While Kanye was busy meeting with a former reality television star in New York, Jay-Z was igniting a beef with a different New York icon.
For those who don’t know, former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach and current New York Knicks general manager Phil Jackson has a beef stewing with all star Cleveland Cavalier small forward Lebron James. When asked about Lebron James, Jackson made references to Lebron’s friends and business partners as a “posse.” Lebron took exception to Jackson’s use of the word noting that it had a negative connotation and suggested that Lebron’s friends were hangers-on rather than the respectable business people that they are. Jackson claimed he didn’t mean it that way and refused to apologize. Before a game in Madison Square Garden last week Lebron told the press that he thought the use of the word demonstrated how much further Black people had to go in this country. Then his Cavaliers went out and beat Phil’s Knicks like they owed him money. Beef over.
Or is it? At the Sports Illustrated Gala on December 12, 2016 Jay-Z took a shot at Phil Jackson while introducing Lebron James. According to ESPN, Jay said that James was “the son who honors and worships his mother, Gloria. The friend who put his posse in position.” Apparently the crowd laughed after the line recognizing Jay-Z’s somewhat subtle jab.
The gala was held in Brooklyn a place where Jay-Z feels pretty at home. His entire speech lasted over five minutes; the posse shot was a very small part of it, but it’s the part that made headlines. Another, less covered aspect of the speech was the fact that Jay-Z read it from a cell phone. He didn’t have a teleprompter and while many people do use the phone for notes these days, this is Jay-Z. He’s the rapper who never used to write lyrics down. Oh how the mighty have fallen! Even Young Hov gets old.
It seems unlikely that Phil Jackson will comment on the Jay-Z burn, but you never know. Phil loves a good public battle. Maybe he’ll drop a diss track.