Jay Z is actively back in the industry for the first time since releasing Magna Carter Holy Grail and he is a man on a mission; a mission to beat the music streaming market with his new platform, Tidal. But with all his recent ‘noble seeming’, ‘pro black’ endeavors, does Hov come across as a man on a mission to empower black people or as an insincere opportunist who is constantly pushing for his own businesses as well as aiming to continuously please the elite 5% consisting majorly of white people?
By Doug L Fresh
When Jay Z shared a ‘stream of consciousness’ through his Twitter account after the projected failing of Tidal, whispers could be heard from certain corners of the ever hilarious #BlackTwitter; ‘Hov always tweets when he’s asking for a favor’, they seemed to say.
As hilarious as this sounds, it appeared to be nothing but truth; remember when Jay Z released Magna Carter Holy Grail (MCHG) in 2013 and was thus in the process of pushing for its promotion, what social media marketing technique did he employ? A ‘QnA’ session which was hosted on Twitter. The session turned out to be an overwhelming success and it appeared that Hov would then engage his fans more frequently; but it all turned out to be nothing but a mere marketing gimmick. MCHG was by standards one of his least impressive albums, but it went platinum multiple times; once before it was even released. That is how much influence Jay Z holds in the entertainment industry. With 13 number 1 albums in the Billboard Hot 100, Jay Z is a legend and cannot be touched; so it is probable that Hov would use all his influence to impact positive impact in a society of blacks that so dearly needs it, right?
Wrong. People may have expected him to do that, but it was not to be. It appears that Jay has been sucked into a mindset that characterizes the typical opportunist; he arms himself with Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and then silently plots. He spends so much time scheming on how to push forward his self-interests, and his commitment to the cause has caused the events of the world to overtake him. Exit the Jay Z that was Brooklyn to the bone,
and enter the new mainstream Jay that raps about killing autotune but stays committed to a market that glorifies the same autotune
in a nutshell, Jay has forgotten where has come from.
His recent antics have highlighted just how much Jay Z is willing to go to push forward his interests. In a Tidal freestyle that was released last weekend, Jay Z showed the world that he’s still got it when it comes to rapping; which has never been in doubt, considering that Jay is one of the top 5 best rappers dead or alive (This is not up for debate). However, Hov lost the one thing that a hip hop figure needs in order to earn respect, and that is credibility. Well sure he lost his credibility 10 years ago when he came out of retirement with a couple of weak albums, but he certainly lost any small bit that was remaining. He dissed Youtube for paying artists 10% of what they deserved, and criticized Spotify for being worth 9 billion dollars but staying silent on the recent killings of black people in America. Very noble, but come on Sean! You rapped about killings in Black America but went on to glorify your independence in the Rap game!
People who often ask why Jay isn’t considered to be better than Tupac despite being lyrically stronger should think about this; let’s assume this was 1996, and Mike Brown was murdered then as opposed to 2014; can you imagine the manner in which Tupac, then the most popular rapper in the world, would have marshaled the world in support of Black people in America? If you have, then is there a need to compare 1996 Tupac to 2015 Jay Z?
No need, if you ask me. After all, as Jay himself put it in 1996, it’s Politics as Usual.
Doug L Fresh.