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On November 18, Memphis Bleek was approached by TMZ during a press run in New York City and asked a few questions. When TMZ inquired why he hadn’t collaborated with Jay-Z in the past two decades, the I Get High singer replied:
“He know I’m nicer than him. That’s why. He know I’ll burn him. He don’t want to put me on no record with him when I’m a smoke his boots. He like, ‘Bleek? Nah, put Bleek away. He too nice right now.’
Fans took to social media to mock Bleek’s nicer than Jay-Z comments:
Bleek continued to add, saying,
“I’m just nicer than him. That’s why he told me sell liquor. He’s like, ‘Bleek, you gotta stop rhyming. You too nice, n**gas going to think you write my rhymes. Just f**k with the liquor.’ I was like, ‘Aight Hov.’”
On August 23, Bleek was approached by TMZ as he was leaving LAX airport. When asked about the potential of working on a joint record with Jay-Z, Bleek stated that, while he wishes for a partnership, Jay-Z is far gone.
“I was supposed to try this when he had $100 million, not a billion (laughs),” Bleek said. “When you got a billion, it’s hard to get you in the booth. Only his wife can do it, Beyoncé.”
Jay-Z and Bleek are known for doing a dozen collaborations nearly two decades ago, with some record-breaking tracks such as Coming of Age in 1996, Is That Your Chick in, and Change the Game, as well as Dear Summer in 2005.
“It’s funny cause I don’t know who bro is,” say Jay-Z fans about Memphis Bleek
After the interaction went viral, many Jay-Z fans were quick to troll Memphis Bleek for his “nicer than him” comment. Some pointed out that they don’t even know who the rapper is.
Jay-Z and Bleek met in 1996; they both hail from the same neighborhood. During an interview with the vlogger DJ Vlad in 2014, Bleek also revealed that his mother was best friends with Jay-Z’s sister. After the meeting, Jay-Z featured him on Reasonable Doubt, which served as the kickstart to Bleek’s rap career.
However, in the past couple of years, Memphis Bleek has stepped away from rapping and focused on promoting other rap artists. He now works more or less full-time for Jay-Z’s cognac brand, D’Usse.
Since Jay-Z took him under his wing, Memphis Bleek has come to be known as an alleged failed rapper, an understudy in the eyes of Jay-Z’s fan base and other netizens following the rap industry.