First of all, rap and hip-hop are the same thing. It's really pretentious to say otherwise. Jay Z says he's a rapper. But he also says that his genre of music is hip-hop. I believe that would mean that he's NOT a rapper, but a hip-hopper. Yet, he calls himself a rapper, so he's a hypocrite.
Anyway, since I can remember, rappers are constantly talking about wealth and possessions.
Today, that is still exactly what goes on in almost every single rap song that I hear on the radio. Fifty Cent, Jay Z, and Ghostface Killah are some examples.
My biggest problem when listening is, why would I want to devote my attention to someone bragging about money?
If I want to hear that, I'll go to the yacht club and grab a martini. I can hear that shit in line at Nordstroms. I wouldn't consider it 'entertainment.'
If someone came up to me on the street and was like: "Hey man, I got a Benz and shit!", then I would roll my eyes at them and walk away from the conversation. Yet, when it's blasted over speakers I'm expected to shake my ass. Doesn't make sense.
Jay Z has reasoned that, if you or I grew up as poor as he did, then you would celebrate your money as well. And I agree, I probably would, in private. What I would not do would be mentioning the specific model of Lexus that I own, while performing my 'art'.
Imagine you were watching Mystic River, and Shawn Penn is about to kill his childhood friend who he believes has murdered his daughter. Right before slicing him open, Penn pulls out a stack of hundreds and waves it in front of the camera - he then mentions his taste in champagne, makes a really dumb tough guy face, and continues acting out the narrative of the film.
If Jay Z is an artist, then this is roughly what he is doing on a constant basis.
Jay Z may be rich. But, he must realize that the amount of money one owns doesn't really reflect on how cool or bad-ass they are.
Think about it. If that was true, then Bill Gates would be the best rapper on earth.
He could show up on any track, just ballin'.
I would love it if Bill Gates walked up to Jay Z and said something like this: "So, what are you drinking, champagne? Cool, I wash my car with it. Oh, you're bragging about caviar? I feed it to my cat, asshole. Not my real cat, he wouldn't touch that shit. I give it to the stray cat that shows up on my porch sometimes. By the way, my garage makes your house look like a project. So I guess your back to square one. Peace!"
All I'm saying is that modesty is somewhat of a virtue. If you want to be considered an artist, then talk about something of artistic merit. Your art cannot be about the money that you make by doing your art. That undermines the whole idea of art as a form of expression. At no point did Picasso paint a picture of a giant dollar sign.
I don't care if you have a car and a house, asshole. So does my mom. Where's her album?
It almost makes me wonder how any rapper ever gets to be popular. Once they crack the billboard one hundred, ninety percent of lyrical subject matter is geared towards their car and house - but what were they rapping about before? Their bus pass and sweatpants? I've never heard that song. It seems like it would be hard to develop an audience that way.
So please, shut the fuck up about your jewelry, your house, your wine, and your girl.
At the rate you're going, any one of you would lose to Bill Gates in a freestyle battle, and that's just sad.
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