Principle Over Politics, Ode to Jay Z

“A man that can’t take care of his family can’t be rich.” -Jay Z

Jay Z probably wouldn’t like the comparison, but he is more Trump than Obama. He’s a self made billionaire that took what he was given and made lemonade. He passionately believes in himself and his people. He’s genuine and teaching us pride. I might not agree with everything he says but you can’t deny principled greatness. It is great to live in time genuineness is the new political capital. 4:44 is a masterpeice.

I imagine that there a lot of identities that Jay Z would shed if he could, but he manages to wear every single label like he is proud of it.  This man that made his fortune in a business where other artists disappear before we even learn there real names.  What is it that he has that makes him last?  Even in an industry that belongs to young men?  He believes in something so much that instead of people feeling hatred at being shamed, they instead let shamed turn to inspiration to be better.

In a way I envy rappers, they are able to deliver a message in a concise and captivating way. People listen to their music and leave with a message.   Jay Z uses this album to make life more meaningful for the whole community.   What we need is purpose, not platitudes.  Jay Z delivers a message that hope and inspiration will not happen if we act like we don’t owe anything to anybody.

Rap and hip-hop have always been a passion of mine. And sometimes it’s a very frustrating passion.  How do rapperers tell mehow to vote and politic but won’t teach me how to be a good person?  Why do they promote things that no sane person would want for their children yet rap about having sex with nameless women? How can you endlessly wax poetic about being off your mind with drugs yet decry the awfulness of the War on Drugs?

I hear rappers that claim to be real but don’t write their own lyrics, rappers that call Trump a misogynist but blatantly refer to girls as bitches.  It’s madness and 4:44 tells us that we’re better than that.  Our culture is so much richer than that fake life being exploited to make money.

This is why Jay keeping his music exclusive to tidal is so important.  This is Curt Schilling refusing to quiet his voice to get in the Hall of Fame.  This is making a whole rap album without using the word bitch once. It’s calling the black community to come together and invest in ourself. It’s being big enough to admit you were wrong.

And hey, he didn’t even shit talk Trump once. For that I’m very greatful.


P. S. Legacy Legacy Legacy. Black excellence you gonna make them see.