Jay-Z

Decoding Jay-Z at Georgetown University


If I had “99 Problems,” this sure wouldn’t be one. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s “Sociology of Hip Hop: Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z” course this semester at Georgetown University has given me a new appreciation for Jay-Z. As an avid fan of both Hip-Hop music and Hov, I admit that this has been my favorite class. I mean, “What more can I say?”

But to truly express why this class attracts and fascinates 134 Georgetown students each semester, along with the vast media attention it has received, requires an understanding of Hip-Hop’s notoriety and Jay-Z’s societal significance. Jay-Z is many things (a former hustler from the ‘hood, a rapper poet, a multimillionaire, and a business tycoon), and it is his seeming contradictions that provide for great academic inquiry.

What does it mean for a Black man from the projects to join the class of noveau riche elites in America–from “Murder to Excellence?” How do the moral dispositions and prejudices of Hip-Hop’s critics affect the legitimacy of it as an art form? How can Hip-Hop’s audience reconcile the misogyny and materialism, prevalent in Hip-Hop lyrics, with the significance of its aspirational messages–a genre dedicated to highlighting the struggles of the human condition? Why is Hip-Hop unworthy of academic study and what does this assertion have to do with the assumption of intellectual inferiority regarding race?

These questions constitute just a few of Dr. Dyson’s class lectures which usually tangent into a multitude of topics ranging from the prison industrial complex to “Big Pimpin.” Jay-Z provides the class with a fresh and contemporary way to understand the societal constructs that comprise dominating motifs in America. Dyson sees the relevance of Jay-Z and translates this to the class through skilled professorship. Anyone would be fortunate just to hear this bona fide scholar speak.

Professor Dyson exemplifies oratorical dexterity and mastery of the subject of Hip-Hop, its implications, and the life of music mogul Jay-Z. Listening to this rhetorician is never a bore–my classmates are wide-awake during a 9:30AM course, an astounding anomaly at Georgetown (or any college or university for that matter). Of course, Dyson’s wit and adjunct humor add to the more entertaining aspects of this class. Watching Dyson spit a Jigga verse or an NWA rap beckons the professor’s talent for memorization and proficient flow. Shout out to Dyson*– perhaps a record in the future from Detroit’s finest?

To add to the hard-knock experience, Dyson enriches the course by bringing relevant guest speakers to class. We had Zack O’Malley Greenburg, author of our required reading, Empire State of Mind, come to class and describe his journey writing Jay-Z’s biography, an elusive matter at times. Marketing entrepreneur Steve Stoute visited class, discussing his successful career in the music industry and his new book The Tanning of America.

Londell McMillan, famed entertainment attorney and owner of Source Magazine, joined our class and explained the significance of his former classmate and client Jay-Z as the subject of scholarly study. President and CEO of B.E.T., Debra Lee attended class and spoke on her career as it relates to impacting the genre of Hip-Hop. To wrap this list up, our class was also graced by the presences of esteemed civil rights activists Rev Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who both came during a Dyson-hosted event honoring the lifetime of Jackson.

“…never been a guy this good, alive that long”- Jay-Z on Jesse Jackson

Essentially, this class is so ambitious, it works out to be a goldmine for anyone interested in music, marketing, or media. It’s like “Che Guevara with bling on”; it’s complex.

As for me, I find myself decoding Jay-Z’s lyrics on a routine basis. Examining this flow-master’s syncopations and intonations exhibits the talented capacity of Jay to be a widely distributed poet and a commercial force to be reckoned with. I thought I liked Jay-Z and his music before this class, but a post-Dyson world derives a whole new lens to see Jay. The classroom subject of Jiggaman conveys much more than just an account of this talented rap lyricist. The life and times of Shawn Carter are the perfect conduit for sociological analysis.

And to all the haters out there, you “can’t knock this hustle.”

