Nas' verse on "It's Mine" > any Jay-Z verse on the Blueprint
Hav killed it too, one of the few times he outshined P
Yeah Hav bodied that track.
I might be pushing it a bit to say Nas' verse is better than any of Jay's, but I always find myself revisiting Murda Musik way more than the Blueprint. The Blueprint is almost too clean. It feels so polished and well-tailored. All of the verses are technically impressive and the production is tasteful and cohesive, but I always find myself wanting to revisit the dark world and rugged soundscapes of Murda Musik more than Jay's heavily refined soul music.
Is it apples and oranges as others have suggested? Maybe to some extent. You can't say The Blueprint fails in any way by its own standards like you can some other ablums. It's the perfect realization of a particular sort of vision. That's why I understand why it's regarded it as a classic. It's Michael Jordan rap. But still. The essence of hip-hop is the gutter damn it. And that's Murda Musik.
Rappers are actually the most qualified to speak on these issues. They're artists with a voice and a public platform who actually come from the source of the struggle with the cops. This is why throughout history hip-hip has been a mirror reflecting the harsh conditions of society's underbelly that white America has far too often ignored.
I'm not just talking about "conscious rappers" like your Talib or Common (and, in many cases, conscious rappers actually come from middle class 'artschool' backgrounds rather than lower class backgrounds). I'm talking about the biggest "hardcore" rappers in rap history - N.W.A., 2Pac, Biggie, Mobb Deep, Nas, Scarface, Wu-Tang Clan, and Jay-Z - these artists have spun powerful narratives about struggle in the hood and police brutality while offering scathing criticisms of the system. That's the rule not the exception. This is why "street credibility" is so valuable and one thing that's missing from the game these days.
As for A$AP Rocky, judging by his interviews and comments, he just seems confused about his role in the culture and what his art is about. But if you actually listen to his music, Rocky does get into some shit, despite the criticism that he's all just "swag" rap. Even when he's talking about his fallen friends, he's at least getting into some important issues about crime and consequence in the hood. You don't need to be politically informed and an articulate statesman like Killer Mike to talk about your own experience and engage relevant issues on your albums. Interviews don't matter to me, what matters is what you're saying on your records.
I just wish Rocky realized how much his own struggles in Harlem are connected to these larger issues more, which would allow him to step out of the microcosm of his own struggle, compare it to others, and contemplate larger effects. His track "Pharcyde" does this to some extent, but this is something we really get in someone like Vince Staples, for instance. He's largely talking about his own experience, but he reflects on what it means to the culture. The ability to speak to a generation is what marks the distinction between a good rapper and a great rapper. Rocky isn't there, but he might have the potential if he gets more serious with his pen.