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Jam of the Day – Looking at Beef Through a Power Theory Matrix

***JOTD Update – This is in response to my post on June 30, 2009 regarding Jay-Z – D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)***

Our good friend Joshua Hersh recently brought to my attention an article from Foreign Policy magazine that has been generating a lot of varied reactions online and has been making its way around international policy circles. The article in question, “Jay-Z vs the Game: Lessons for the American Primacy Debate” by Marc Lynch, has spurned so many reactions that they set up a second post just for the “reaction highlights.”

The article quite cleverly explores the recent beef between The Game and Jay-Z within the framework of international relations and various theories on power. In this context, Jay-Z is imagined as a hegemonic, world-dominating power on par with the United States, with The Game a mid-level actor attacking the dominant king for his perceived abuse of power in dissing so many top rappers in his most recent single, “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune).” In this “‘power transition narrative” (which, Lynch is quick to point out, seems like an oddly-timed power grab, given that Jay-Z “hardly looks like a declining power” right now), The Game is hoping to exploit Jay-Z’s position as an establishment figure, painting him as a tyrant wrongly using the influence of his “alliance structure” to further his aims at the cost of more mid-level powers (e.g. Jay-Z’s rumored hand in preventing Chris Brown from performing at the BET Video Awards). In this narrative, The Game hopes that his public outcries against Jay will become the rallying cry that galvanizes similar mid-level powers to back his coup attempt.

Most of the comments that I have seen have either been expressions of outrage that such a topic could be written about in serious journalism outlets, or thoughtful and funny responses such as this post by Jonathan Wallace in The Washington Note with a picture of Obama, well, brushing his shoulder off, Jay-Z style.

Rather than enter into the debate in any analytical fashion, and as a sign of our commitment to exploring both sides of every issue, today as the Jam of the Day I give you “I’m So Wavy” from The Game. This track is The Game’s latest diss on Jay-Z, and is a nice counterpoint to our post on Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.” I think at this point we’re pretty much living in a world free of West Coast v. East Coast nonsense. But obviously, if it came down to it, we’d have to stand with Brooklyn’s Finest. That being said, check that line in here about T-Pain that sounds suspiciously like my earlier comments on “D.O.A.” Maybe The Game has been reading ev2bk…

The Game – I’m So Wavy:

How hot is that beat? I can imagine a couple remixes already, what with Wavy sounding like Weezy, Jeezy, and baby, the possibilities are nearly endless.

-Drew

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