Last week, after trying his hardest to set the New York Knicks back a decade with yet another thrilling performance at Madison Square Garden, LeBron James took it upon himself to slyly declare himself the “king of New York” in an Instagram post. JAY-Z, an obvious perennial candidate for the coveted title, has fired back with a good-natured response from his 4:44 Tour stop in Cleveland.
While on stage in The Land on Sunday night, Hov invited fans to join him as he prepared to pose for a photo on stage. The fan footage picks up after Jay has already begun his mini-speech, but he can clearly be heard saying, “I told [LeBron] I’m coming to Cleveland, so I’m the king of Cleveland now!” Crowd screams ensue, and dad Jay poses for his photo.
“I’m the king of Cleveland now!”
— JAY-Z Daily (@JAY_Z_Daily) November 20, 2017
As cool as that moment was—rappers and ballers always seem to interact seamlessly, especially when they share a cabinet (#never forget)—Jay’s claim to #Believeland isn’t as strong as LeBron’s. It’s not like every time he comes to Cleveland, “Public Service Announcement” or “U Don’t Know” goes twice as hard; it’s not like Jay has made more money touring in Cleveland than LeBron has made in his career with the Cavs. There isn’t a singular JAY-Z and Cleveland-related statistic that suggests, to this writer’s knowledge at least, that Hov has dominated the city of Cleveland so mercilessly that he can be taken seriously with his “king of Cleveland” claim—especially when compared to James.
The fans are loving it though, and that’s probably the only thing that matters here.