Battle of the Egos: Jay-Z vs. Kanye West

Battle of the Egos: Jay-Z vs. Kanye West

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the Jay-Z & Kanye West album (“Watch the Throne”) was released today on iTunes.  Well, of course you certainly already knew that and probably had it marked on your calendar.  Thank goodness it was released today on iTunes and we could buy it today and not have to wait until later this week when it’s being release everywhere else! 

The most amazing thing about the release of “Watch the Throne” is that Kanye and Jay were able to fit their enormous heads into the same room.  What a fascinating battle of the egos that must have been!  Both are undeniably successful; however, their egos are almost intolerable.  I think Kanye is funny because his temper often gets the better of him, so it’s kind of like watching someone else’s toddler misbehaving—it’s entertaining because you don’t have to deal directly with it.  Unfortunately, Jay isn’t as funny. 

I decided to compile some quotes from both artists to measure whose were better.  I did not include any song lyrics- these had to be actual quotes either from interviews or captured mid-tantrum (Kanye).  Let the battle begin!


  • “George Bush doesn’t care about black people…They say black people are looting and white people are just looking for food.”  (Splitting hairs, Kanye.  Really!)  During a benefit for Hurricane Katrina
  • “This is the most offended I’ve ever been…this is the maddest I ever will be. I’m typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!!”  (Those Mac Books better not break from typing- my daughter just got one for college)  In a rant on his blog
  • “I don’t even listen to rap. My apartment is too nice to listen to rap in.” (And yet he is a…rapper?)  Radio interview, November 2008
  • “In America, they want you to accomplish these great feats, to pull off these David Copperfield-type stunts. You want me to be great, but you don't ever want me to say I'm great?” (Not me, Kanye.  I love it when you say you’re great!)  Rolling Stone interview, 2006
  • “God chose me. He made a path for me. I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”  (This one brings tears to my eyes- a true tragedy)  VH1’s “Storytellers”
  • “I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice.”  (Victory!)  Interview in November 2008
  • "I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I'm (expletive) insane, like I'm Hitler," he said. "One day the light will shine through and one day people will understand everything I ever did." (Well, I think we’re all anxious for that day)  Live performance in England last Saturday night


  • “Barack loves Hip-Hop, when I called him he was playing Blueprint in the gym, I’ve been invited to the White House a couple of times. Hopefully we’ll keep him in for 8 years so I’ll have time to get there.”  (Seriously?  You can’t free up your schedule to hang with the president for a few minutes?)  BBC Interview, February 2010
  • “I don’t dislike anything about myself.  I know this sounds a little arrogant but I really accept what God has given me. I’ve got a short temper but I work on controlling it. I can say inappropriate things because I believe them to be true and sometimes that can be hurtful to others. But I think in the long run it is more helpful.”  (Okay, points for being honest anyway)  Gotham Magazine, November 2009
  • “‘Cause all I want to do is make history at this point. They got to pay me to make history of course. But that’s my goal. I want to sit there with people really into making history. I mean everybody. I don’t mean just artists. The interns -if everybody’s not committed to making history every time I go into a meeting, and if I can’t look into their eyes and I don’t see the fire, then I gotta move on. ‘ Cause, you know, I don’t have time. I don’t have the luxury of time to just blow off three years. I do, but I don’t. But I’m not looking to have a job. That’s not hot!”  (You’re right, Jay.  Being without a job is NOT hot.  The unemployed people don’t think so either)  XXL Interview, December 2007
  • “If I don’t show the world growth, how are we going to grow?”  (How indeed?  The world will just come to a screeching halt, I guess.)  XXL Interview, December 2007

The Verdict:

This really seems almost unfair- it’s no contest.  Clearly Kanye has the bigger ego AND the shorter temper.  It’s two for the price of one.  Congrats, Kanye!

And now, I leave you with one of my favorite Kanye rants, accomplanied by the most uncomfortable Mike Myers.  Enjoy!

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