Zadie Smith Profiles Jay-Z

Two of my favorites.

At one point, Smith introduces another lyrical gem (“I got watches I ain’t seen in months / Apartment at the Trump I only slept in once”), then rebuts a likely critique:

But asking why rappers always talk about their stuff is like asking why Milton is forever listing the attributes of heavenly armies. Because boasting is a formal condition of the epic form. And those taught that they deserve nothing rightly enjoy it when they succeed in terms the culture understands.

Stephen Schenkenberg @schenkenberg