“I see Benjamins and a billion other big head people/ I’m a natural born hustler, Marcy Projects motherfucker/ Turned professional journalist reportin, live from the gutter/ My girl, carry boxcutters, rubbers, shoot up with undercovers screamin’/ FUCK THE WORLD, why, cause, don’t nobody love us/ Shawn Carter, Sean Bell, what’s the difference? Do tell/ 50 shots or 50 mill’, ain’t no difference go to hell/ So, BRRRAK, lick a shot for, BRRRACK Obama, change gon’ come-ah/ I’mma buy the whole hood llamas on me/Roc nation army, million strong and the mantra’s gon’ be/It is whatever it’s gon’ be, on three/ Shawn, in the Hum V, y’all can call it cold warm/Declarin, I’m free, bumpin ‘Pac and the Outlawz/ I’m flyer than all outdoors, I ball out pours/ I buy, champagne companies, I’m past buyin out bars/ But I do that, I’m so past, G5’s and G4’s/ But I flew, back, back and forth like Aaliyah (rest in peace to ya)/ Takes a nation of millions to hold us back/ But when your boy reach a billion it’s a wrap (off of RAP?) YEAH!”

— Jay-Z freestyle over “A Milli”

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The New York Times: Inside a 9/11 Mastermind’s Interrogation, Scott Shane. A fascinating, if lamentably incomplete look behind the scenes of the CIA’s overseas interrogation of 9/11 suspects, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, focusing on the interrogator Deuce Martinez who developed what was regarded as a special rapport with Mohammad and other suspects.
  • The New Republic: Postcards from Nowhere, Jed Pearl. A trenchant modernist criticism of postmodernist artists Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Olafur Eliasson amongst others, as well as the exhibition spaces that host them. There’s a lot to disagree with here, but Pearl’s argument is both impassioned and intelligent and well worth a read. Thanks, Dirk.

  • Vibe. Once again, the link to the “A Milli” freestyles that was linked to in our review of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III. Check out Jay-Z, Corey Gunz, Jadakiss, Lil Mama, Chris Brown, LL Cool J and a bunch of others spitting over the beat of the year! With comments by producer Bangladesh.