Has Rapper Jay-Z Become A Lyrical Slumlord.
(ThyBlackMan.com) The rapper Jay-Z is clearly, beyond reasonable doubt (get it?), one of the most talented hip-hop artists in history. Scratch that. He’s one of the most talented musicians to have ever lived. His rise to grace has been like a rocket ship, and gives him the right to be a little more arrogant than his competitors.
But true power is not represented by your ability to stand above those who lifted you up. It is to stand among them and lift them up with you. A weak man can elevate himself and tell the world to “watch the throne,” while a strong man is able to build and elevate a throne large enough for everyone. See the rapper Immortal Technique for a perfect example.
Rapper Jay-Z’s obsessive, brain-washed commitment to money over all things is reflective of the times in which we live. A woman like Harriet Tubman would be ridiculed for trying to free hundreds of slaves when she could simply free herself and get paid by writing a book about it. Martin Luther King would be pushed to become a megapastor selling books and hosting a talk show instead of getting shot on a balcony. Malcolm X would probably be in prison, since his mind would be too dangerous.
As brilliant as Jigga might be, someone along the way convinced him that money is the ultimate trump card; that by saying, “I got paper bitches,” you can win any argument, get any girl, go anywhere, and do anything.
But there is a conscientious minority in America who sees just how deeply the problems go in our society. They see that black poverty is getting worse every year. They see that spiraling incarceration rates have destroyed millions of black families. They see the abuse, addiction and depression that comes from black people being unable to get jobs while watching their babies being shot in the street. They see the pain loud and clear and want to do something about it.
What’s remarkable is that many of those who live in the midst of the pain being created via racial inequality continue to pay rent to Rapper Jay-Z by bowing at his thrown and throwing money at his feet. The desire to collect resources from a community while paying little attention to the maintenance of that community effectively makes Jay-Z a lyrical slumlord.
I hope my description of Rapper Jay Z is inaccurate. I also hope that someone inside his camp is informing him of how both his soul and reputation are being corrupted by showing such a grave indifference to the suffering of black people who love him. But money can make us blind, deaf and dumb, swimming in a pool of ignorance, champagne, marijuana and dollar bills. We think that because there is some white guy paying us millions of dollars each year to parade around the country calling ourselves n*ggers, that we’ve somehow made it to the top. The sad reality is that, in some ways, Jay-Z has made it all the way to the bottom.
Get it together brother, you’re meant to be better than that. We can’t have black male geniuses wasting their lives by living for themselves and nobody else. A community is built by all of us, that’s why it’s called a “community.”
Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins