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The Jaz


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The Jaz, now known as Jaz-O (b. Johnathan Burke) is an East Coast rapper, active in the late 1980s and early 1990s, best known for being a mentor of sorts to Jay-Z. Jaz is also known as The Originator. He had a song called “The Originators,” which featured a young Jay-Z in the late 1980s. As simply The Jaz, he had success with his 1990 single “Hawaiian Sophie,” from his debut album “Word to the Jaz”. He has been featured on some of Jay-Z’s songs, such as “Bring It On” (Reasonable Doubt) and the single “Nigga What, Nigga Who (Originator 99)” (Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life) as Big Jaz, and produced the single “Ain’t No Nigga” from Reasonable Doubt and the song “Rap Game/Crack Game” from In My Lifetime, Vol. 1.

Feud with Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella

When Jay-Z became famous and started Roc-A-Fella with Dame Dash, he tried to sign friends Jaz-O and Sauce Money to the label. Both refused because they didn’t agree with the contract and didn’t want anything to do with Dame Dash. This made Jay-Z angry but he didn’t let that ruin his relationship with Jaz-O. Some time after 2000, the Jay-Z and Jaz-O feud began to escalate and the two eventually stopped working together. Sources say that Jaz-O became jealous that his protege Jay-Z blew up in the rap industry faster than he did. Jaz-O reportedly spilled some “dirt” on Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella when being interviewed by a magazine. Several (Roc-A-Fella) artists released tracks dissing Jaz-O for that.


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