Kanye West putting his rift with Jay Z out on front street at his Saint Pablo Seattle show is probably why the frenic producer no longer finds himself in Jay Z’s inner circle. During 2010-2012, “Big Brother” Hov and “little brother” ‘Ye were unstoppable as The Throne, dropping the wildly successful Watch The Throne and following it up with a high-grossing world tour. It was a dream come true for Kanye, who always had a sort of weird admiration for Jay that teetered between idolizing and Single White Female.
But what if Jay Z and Kanye West’s bromance was really just all in Kanye’s head? What if Jay Z was nothing more than a close work friend despite Kanye’s devotion to The Carters?
2000 — Pre-College Dropout Era
Kanye is desperate to prove to idol Jay Z that he’s also a talented rapper, something Jay isn’t really trying to hear. “Let’s at least sign [Kanye] so we can keep the tracks in-house,” Jay recalled saying in a 2009 XXL interview. Cam’ron later claims Jay straight up ignored Kanye when the producer was “rapping his heart out” to the mogul.
Jay would eventually come around and Kanye would blow up into superstardom.
Kanye records the Jay Z tribute “BIg Brother” where he also airs out his big homie for stealing his idea and working with Coldplay. “I told Jay I did a song with Coldplay/Next thing I know he got a song with Coldplay/Back in my mind I’m like, ‘Damn, no way’,” he rhymes. In actuality, Jay’s “Beach Chair” predated Kanye’s “Homecoming.” Jay would later credit himself for introducing Yeezy to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
Jay Z shades Kanye’s love of Auto-Tune with “D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)” and shades ‘Ye’s fashion choices with “D.O.A” lyrics, “You n*ggas jeans too tight, your colors too bright, your voice too light.” Pretty ballsy of Jay when the track was co-produced by a tight jeans-loving, colorful clothes-wearing Kanye. The funny thing is Kanye adlibbing “that’s too far” after Jay’s lyric.
Kanye interrupts Taylor Swift’s MTV Awards acceptance speech to declare Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” one of the best videos of all time.
Kanye West begins secretly dating Kim Kardashian after the star divorces Kris Humphries following 72 days of blissful marriage.
Jay Z and Beyonce and Kim and Kanye attend the 2012 BET Awards. Jay and Kanye appear to be the best of friends while Jay and Beyonce barely acknowledge Kim Kardashian’s existence. Deliciously awkward.
Kanye publicly disses Justin Timberlake and Jay Z’s “Suit and Tie” during one of his streams of consciousness. “I got love for Hov, but I ain’t f*cking with that ‘Suit & Tie’,” he says. Kanye would later say he recieved Jay’s blessing to diss him, telling WKYS 93.9, “Jay understands that this is my voice, and it’s very necessary.”
Kanye proposes to Kim in front of family and friends at San Francisco’s AT&T Stadium. While Kanye’s Chicago buddies are present for the magical moment, Jay Z and Beyonce are not.