Street smart but I’m book smart

Like many hip hop fans around the globe, I’ve had Watch the Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye’s recent full-length collabo) on repeat for a few days now. I’m still awaiting judgement, but wanted to get a quick science shoutout out there.

At the end of the dubstep-sampling “Who gon’ stop me?”, Jay goes on a rant about his success despite a lack of formal education (not even a high school diploma). He has the raw intelligence that he could have been a scientist. Instead he applied himself at selling drugs, then at becoming the biggest rap mogul in the world. It’s all summed up at 3:40.

Street smart but I’m book smart.
Coulda been a chemist ’cause I cook smart.

If this was a blog about hip hop and high art, I would have a lot more to work with. Just a few lines earlier, Jay references his love of the NY Museum of Modern Art, and his taste for Picasso, Rothkos, and Rilkes. And given the number of references throughout the album and other recent songs, I’m beginning to worry that he’ll run out of ways to rhyme with Basquiat.






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