Wizards Music Survey: Jay-Z or Nas; Drake or Wale | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Music Survey: Jay-Z or Nas; Drake or Wale

Updated: April 4, 2013

It’s been debated to the point of irrelevancy. Most will tell you, Jay-Z over Nas, especially with the back-minded consideration that the former has Beyoncé on his arm. And Kelis probably hates Nas… So. Much. Right. Now!

It was always mostly about lyricism, amongst the variety of other factors that go into one’s musical experience. I still personally struggle with the debate. They are the two best rappers alive, and for my money, not alive, too (at risk of committing hip-hop blasphemy in not buying into the over-inflated value in the lives and skills of Tupac and Biggie after death).

If Jay-Z’s debut album, Reasonable Doubt, is a 9.8, then Nas’ debut, Illmatic, is a 9.9—I’m hesitant to give anything, even LeBron’s basketball skills, a perfect 10. Ask me in the early-to-mid-2000s (Blueprint albums to the Black Album), and I’d be more inclined to say Jay-Z. Ask me later in my timeline (Street’s Disciple/Hip Hop is Dead to Life is Good), and I’d be more inclined to say Nas (including up to this very day).

I’ll concede that some of Nas’ lows are lower than Jay-Z’s lows, and that Jay-Z’s overall career is more decorated. And I might also find some irony that Nas’ “Ether” effectively killed the mano a mano battle between the two (although Hova’s “Blueprint 2” retaliation off the Blueprint 2 album was pretty badass).

Perhaps it’s all nonsensical … debate for the sake of debate—it’s practically what fuels the Internet. So, why not rehash the subject with some modern day Wizards, of Washington. And while the more current-day “Wale vs. Drake” debate doesn’t reach the same proportions, we might as well ask the same Wizards who they’d pick between those two. And finally, in the survey below, I ask most of the participants (with two exceptions) about an artist they listen to that a lot of people might not know about, which was quite an interesting look into varying locker room personas. Leggo.

Garrett Temple >>>

Nas or Jay-Z?

“I don’t know, man … with all that Illuminati stuff coming out, man, I don’t… I mean, I was a fan of Blueprint. I never really listened to Nas. I’m from the South, man, so I was on 400 Degreez and all that stuff.”

[I quickly drop the fact that I know 400 Degreez is Juvenile, even toss out a ‘DJ Screw’ reference for good measure … to also cover Texas. I do not, however, reveal that I owned compact disks for the following No Limit artists: Soulja Slim, Mia X, and Mr. Serv On. What can I say? I went to college in the South and have an eclectic collection of music.]

“… And I’m more of an R&B guy, but I listen to a lot more Jay-Z than I do Nas. But Nas is… Ether was one of the toughest songs I’ve ever heard.”

Wale or Drake?

“Whoo… That’s a tough one. I’ve liked Wale since he came out, I’ve liked Drake since he came out. That’s a tough one… I’m going to have to say it’s a tie. I like both of them. I like Drake’s beats, Wale got … I don’t know, man.”

Artist you listen to that a lot of people might not know about:

“I’m going to put my Baton Rouge guy out there in terms of rapper … a guy named Kevin Gates. I got a couple… Gates is hardcore rap. Also, a guy named Lecrae, he’s a Christian Rapper, then a guy named Dee-1. So look them up.”

[I did. Lecrae (@Lecrae) comes from Atlanta, GA and was featured in an ESPN article last year. He has connected with a lot of athletes, including Jeremy Lin, who calls Lecrae his favorite rapper. Dee-1 (@Dee1music) is from New Orleans and started rapping when he was at LSU, attending class in Baton Rouge the same time Temple did. Kevin Gates can be found on Twitter here: @Kevin_Gates.]

“Jay, 50 and Weezy” by Dee-1

“Satellites” by Kevin Gates

“Tell the World” by Lecrae

Martell Webster >>>

Nas or Jay-Z?


[Me, surprised: “You’d choose Nas? I mean, I might choose Nas, too, but most guys…”]

“No, I would definitely choose Jay-Z. Reasonable Doubt? C’mon man, that’s classic.”

[Yep, Martell got me. I then acknowledged truth in Reasonable Doubt being a classic.]

Wale or Drake?

“Drake. But I like Wale, too.”

[Webster was not aware that Wale had approached the Raptors broadcast crew (specifically, Matt Devlin) at a Wizards-Raptors game in late-February for a variety of reasons, including Drake-baiting, but did get a kick out of it when I told him about the “local rapper” part.]

Artist you listen to that a lot of people might not know about:

“Brant Colella. He’s kind of like a grunge, rock—like a folk, grunge-style rock. He’s from New York, but he lives in Portland, Oregon, and I know him.”

You can follow Collela on Twitter at @brantcollela, along with this recent endorsement from Webster:


Unplugged Stuff by Brandt Colella

Cartier Martin >>>

Nas or Jay-Z?

“Jay-Z. I’ve never really been a fan of Nas, actually. I just think Jay-Z is one of the best, man.”

Wale or Drake?

