I don’t do all time list. So whether you think Jay Z is the Greatest Rapper of All Time or not, doesn’t matter to me. Feel how you feel and have a nice day. The lane that Jay Z will hold forever, that no one can deny him. Is his uncanny ability to push hip-hop culture in a direction that he’s going or has tested and approved. The 4:44 album is revealing in so many ways that you have to digest it like you did music 17-25 years ago. Jay’s life and what should matter to the people of hip-hop in 2017 is finally being stated.
We’ve spent a lot of time in the “Pu$$y, Money, Weed, Pills, Trap, Party and be a criminal” mindset. It was pushed so hard by so many artist and reinforced by radio, labels and even television. That put hip-hop at a standstill. It gave us no real growth of the people of the culture. All we did was watch some of our favorite artist go to jail, need rehab and use reality TV to show a reformed human being able to function in society. It’s a great storyline, but it doesn’t help the hip-hop culture. Who truly wants to be in that cycle?
Jay Z within 10 tracks is planting seeds in our minds like; “Don’t go make it rain at the strip club. Make sure you your credit score is right.” “How will your children eat when you die?” “Do you have some sort of financial plan to make sure they are secure?” “Holding money to your ear on Instagram is whack. That’s not even “real money” where I sit”. Is it profound and a brand new revelation? No. But it took Jay saying it for a nationwide conversation to happen about these topics and more.
Jay Z is The Ultimate Pusher of Hip-Hop Culture. He’s our E.F Hutton. No one can cause a ripple in hip-hop like Jay Z.
Dr. Dre created Beats headphones. The majority didn’t start investing in tech or sound technology. They wanted a Beats By Dre endorsement. He was apart of a Billion dollar deal with Beats. The majority just saluted the move and bought more beats product.
Diddy is probably the greatest marketer of our generation. Diddy got us to buy Ciroc and love Bad Boy. How are we doing on our support for Revolt though?
Kanye West is great at drawing attention to himself. Outside of “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People”, Ye has only really mastered the act of you buying into him. His music, his fashion, his girl. It’s Ye’ first or bust. Kanye’s biggest musical acquisition is Big Sean. Most of you leave him out of your top tier emcees of this era and that’s ridiculous. Especially with a voice as powerful as Kanye’s behind it.
DJ Khaled gives you great social media moments. Other than that, he wants you to like what you already like and spread love.
Gucci Mane is a great music influencer. He’s 180’ed his life and is probably overall at his best version of “Gwop” possible. However, The lead stories were “He has a clone” and “His woman made him $5 million while he was locked up”.
T.I has been to jail several times during the peak years of his career. Made apology songs and dropped a “Woke EP” and nothing gets shared but him going in on IG or what goes on between him and Tiny.
Nas has been fly and “kicking knowledge” for years. Many of you still only want to argue “Takeover vs Ether” and entertain foolish conversations on how “Nas picks bad beats for albums”. Listen to “Black Girl Lost” and realize he made that 21 years ago.
Jay Z can get anything in the culture “In” or “Out” with as little as one bar. Here are a few Examples.
I was wearing Platinum when all y’all thought it was silver
What’s the difference between a 4.0 and a 4.6?
The Hard Knock Life Song
I don’t wear jersey’s I’m 30 plus. Give me a crisp pair of jeans and a button up
We don’t drive X5s we give ’em to baby-mammas
The Change Clothes Song
I got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain.
This is anti-auto-tune, death of the ringtone
I might wear black for a year straight. I might bring back Versace shades
The “Basquiat Boom” of support and appreciation truly starts with Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Outside of Timbs and the overall literal death of using Autotune, Jay bats an easy .989 when he makes a culture critique or proclamation. It’s fact. Sure many of you “don’t like Jay” and “not fu**ing with TIDAL” and think so many rappers are better than him. You also live in the U.S. where we practice democracy. Here the majority rule. What happens is you look out of touch in the culture. That’s why many of you “don’t listen to as much rap as you used to” or “still playing 90’s music”. You’re either trapped in a time you were actually happy with life or you been waiting to be redirected. That’s why an album like 4:44 exist.
Sure the younger demo is still going to flex for the gram with money to their ear and want to epitomize being a “Real Ni**a”. But reality is this. If you are fortunate enough, one day you’re going to wake up and be 35. Your kids are either going to be hitting first grade or looking at colleges. Your significant other is going to want a bigger commitment than a “Main” or a “Ride or Die”. That’s when you play an album like 4:44 and say, “I need to get on my ish.” You will think, dress and act differently. There will be several Jay Z bars from 2003 to 2017 that will pop in your mind as you make those changes in your life. That’s why Jay is the Ultimate pusher of Hip-Hop Culture.
Be Safe. Be Humble. Live Hip-Hop.