This is funny. Jay-Z dropped the hyphen in his name yesterday, and will now go by Jay Z. I do not know the cause for this sudden change and can only speculate as to which expensive designer influenced Jay’s change of heart. I’m not sure how many people really knew or thought about that lingering hyphen. Before yesterday, did casual S. Carter fans even know which iteration was correct?
I have written somewhat extensively on the romance of the iTunes library, but this story can’t help but remind me of the great lengths I went to in order to properly (or at least uniformly) spell every artist in my iTunes library so they would file under the same name on my iPod.
Napster, to its revolutionary credit, was the wild west. It’s cavalier (read: user generated) listings had no rules when properly naming and listing files. Thus, half the songs you downloaded were listed either incorrectly, or with annoying tags or underscores. To this day we’re still feeling the effects of Napster’s lawless naming system.
So yes, I was one of the few who knew about the meaning of that hyphen as I had to add it to every improperly spelled track. And now, of course, I’m going to go back and remove those hyphens because this is America where OCD is mistakenly seen as a sign that you have your shit together.
In honor of HOVA’s mid-life identity crisis I’ve made a list of other Hip-Hop/R&B (never RnB) artists whose names are commonly misspelled in iTunes libraries across the world.
OutKast (lol at Outcast)
Lil Wayne (no apostrophe)
Lil’ Kim (apostrophe)
2Pac (sorry phonetics)
Three 6 Mafia (In the rap world, if it’s below ten, don’t spell it out)
Santigold (This is confusing because she used to go by Santogold and released an album named Santogold)
Notorious B.I.G. (It’s an acronym, have a little respect)
R. Kelly (Robert likes punctuation)
Boyz II Men (The 90’s were actually the worst)