In an oddball month that included the resurrection of one the most longstanding, passive-aggressive quarrels in the history of hip-hop, one of rap’s other extended disputes seems to have been settled. Jay-Z and onetime mentor Jaz-O (who once joined him on the seminal Jay single “Jigga What, Jigga Who“) finally reunited after nearly two decades at Jay’s Chicago stop on his 4:44 Tour, thanks, apparently, to 4:44 producer No ID, who also appears in the backstage photo the pair took after the show.
Now, some hip-hop fans may be a little lost as to why this is significant, so here’s a little history lesson. Long before Jay-Z ever laid claim to the title of Best Rapper Alive, he first appeared, at all of 19-years-old, in Jaz-O’s video for a song called “Hawaiian Sophie.” Here’s the music video, in all it’s grainy, late-eighties VHS glory.
So, after getting his start rapping alongside his more-established mentor, Jay — whose rap moniker even borrows from Jaz’s — eventually surpassed his onetime teacher in both fame and in wealth. He tried to lend Jaz a hand by giving him a look on the aforementioned “Jigga What, Jigga Who” and offered him a spot on Rocafella Records, but according to the Blueprint 3 track “What We Talkin’ Bout,” Jaz “ain’t sign his contract.” Eventually, missing out on all that money must have left Jaz feeling salty, leading to the 2009 diss track “Ova,” which I’ve helpfully included below.
Jay refused to engage, aside from a throwaway line on Ludacris’ Theater Of The Mind single “I Do It For Hip-Hop,” and ultimately the “beef” fizzled before it ever got started. However, it looks like the underlying friction between the two longtime frenemies has been resolved enough to pose for a photo, even if No ID is sandwiched between the two like the referee of Celebrity Death Match. This puts paid to most of Jay’s most longstanding tiffs, now that he’s on good terms with at least Nas and Dame Dash (even if the latter doesn’t seem to completely recognize it yet), so the only person left in Hov’s doghouse at this point is Kanye West, and at least we know they’re working toward a reconciliation — even with some hairy Tidal business to handle first.