Haters wanna ball, let me tighten up my drawstring/ Wrong sport, boy, you know you soft as a lacrosse team.
And that’s why we’re here today: a line in a rap song, presumably about Canadian rapper Drake (aka Drizzy Drake), in DJ Khaled’s new song “They Don’t Love You No More,” featuring French Montana, Rick Ross and Jay Z (aka Jigga, aka Hov/Hova/J Hova, aka Iceberg Slim but nobody’s really called him that in about twenty years), the man who uttered the above line in question.
Chances are you haven’t heard the actual song, so here’s a quick summary: you’ve got some auto-tune, a bunch of profanity, DJ Khaled yelling his own name for no reason, and a mediocre, mass-produced beat… you know, pretty standard stuff for the pop rap music of today. Then of course, you have Jay Z’s verse, which has triggered a firestorm of outrage throughout the lacrosse community.
Major League Lacrosse quickly responded in an official statement to MTV news, because either MTV news called Major League Lacrosse asking for an official statement, or MLL called MTV, and said:
…We don’t think Jay-Z knows what he’s talking about when he calls Lacrosse ‘soft’ I can guarantee you it is anything but a ‘soft’ sport…Mr. Carter would not last one minute on a lacrosse field during a match and he is more than welcome to come to any of our games and try…
It’s good to know where everyone stands on this issue, but questions remain, namely how did we get here, and what do we do now? Seeing as many of us are fans of both Jay Z and lacrosse, and we now find ourselves in a highly unexpected position, I’ve put together a brief Q&A session so we can better understand this beef between Drake, Jay Z and the lacrosse community.
Q: Wait… what just happened? Is this actually serious?
A: That is a perfectly understandable reaction; none of this makes any sense on its own. Why would any of these three nouns feud with one another?
It all started back in January, with Drake, in an interview with Rolling Stone, lamenting how common talking about art has become in rap. “It’s like Hov can’t drop bars these days without at least four art references!” he said (which is completely valid; the lyric sheets to Magna Carta Holy Grail read like Scrooge McDuck’s Christmas list). “I would love to collect at some point, but I think the whole rap/art world thing is getting kind of corny.”
Upon hearing Drake’s complaint, Jay Z replied on Jay Electronica’s “We Made It,” saying “Sorry Mr. Drizzy for so much art talk/ Silly me rappin’ ’bout [stuff] that I really bought.” That’s essentially just bragging about being an art collector, and not really an insult at all, unless you consider calling Drake “Mr. Drizzy” an insult (and you’d have every right to), yet Drake poked the bear once more during the NBA playoffs, where his hometown Raptors were facing Jay Z’s hometown Nets. Drake, pretty much out of nowhere, commented during the broadcast that Jay Z was “somewhere eating a fondue plate,” which is apparently where Jay Z draws the line.
His heart set on vengeance, Jay hopped back in the booth for his “They Don’t Love You No More” response, which brings us to today.
Seriously, that is actually what happened. I know, it’s like a teenage soap opera.
Q: Why did Jay take a shot a lacrosse?
A: Does Jay Z hate lacrosse? Has he ever even watched a game? He’s worn a jacket with a lacrosse stick on it before, but seeing as there doesn’t appear to be a past lyrical history of conflict between the two, here are two conspiracy theories:
1) With lacrosse being Canada’s national sport and (with all due respect to Snow) Drake being Canada’s most popular rapper, Jay simply went after something presumably close to his heart.
2) “Lacrosse team” sort of rhymes with “drawstring,” and there’s literally nothing else to it. Like nothing. Seriously.
Q: How would Jay Z do on a lacrosse field?
A: Considering he’s a 44 year old man with (to my knowledge) no lacrosse experience, I’m guessing not well. However, since we’re talking lacrosse, and not The Hunger Games, the MLL’s whole “wouldn’t last one minute” sentiment seems a bit severe, doesn’t it? Regardless, it came from a place of anger; I think we all understand.
Q: Who’s going to answer on lacrosse’s behalf?
A: Several noted figures in the lacrosse community have expressed their displeasure via twitter, but Jay Z probably doesn’t follow them, or anyone who retweeted them, so the message may have fallen on deaf ears. Besides, when someone comes at you like this, you don’t tweet, you get in the booth and you clap back; that’s just how it goes. That having been said, here are the top three nominees most likely to spit hot fire in honor of the game we love:
3) Rob Ford – Not only is Ford the Mayor of Toronto, but he and Drake are longtime pals, as clearly evidenced by the fact that they hung out on an occasion where the two of them were in the same place for some reason… the NBA All-Star game. Maybe that means nothing, but not only is Ford down with Drizzy, he also loves lacrosse, per this recent tweet:
He’s a very distant third, but there you have it: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is a big fan of the rock. Well, moving on.
2) Method Man – The most popular member of the Wu-Tang Clan is arguably the most successful former lacrosse playing rapper of all time, having honed his skills while growing up in Hempstead, Long Island. He’s also Jay Z’s former employee, from Jay’s tenure as president of Def Jam records. Even if he only kind of likes lacrosse, it’s still an opportunity to tell off his old boss, and you can’t pass that up.
1) Bear Davis – That’s right, head coach of the Ohio Machine. His squad had a convincing win last weekend to kick off the season, he’s likely feeling pretty confident right now and in hindsight, his now-famous “We’re going to walk into gun fights this year with guns, instead of knives” quote sounds like he’s responding to Jay Z’s “It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight” quote from “Takeover.” Wait, is that what this is really about? You’d have to assume Jay heard the Bear Davis quote by now, right? If you started this mess, Davis, you better get in the booth and finish it.
Q: How do we move on?
A: It’s simple, really. Although the league called him out, the New York Lizards need to politely and earnestly invite him to a game. He’ll come out and watch, shake some hands, kiss some babies, smooth things over, and we’ll have a good laugh about this whole silly misunderstanding.
Or, Drake and Jay Z could play a game of 1-on-1 at halftime of an MLL game. Either way, I’m happy.
If all goes well, maybe he’ll mention them the next time he raps about New York. He talks Knicks, Nets and Yankees, why not Lizards? A thousand things rhyme with “Rob Pannell.” Look, I’ll get the ball rolling: “Saved by the Bell.” That one’s free, Hov, you’re welcome.