The Big Hurt: Winners and losers

A hip-hop scorecard
By DAVID THORPE  |  July 7, 2008

JAY-Z | His headlining slot at the Glastonbury Festival June 28 has been the stuff of much controversy, with various artists weighing in on his suitability to the event. Glasto has always been a guitar-rock show, and its fans and performers have been slow to accept hip-hop. Oasis remnant Noel Gallagher, bucking his usual habit of polite, non-confrontational passivity, flatly declared: “I’m not having hip-hop at Glastonbury. It’s wrong.” In response to this nay-saying, Hova kicked off his set with a facetious cover of “Wonderwall,” segueing into an à propos “99 Problems.” Sure, Jay, Noel may be a bitch, but he goaded you into singing an Oasis song. Which is the very definition of defeat. OUTCOME: ETHERED.

TUPAC SHAKUR | Last year, a bronze statue of the allegedly dead rapper was defaced by a vandal who hung a wooden cross around its neck and plastered it with racist literature. (The statue, which stands outside a Georgia community arts center founded by the rapper’s mother, is perhaps most famous for looking almost nothing like Tupac.) Finally, this week, an answer: the vandal has released a manifesto explaining, “Tupac Shakur is not only a rapist and murderer of his own people, his center of the arts is in the business of molesting the young minds of our youths into believing that ‘Thug Life’ is the American dream.” Tupac — who is still laboring under the morbid and unconvincing charade that he’s dead — refused to abandon his hermitry to comment, thus losing to a crazy guy by default. STATUS: BUSTER.

YOUNG JEEZY | Usually a man of unwavering purpose — to inspire thugs to greatness — Jeezy has recently undergone a baffling flip-flop in his opinion of John McCain, whom he met at a Saturday Night Live taping a while back. Some reports quoted a pessimistic Jeezy: “John McCain’s cool, but he looks like a fraud to me. I told him the ’hood was fucked up and he was like, ‘How you doing?’ Real talk. They know entertainers, so they shake your hand, ‘I’m your friend.’ I don’t really feel McCain.” In a Vibe magazine interview, however, he took a different position: “No disrespect to my man Barack, but I fuck with John McCain. [Editor’s note: that’s a good thing.] He greeted me like a God. The fact that he acknowledged me was crazy. I said, ‘I’m Young Jeezy, and it’s rough out here.’ He blew me off at first. I was like, ‘Nah, for real. It’s rough out here, so what you gonna do to change it?’ And he gave me a look back, like, ‘I know.’ ” Well, which is it, Snowman? Do you fuck with him or do you not feel him? I can only assume he picked up this habit of sudden, bizarre reversals of opinion from . . . I dunno, some politician. DIAGNOSIS: POSSIBLY TRIPPIN’.

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