Jay-Z Cameos, 2011-2013
As far as guest spots and cameos are concerned, Jay-Z's output has slowed to a trickle in recent years, just like his friend and protégé Kanye West. So when Hova offers a verse to us mortals, we usually scrutinize it and pick apart its entrails. Hence the so-called controversy over whether Kendrick Lamar rapped better than him on the "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" remix; or if his verse on Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" was a mere throwaway. But if the rap intelligentsia thinks he has been on a downward trajectory ever since Kingdom Come, then why do we still care? Other rappers who fell off didn't receive as gentle a landing as Mr. Carter, who will earn yet another No. 1 album with Magna Carta Holy Grail despite mixed reviews. Perhaps we love to take shots at the king. More likely, our admiration for one of the most talented rappers ever is more deeply rooted than we're willing to admit.