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Name That Lyric: Acclaimed Poet or Jay Z?

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More foreign than China or Vagina / More alarming than going down Niagara on Viagra.

"Rap is poetry…You take those lyrics and you pull them away from the music and you put them up on the wall somewhere, and someone had to look at them, they would say, 'This is genius. This is genius work.'” So says Jay Z, who recently confirmed hip hop's art-status with a top-secret gallery performance attended by the likes of death-stare legend Marina Abramovic and confused art critic Jerry Saltz, who admitted "hip-hop is not exactly my bailiwick" before he gave Jay Z's performance an A+. Meanwhile, Jay Z is AFKA'ing it up by asserting that he's dropping his hyphen now that he's performing at minimalist Chelsea galleries. We'll play his game: Guess which is the Jay Z lyric and which is a quote from an acclaimed poet. (Highlight the text next to "Answer" to see which is which.)

1. Jay Z vs. Robert Lowell
"King size, dream machines, the green fives
I've seen pies let the thing between my eyes analyze life's ills"

"The season's ill—
we've lost our summer millionaire"

Answer: The first one is Jay Z

2. Jay Z vs. C.P. Cavafy
"Sitting —half comic and half tragic—
inside their old, threadbare skins"

"I put down the cans and they ran amok
My hairpin piece
skin rupture"

Answer: The second one is Jay Z

3. Jay Z vs. Gaius Valerius Catullus
"Do you think you're the only ones with cocks,
the only ones who're allowed to trouble
young girls"

"Cocky bow-legged stance
A thing of beauty, watch me"

Answer: The second one is Jay Z

4. Jay Z vs. Ronaldo V. Wilson
"Hov just landed in Rome, nigga
All hail, Caesar's home, niggas
Chin don, Ciao Bella"

"More foreign than China or Vagina
More alarming than going down Niagara on Viagra
And it makes me feel stupid when I get close"

Answer: The first one is Jay Z

5. Jay Z  vs. Edgar Allan Poe
"The nose of a mob is its imagination."

"What's a mob to a king?"

Answer: The second one is Jay Z

6. Jay Z vs. Elizabeth Bishop
"I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook"

"I taught 'em about fish scale they want me to fish for them
They want me to catch clean, then cook up a dish for them"

Answer: The second one is Jay Z

7. Jay Z vs. Gabriel Gudding
"I don't care if you C. Delores Tuck-it
Or if you Bill O'Reilly, you only rylin me up
For three years, they had me peein out of a cup"

"Stuck Fuck you Donald
Rumsfeld in your 1960s Astronaut buzzcut"

Answer: The first one is Jay Z

8. Jay Z vs. Arthur Rimbaud
"Do you think that Paris — tart — cares a rap
For your souls, your bodies, your poisons, your rags"

"Everything was calmer
Out in Paris on a terrace"

Answer: The second one is Jay Z

9. Jay Z vs. Anthony Madrid
"In Hell, the units are the gallon and the fuck."

"I felt caged but I kept roaming
Prayed for the Day of Atonement"

Answer: The second one is Jay Z

10. Jay Z vs. Jorie Graham

"Got my boom box, suntan lotion waiting for actions
It's safe when you play with skills"

"The handkerchief she brings now to her haunted face,
lifting the sunglasses to wipe away
the theory"

Answer: The first one is Jay Z

 

Find Johannah on Twitter @jjjjjjjjohannah