“Why’s the devil gotta have all the good beats?”- Dr. Dyson lamenting on conscious rap

Katherine Propper is an AllHipHop.com intern, a current freshman at Georgetown University, and an avid fan of Jay-Z AND Hip-Hop. Check for her on the site coming soon!

  • ladynamor

    Honestly, nearly everyone I speak to about Jay-Z feels like his popularity is due to B.I.G’s passing. He stole his flow as shown on biter or writer and his whole persona is based on Biggie Smalls. He ruined DefJam is the second thing they say and then they go into how many other things he swaggerjacked. I agree that his amount of money makes it hard to stop him from living in his big fish eat little fish world, but I am not afraid to tell the truth. He has no street cred, period. The place where hip hop matters the most has no REAL respect for him. BTW, Kanye did good by shutting his mouth this year and it paid off. The gay mafia liked the dress obviously, 7 nominations was his gift. If the professor wants to really educate people, he should start by teaching them the ill practices of artist like Jay-Z and the manipulation of the industry and media over the weak minded fan. And to the reverse haters, GTFOH, I don’t have to agree with this shit! Im the future. Talent over Everything. Original innovation over dumbing down. And Jay needs to stop stealing peoples damn ideas!!!!

    • Aaron Davis

      So let me get this str8? Jay-Z was a friend of Biggie,recorded several tracks with Biggie, never had a problem with Biggie but now he supposedly “swag -jacked” everything about Biggie, naw I dnt think so. I agree, their styles are similar but that’s because Biggie was like a mentor/role model. They both lived the street life and just happened to be friends/rappers. Biggie just blew up first and Jay next…You can compare the similarities but at the end of the day, Jay-Z has god given TALENT and everything Jay got, he earned. He wrote classic albulms like Reasonable Doubt,Blueprint, Black albulm (not Biggie). He has 11 number one albulms,platinum selling hits/albulms and has been an ambassador for hip-hop. He’s put in the work in hip-hop and in the business(being the richest rapper alive).

      • ladynamor

        I read ALL of the comments, NOT ONE person said he was a fly rapper or he was complex in his lyrics one time. That is what rap is to me. As far as dudes from Brooklyn, where I frequent, that is a matter of who you know. There are a lot of people who call him a coon, off top. A good rapper to me is NOT who is the richest or most relevant, Its who is the most creative , original, authentic and respected for being clever. The new generation wants to control their OWN money. Jay is on some GIANT 360 deal shit. The future will own all of their music rights, thats REAL money. No Jimmy, No Clive-(the ones with the real money) The underground fights for the right to be rich on their own. I could be petty and place links of songs that his most recent songs “borrowed” from but why bother? The standard Jay and his cohorts have set are so distorted, I am wasting my time. Most people are so foggy from the money, they cant see the problem with the whole greedy mentality. He is just trying to save his image, he knows he fucked up by being so shallow.

      • churchboy2

        Jay-Z is a fly rapper with complex lyrics.

        Sweetie,
        You need to head to the library and read De-coded; your whole opinion of Jay will change when you see the thought processes at work with some of his verses.

      • Adope Femalemc

        damn, that was well-expressed & poignant.

    • Darnell Wilburn

      That’s the easy thing to say. Actually There’s much more to it. Any rapper could have stepped up after Biggie died. Jay wasn’t automatic. He had to put in work for that spot. Honestly, Nas should have been the number one dude but he fumbled the ball. DMX was huge but he didn’t have stability or longevity on his side. Master P, Cash Money, Snoop, NORE, Puffy, Busta… There were a lot of established and up and coming rappers who could have slipped into BIG’s spot. So don’t act like Jay was just handed the crown. Cause everybody was throwin’ shots.
      Def Jam was falling off way before Jay entered the building, all you have to do is look at the rest of the record industry and see that the old way is crumbling in the face of the digital revolution.
      I don’t know about swaggerjacking either. That’s a much more subjective argument. He used a lot of Biggie rhymes, but he’s recited 2Pac, Scarface, Ice-T among others. That’s not a phenomenon only associated with Jay though. How many rappers spit lines found on Snoop’s Doggystyle album? Snoop retooled Lodi Dodi, is he a swaggerjacker too? I think that’s a hater’s argument, because to assume he’s guilty would mean that you’d have to indict the whole rap game.
      I don’t know where hip hop matters most to you but if you’re referring to it’s origins in NY, he’s very much loved. He’s always giving back to Marcy projects where he’s from–I assume they don’t mind that. Aside from that, hip hop is global, there are rappers from Haiti to Tokyo and they all feel it. During the Arab spring, there were rappers in Egypt who used their music to speak up on the inequalities and lack of opportunities the youth were facing. That’s real. It means the most to them. 
      In the end, you’re right, I don’t have to agree with you, but I don’t have to let you write inaccurate accusations either.

