So for the last few days the hype over social media has been about Jay Z and his new album out. I give credit where credit is due and the credit I’m going to give has nothing to do with the music but everything to do with the marketing and selling of the music. First Jay and his wife Beyonce are household names in the game so marketing for them is easier than it is for most artists on the come up, that’s a given. What I like about Jay is that he has created a stream where you have to go through his Tidal music stream in order to get his music. I think that’s awesome! Right now in order to get one of my CD’s you basically have to order from me and I mail it out to you so therefore all these other groups who have been raping our communities economically for years, they are cut out of the equation, as well they should be. Here’s the issue that I have, Jay Z has been lifted to god status like he’s the next best thing since sliced bread because he in essence did what guys like Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Dead Prez, Arrested Development, King Non, Immortal Technique and myself have been doing, putting out good conscious content in our music.
Yes I added myself in that list of rap dignitaries because we are a culture unfortunately that thrives on and clings to stardom and fame. If a person isn’t making headlines on television then we don’t check for them and that’s one of the ways that we as Black People in this country continue to lose. Even more than that is the fact that we aren’t screaming these other brothers praises when they put out great music with conscious lyrical content, why is that? For the better part of 20 years Jay rapped about drugs and although that may have been his life growing up in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects, in many of those songs he glamorized the drug trade. There are Black & Latino men and women who languish in prisons around this country today who were listening to Jay and rest assured some of their activities were influenced by his music. And no this is in no way an attack on Jay, this is meant to be a wake up call that as a nation of Black People we should be encouraging all of the artists who put out great material consistently, and have been for awhile now.
Also let’s not forget, for those that are screaming how conscious and pro black Jay is now because he came out with this latest album, remember the all white staff he has working for him at Tidal. A picture can tell a story especially in the context that that picture is taken. So my suggestion would be let’s see his consistency, let’s introduce other artists who are out here on the battlefield putting in work. Let’s not be so quick to give title to those who may not deserve them at all. IJS