The Essayist

Aggregated long-form essays from the world's best writers and publications.

The House that Hova Built

Disclaimer: unless you live under a rock, you’ve almost certainly read this. Zadie Smith on Jay Z

Asking why rappers always talk about their stuff is like asking why Milton is forever listing the attributes of heavenly armies. Because boasting is a formal condition of the epic form. And those taught that they deserve nothing rightly enjoy it when they succeed in terms the culture understands.

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