Jay-Z once told me that he was rap’s “Grateful Dead.” I’d wager that he has only heard “Truckin'” and “Touch of Grey.” Then again, it is possible that he believes the distinguished salt–and-pepper look is a new rap trend that he should start. On to the next one. We must listen to everything Jay-Z says. He has a billion dollars and a book and a Basquiat, and we don’t. This is reason enough to pay attention to him on most matters, except for “Beach Chair” being a hidden gem of his catalog.
What rock’s Jay-Z has in common with Hova is that they share absurdly deep discographies. But unlike Mr. Buy My Old Shit, the Dead have long staked their strange trip on giving away free music. In celebration of another holiday season having to deal with Uncle John and his weird touchy-feeling band, the people at Dead.net are giving away 30 free MP3’s, largely comprised of live renditions of Greatest Hits-worthy songs. Because you may be too lazy to download 30 songs individually, I’ve zipped them up into three folders, divided songs by the type of acid they were inspired by.