 'Show 'Em Whatcha Got' from hip hop group Public Enemy) was later covered by Lil Wayne in 2007's 'Dough Is What I Got' featuring a freestyle verse over the original song's beat.
Wayne opened his verse with a declaration: "This is a public service announcement / Lil Wayne, Weezy F. Baby, is the best rapper alive / Hit me / Haha."
Speaking about the first time he heard the cover, Jay-Z said “When he rapped on ‘Show Me What You Got,’ I had to take a long walk and look at myself in the mirror...I said, ‘Are you sure you still got this?’”
The rapper's comeback had many wondering whether he still had what it took to be a part of the rap game, especially with artists like Wayne putting out tracks that seemed to up the ante. In 'Dough Is What I Got', Wayne uses NBA references in his freestyle rap to compare his skills to Jay-Z's, implying he was the Lebron and Kobe to Jay-Z's Jordan.
Responding to Jay-Z's comments Wayne said, “He didn’t say that part...He just let me know, ‘Boy, you’re coming for me.’”
Wayne would go on to ignite a full-blown beef with Jay-Z in 2006 when commenting about his return from retirement, stating in an interview with Complex "I don’t like what he’s talking about and I’m gonna tell you why. Because he’s saying it like he had to come back, like hip-hop’s dead…What you mean it’s dead? So that means I’m not rapping the whole time?"
Wayne continued, "I’ve been in it 13 years. How can it be dead?...If anything it’s reborn...So he’s probably having a problem with that. Like his whole aspect of coming back was ‘Because it was dead and y’all needed me.’"
"You left on a good note...This was your house. All the people in the house, all the artists were saying ‘Yo, this is Jay’s house. He’s bowing out gracefully. We all say he’s the best.’...You come back and think this still your house?...It's not your house...and I'm better than you," Wayne said.
But Jay-Z was not about to take this competition lightly!
The rapper returned in 2007 with 'American Gangster', an album that many considered to be the return of the maestro. But he didn't just stop there - Jay-Z also had Wayne feature on the track 'Hello Brooklyn 2.0', which not only quashed all rumors about an existing beef between them but also showed us all how to truly handle competition- with grace, and skill.