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?