This is one for the history books.
Jay-Z die hard fans are well familiar with the lore surrounding The Bronx Pool Hall, where a young Jay-Z engaged in a legendary rap battle against DMX. To make matters even crazier, Big L and Dame Dash were both on hand as spectators, with the former managing to capture some of Jigga's bars on (still unreleased) video footage. To hear Dame tell it, the moment is an important cornerstone in pop culture DNA, and it's a shame that it remains unseen to this day. Imagining DMX and Jay-Z going head to head would have truly been something to behold.
On that note, we may have the next best thing. Footage from The New Music Seminar in New York has recently surfaced, after one fan did some serious VHS crate digging. In the footage, Jay-Z (with Dame Dash, DJ Clark Kent, and Harry Allen in tow) can be seen partaking in a rap battle, getting up close and personal while spitting some bars. His style is completely different, more akin to the dexterous lyrical style of the early nineties. While that hasn't exactly aged well in today's climate, Jay's talent is pretty evident from the jump, and the way he controlled the crowd foreshadowed his rise to stardom.
It's definitely a great find, and watching this feels like watching a piece of history. Again, it may not be the infamous DMX battle, but it's still cool to see a young and hungry Jay-Z in action. The video is captioned as taking place in 1993, which puts it three years ahead of Jay's debut Reasonable Doubt. For those of ya'll who came up on New York hip-hop, this is a must-watch, especially if you're a fan of Reasonable Doubt. Can there really be any doubt that Jay-Z is, at the very least, top three?