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Since cool is all relative for the sake of this argument I will define it as being someone whose lifestyle and mannerisms we look to emulate. Someone we look to, to know what car to drive, what clothes to wear and how to wear them. Basically, who has more influence over the culture? The other day I was asked whom I think is cooler between Jay-Z and Diddy and I had to give the crown to Mr. Sean Take That, Take That Combs.
Be clear, Im not accusing Jay-Z of being un-cool, so Jay stans fall back.
Bar none, Jay-Z and Diddy have set more trends than any other artists in the past decade. Theyve both parlayed their influence into lucrative businesses outside of music and have defined cool for a generation. However, to me it seems like Jays cool factor is depleting while Diddys only grows stronger.
I say that because I feel like Jay-Z used to REALLY influence people. If he said throwbacks were done it was over no questions asked. Jay says the 4.0 Range is no bueno??? You better go get a six. Button ups, Rocawear, Evisu Jeans, Maybachs, And so on and so on. We followed Jay from Marcy to Forbes and our tastes changed with his.
But recently not so much
Cristal isnt cool? Uhmmmm .if I had to choose between Ace Of Spades and Cristal, I want Cris. Its still the status symbol of choice unless of course youre Jockin Jay-Z. Autotune is dead? How many of your (or your girls) current favorite records have Autotune? All black everything? Did YOU run out and get a goth wardrobe? I didnt.
We still care what he has to say but nowadays its more like, Thanks for your opinion, Jay, but we like what we like still.
We respect him as an artist, we admire him as a businessman and revere him as a legend but we don’t really look to him to know whats cool anymore.
Diddys influence is also legendary. The mid to late 90s will forever be remembered as the Bad Boy era of shiny suits, bacchanal style partying and over the top opulence. Although hes not the most respected producer, rapper, actor (you get the idea) he does have a certain magic that has kept us intrigued over the years and we love him just as much today.Diddy is a big reason that Twitter and Ustream became the new, cool thing to do among urbanites. Jay-Z trends when his album drops but Diddy trends year round when he makes up phrases like #lockin, #twittassness, #letsgo etc. Much like Jay-Z, Diddy introduced us to a new liquor and told us it was the cool thing to drink. And, in my opinion Ciroc has been way more successful than other celebrity endorsed brands. We used to go for the Goose now we go for the Ciroc…it just feels more baller-like and, like I said above, no change on the high end champagne preference. He introduced us to the concept of Bitchassness, made it cool to vote (Vote or Die), and had swag long before we killed that word.
After giving it a little thought I believe Diddys cool factor has outlasted Jays because he has adapted to the internet in a way Hov hasnt. Jay-Zs whole image is secretive, secluded, exclusive which is why he never did cribs or anything like that. But now we like to know EVERYTHING about celebrities. We want them to Ustream while they record their albums, we want them to tweet what they eat, what theyre watching, who their with etc. We feel like we KNOW them especially Diddy so when he says, “Ciroc is the drink to drink” it’s like one of our friends co-signing.But Jay has almost NO internet presence (Well, there is roc4life.com) he’s still as secluded as he was in the 90’s. So when he drops an album of course we all want to hear it – he’s an icon – but when he has a new cool thing for us to do (or not do) we’re not so eager to follow because we don’t feel the same connection.Lastly, you have to keep in mind I’m not talking about grown folks and Jay and Diddys command over their habits. I mean the kids. If you can still remember how quickly things changed when Jay said throwbacks weren’t cool you’ll always remember Jay as that cultural titan. But there’s a whole generation of kids coming into adulthood that don’t remember that. They don’t even remember the shiny suit days but they know Diddy from @iamdiddy, youtube, Making The Band etc.
Well there goes my argument what do you think?? When you put talent and music aside – which of these two rap gods is cooler?