You knew he had beef with Nas, but who would have guessed Jay-Z could count Austin Powers and Foxxy Cleopatra among his allies? It's enough to make Dr. Evil hold a pinky to his lips.
"We're just trying to create a 'Six Degrees of Separation' with Mike Myers and the whole thing," Jay-Z said on Thursday (November 7), describing the title track of his upcoming album, The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse (see "Jay-Z Album Preview: Hova Ups The Ante With Blueprint 2").
On "Blueprint 2," the Jiggaman sparks up another round with Nas and does his best Austin Powers impersonation, using the British agent's catchphrase, "Oh behave!" Jay's album also features Beyoncé Knowles, who starred as Foxxy Cleopatra in "Austin Powers in Goldmember," the 2002 film that won laughs with Austin's rendition of "Hard Knock Life." Hmm.
"Nah, it just came together like that," Jay said, explaining the connection. "That movie was coming out when I was making that song, so I was influenced by that. It just all ties in together."
"You have to understand that what we had as rappers was exactly what it is," he explained of his never-ending lyrical feud with Nas a few weeks ago in New York (see "Nas Vs. Jay-Z: Grade-A Beef"). "It's music. It's just us being creative. We're competitive at what we do. That is what rap music was built on — 'I'm better than you,' you know? We just had a full-on clash, so I don't know. It might go on forever.
"It's not a violent thing, it's a music thing," he continued. "I think it helps. I think it helped the guy out; I think he made better music. It's doing a great job for me, because after making so many albums, you need something to spark you."
There's no end in sight to Jay and Nas' lyrical entanglement. On "Blueprint 2," Jay accuses his verbal adversary of being a hypocrite and tries to expose him.
"Can't y'all see that he's fake/ The rap version of T.D. Jakes ..." Jay rhymes on the song. "Y'all buy into this sh-- , caught up in the hype/ 'Cause a ni---a wear a kufi/ Don't mean that he right/ 'Cause you don't understand him/ Don't mean that he's nice/ It just means you don't understand all the bullsh-- that he writes."
Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway and Curtis Waller