“Drake! … Hands down, man. Drake’s shit nice, man… Drake’s nice right now.”

[Cartier was not aware of Wale’s confrontation with Matt Devlin.]

Artist you listen to that a lot of people might not know about:

“That’s easy. Lil’ Boosie.”

[At this point, I chime in… “Even I’ve heard of Lil’ Boosie.” While technically true, I can’t really say that I’ve ‘heard’ Lil’ Boosie—for this piece, yea—but I can also say that I’ll probably be ‘OK’ limiting my Boosie exposure going forward. I imagine he’s the rapper equivalent of having Andray Blatche and Gilbert Arenas make a McDonald’s cheeseburger for you. It’s going to contain unnatural ingredients via McDonald’s; it’s going to contain unnatural ingredients via Arenas and Blatche; you’re probably better off not eating it.]

“Lil’ Webbie, too … gotta throw the Webbie in there.”

[Always Webbie. Totally. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a track containing both Boosie and Webbie, and Young Jeezy—2009’s “Better Believe It.” If I were you, just keep reading without pressing play on the YouTube below.]

Emeka Okafor >>>

Nas or Jay-Z?


Wale or Drake?

“I’m going to go Wale for the D.C. connection.”

Artist you listen to that a lot of people might not know about:

“I’m a big Jill Scott fan, actually.”

[I think most people have heard of Jill Scott … she has won a Grammy, after all. Alas, I don’t have many of her songs in my ever-expanding music collection. One I do have is her collaboration with Rare Essence, “It’s Love.”  Good song.]

“So in Love” by Jill Scott ft. Anthony Hamilton

John Wall >>>

[To note: Wall usually gives a “blah, blah, blah, I don’t talk to media before the game” speil. Great.

A lot of guys are like this, no biggie. And sometimes you can pry more answers from Wall in the pre-game, but for purposes of this survey, I kept it simple.]

Nas or Jay-Z?


Wale or Drake?


Trevor Ariza >>>

[I got quick answers from Ariza, too, but for a different reason. When I asked, he was still getting over that flu, so he didn’t have much of a voice. You can essentially count his answers the same as Wall’s.]

Nas or Jay-Z?


Wale or Drake?


A.J. Price >>>

Nas or Jay-Z?

“Um, Nas.”

[Me, surprised, but not totally surprised since Price is from New York. Still, I asked “Why?”]

“I don’t mess with Jay-Z, for other reasons I choose not to get into.”

[Me: “Um… New York reasons?”]


[OK then. Probably similar to how Wale used to say he was a bigger fan of the Heat and Nuggets and that he wasn’t really a Wizards fan. Reason being, I suspect, is that he and DeShawn Stevenson had some club beef over some girl. Very TMZ. But hey, now Wale is a Wizards fan. So perhaps not similar at all.]

Wale or Drake?

“Both of them are good, young artists. I would go with Drake right now.”

[Price was aware of Wale’s antics at the Wizards-Raptors game… “I saw that, that was crazy,” he said.]

Artist you listen to that a lot of people might not know about:

“Max B.”

[Being somewhat aware that a “Max B” exists, I asked Price about his affiliation with Dipset, or rather, The Diplomats.]

“[He was with them] for a little while, now he’s more independent. Max is probably who I listen to the most that people wouldn’t know.”

[For reference, and according to Wikipedia, Max B served time in jail from 1997 to 2005, and in 2009, he started serving a 75-year prison sentence; that case is currently going through the appeals process. His Twitter handle, @MaxBiggavelli, derives from the fact that he thinks he’s a combination of Biggie, Jay-Z and Tupac.]

“All My Life” by Max B

Trevor Booker >>>

Nas or Jay-Z?

“Hmm… I don’t know. I’ve been on Nas recently.”

[Me: “Which album have you been listening to?”]

“His last one, can’t remember the name of it right now.” [Life is Good] “So right now, I’ll say Nas. Ask me back in the day and I’d say Jay-Z … Jay-Z is too big time for me right now.”

Wale or Drake?

“Oh, Drake all day. I don’t really like Wale like that.”

[From the background, Cartier Martin chimes in, telling Booker not to say that since Wale is from D.C.]

Booker: “I don’t give a shit.”

[Cartier continues laughing, talking about how Wale comes to games, that he’s going to ask, “Where’s Trevor Booker at?,” etc.]

“He’s going to say something to me?” said Booker to Martin. “He’d probably say he don’t like my game.”

[Laughter ensued—Booker definitely heard about Wale’s confrontation with Devlin.]

Artist you listen to that a lot of people might not know about:

“Los from Baltimore… King Los.”

[Me: “Going with a Baltimore guy, huh?”]

“I found him on the Internet somehow, and he’s been my favorite rapper ever since.”

[King Los can be found on Twitter at @iamKingLos]

“Becoming King” by King Los

… And this is about where we end this whole thing. Six votes for Jay-Z, two votes for Nas; six votes for Drake, one vote for Wale, and one split vote. Thanks for stopping by.

“Who You Wit?” by Jay-Z

“The World is Yours” by Nas

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.