In part four of “Decoded,” Jay explains a line from “This Can’t Be Life” featuring Beanie Sigel and Geto Boys icon Scarface. In the lyric, Hov says, “Baby came out stillborn, still I gotta move on” which is a direct contradiction to the way the MC handles his personal life now. Helicopters could hardly get a shot of his and Beyoncé’s wedding, however, in that track, Jay-Z discusses one of the hardest things a couple can experience.
“This refers to something that happened to me around that time, 1994, when my girl of five years got pregnant and lost the baby in a miscarriage. Now, obviously, miscarriages happen everywhere, to anyone, but the point is that on top of the especially acute paranoia and disappointment and exhaustion I’m feeling from the street life, friends getting shot, your family being broke, I have to deal with the everyday tragedies that stalk everyone. And when that hits you, sometimes it becomes clear that you have to get out, that this really can’t be life, it has to be more.”
Jay-Z on MC Hammer
Several weeks ago, Jay unintentionally offended MC Hammer on Kanye West’s “So Appalled.” “I lost 30 mill so I spent another 30/ ‘Cause unlike Hammer, 30 mill can’t hurt me,” Jay spits on the track.
Hammer’s response included a music video that depicted Hov as a devil worshiper being chased through a forest by Satan himself. Jay responded to the barrage of disses saying that Hammer might regret his actions after he paid homage to him in his book. Well, here’s what he had to say in “Decoded.”
“I remember when Hammer was the biggest star in the world, in the eighties. There were a lot of people who clowned him because of the big pants and the dancing, like he was the rapper from Disney World. But Hammer was from East Oakland. Even when he was spinning around with his pants billowing all around him, you could see in his eyes that this was still a n—a from the hood. So when he was in Forbes magazine with eight figures after his name, big pants and all, I was impressed. It was a huge moment for hip-hop. A few years later, Hammer was filing for bankruptcy.”