The Hip Hop song every dancefloor at a wedding reception all knows the words to.
Almost a decade before Watch The Throne, Kanye and Jay-Z shared space on each other’s tracks as a featured artist. The neat part about Jay’s turn on Diamonds is he steals the track from under Kanye, at the height of both their powers.
I say ‘steals the track’ but we all know the real star of the whole thing is Dame Shirley Bassey right? I mean that doesn’t even need debating.
I’m not an avid fan of West. He’s made some great records, he’s acted like a complete tit and made some truly truly awful music too. Jay on the other hand I never seem to dislike. His stuff just seems more… Cool. More cooler. Cooler.
Look, I’m not here to state the merits of one artist against another. I’m here to talk about THIS version of the track originally on The College Dropout. It’s a great tune on the album. It’s one of the best Hip Hop singles of all time on the Remix.
All of the best bits from the record made it to the re-up but Jay’s bit is phenomenal. It’s cool, funny, breezy and playful. The lesser elements of the album version, that sexist verse about the girl with the cruel nickname the dick swinging boasts that underline the earlier concerns around the diamonds origins are gone. Instead, after Kanye’s two verses as per, there’s just Hove, grandstanding like only he can.
Not that Jay-Z is the only rapper to proclaim to be the business. It’s vital to the game for all Rappers to have inventive ways of showing off. When Jay he does it he sounds cool ‘How could you falter when you’re the rock of Gibraltar, I had to get off the boat just so I could walk on water’.
When the self proclaimed ‘greatest rock star in the world™’ later tries to cover Bohemian Rhapsody he looks like a knob.