Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You know who's really cool?

Jay-Z is cool. Really cool. Probably cooler than Miles Davis, who might have invented the concept of being cool in the early 1950s.

Today, Jay-Z released his ninth hip-hop album, "Kingdom Come" after a self-imposed, two-year retirement. And while it's a subpar album - by his standards, of course (it would be a masterpiece for someone like Lil' Boosie), Jay-Z could probably care less.

Maybe he got bored of directing the careers of no-names like Memphis Bleek and Freeway.. Maybe there's only so many times you can vacation in St. Tropez. Maybe he's really inspired by the challenge of knocking dudes like Unk from the top of the rap charts.

Or maybe he just likes making music, and doing so allows him to make guest appearances in the "Monday Night Football" booth like he did last night. That's cool.

He's the third-best selling rap artist of all time (behind 2Pac and Eminem), makes the kind of money that would have kept Hammer out of bankruptcy, owns part of the NBA's New Jersey Nets and gets to see Beyonce naked semi-regularly. That's really cool.

This is where I find myself feeling like a 13-year-old loser again, like Kevin Arnold in "Wonder Years." I like to think of myself as cool, but judged against Jay-Z standards, I might as well be the Screech to his Zack Morris. If its even that close.

This is inherently a sad thing. Being cool shouldn't be an issue now that I'm 28, but who am I kidding: everything I do is aimed at being considered cool. From the clothes I wear, to the furniture in my apartment, to the gym shorts I recently bought that hang to my shins, to the four-door sedan I bought in 2003. Cool is important, not just to me, but also to you.

Anyway, here's the point of all this rambling: who's the coolest person that you can think of? I mean a celebrity, too, not your 40-year-old uncle who still goes to Black-Eyed Peas concerts and drives an Escalade.

Someone asked me this a few years ago - very seriously, I might add - and I said Michael Jordan. But having seen him come out of retirement to play with the Washington Wizards and his corny Fruit of the Loom ads, I'm now ashamed that I ever thought that.

So, for me, it's Jay-Z. Long live the Hov. What about you?


Donecia Pea said...

Lol! Joel has a man crush, awwwww, lol. Well, I have to agree with you (for ONCE!) Jay-Z is one of the coolest folks out there right now. But from a girl's standpoint, I think Sanaa Lathan is SO cool!
Like if I could be a celeb, I would be her, b/c she's so naturally talented in every role she portrays and she has this natural beauty and elegance about her too and to me, she reps for us brown-skinned sistas. Plus, she doesn't play the same surface-deep roles all the time.
She always brings this unique mix of sophistication and down-to-earth qualities to her roles that makes you want to be like her (Well, except for her current role in "Nip/Tuck," but still, she rocks!) Yay Sanaa!

Anonymous said...

Quentin Tarantino. Without a doubt, the coolest person on earth.

Vdizzle said...

Joel...you're a nerd. But Jay-Z would definately be at the top of my cool list too. But unlike you I would never disrespect a legend like you just did.
Hov cooler than Miles Davis? I'm mad a you boy. On a woman's note, Salma Hayek definately...and Wendy off South Park. Lol.
See you all in a week and a half.

Stephanie Netherton said...

the coolest thing about Jay-Z recent album was that on the release day he did mini-concerts all over the country starting in Atlanta. At each stop, he pick up a fan who won the spot through a radio contest and take them along for the rest of the stops! Now that is cool!

Donecia Pea said...

Wow, that is cool! You know what I thought was as cool or possibly cooler? On the Steve Harvey Morning Show, as a promotion for his album, he gave away like a 10-cd pack to listeners, which included every CD he's ever released all the way up to his latest "Kingdom Come" release. Man, what a collection.

Anonymous said...

If Jay Z even dreams he's cooler than Miles Davis he better wake up and apologize.

Miles Davis was not concerned with clothing lines, or ... doesn't Jay Z have his own Jay-Z-Os breakfast cereal? Jay-Z Building Blocks for toddlers? Jay-Z's Fabulous Scented Cup Holders?

Miles Davis only cared about playing jazz. And doing heroin. Lots and lots of heroin.

Anonymous said...

Halle Berry. You have to give it up for her.

Vdizzle said...

Thank you Tim. THANK. YOU.

Joel Anderson said...

Thank you? For what, Vanessa?

Miles Davis may have given birth to cool, but Jay-Z raised it up.

Also, Davis not only liked heroin, he had a taste for cocaine. Jay-Z, for all we know, could have been his dealer in the 80s.

Since when did the dopehead become "cooler" than the dope dealer?

It's also cool to have varied interests, especially those that increase your bank account.

Tim, you know you wear a Roc-a-Wear shirt around the house.

And did I mention that Jay-Z also gets to see Beyonce naked? Miles had Cicely Tyson but still...I'll take Beyonce everyday and twice on Sunday.

Andrei said...

Think about this. Miles was cool when being black wasn't cool. No marketing, no I used to sell blow just a man and his horn. And during the racially charged times that were then the white folks also embraced Miles. Jay-Z on the other hand came about when being black and supposedly doing things black people do is in style. It takes a little practice to develope rhyme schemes. It takes a gift to dump your soul into the wailing of a trumpet. And if money is what makes a person cool then all of you are quite misguided.