      • Sebastian Lee

        i’m glad some one made it clear what the impact jay z have on hiphop on the world stage,like duke ellington of jazz had on the world,back in the 20’s&40’s when he brought jazz to carnegie hall to show the world that jazz is an true art form,that it was’t an illiterate music of black people,just like jay z bringing hiphop   to carnegie hall next year 2012,its important to understand that all music,rock&roll,blues,jazz,and yes country have came through people of color in america had been discredit,until someone large enough and credible on an world stage, to have proof of intelligent art form that the world would imbraces regardless of america view,like Duke Ellington,Jimi Hendrix,muddy water,coltrane ,michael jackson,and yes jay z 

  • texas_boy

    he is a legend point blank period no matter how much salt you throw get the hate out your heart and recognize and real hiphop heads like dr dyson knows that it is what it is

  • ladynamor

    Whats real fucked up is-I watch Eric Dyson fight against the Republicans all the time on MSN about how they are treating poor blacks in America. Mr Dyson-Jay-Z is the GOP of the rap world! Jay-Z and Diddy and all them industry dudes treat the poor blacks and up and coming artist just like Newt Gingrich treats blacks, or the Tea Party Movement treats blacks or lower class, (and they come from nothing, but forgot). They hold people back with payola practices thrusting them into the front of all media sites and radio stations, then they brag about it, steal ideas and words from people and make tons of money etc. They put twist on stories like politicians, its complex on our side as well. The underground rappers who would like to make their “own” money are overlooked because every venue is rotating the same 100 artist over and over and over again. It is so appearant it is almost comical. Mr Dyson loses points for being so surfaced on this one. The indie-underground needs someone to fight for them. These elite minded rappers dont even want to associate with a real rapper like me, I aint never been through customs. SMH

  • Professor Dyson would love to teach a course on a more ‘underground’ rapper such as Mos Def or Talib Kweli (as he has told our class this), but the class attempts to analyze the impact of hip hop on society, and Jay-Z, being one of the elite wealthiest rap superstars, is undeniably influential for the resonating presence of hip hop in America.
    There are classes around the country that attempt to teach the ‘underground’ aspects of hip hop culture, but those courses have not received the same amount of media attention. This is not the only course on hip-hop, and Dyson himself has taught other courses on hip-hop (a class on Tupac, Marvin Gaye, and a few on Hip-Hop in general). He has written several books on Nas, Tupac and about gangsta rap, not a book on Jay-Z. He delves wholly into the subject of hip-hop, not in a mainstream or superficial way as you suggest. Profesor Dyson merely hopes to teach the culture, and Jay-Z is a significant cultural figure. 
    Consumers of rap music are the ultimate deliberators as to what is deemed culturally significant. This is why Jay-Z and Kanye outsell conscious rappers like Common and The Roots. That is not to say that indie-underground rappers are not great, because they are, if not better, but the commodification of their music has not resulted in the same way as the “mainstream” musician’s. 

    • At Katherine Propper:
      Welcome to AHH. We look forward to your insight on / from today’s learning institutions.

  • EL_BARK

    Mike dyson, is pimping hip-hop.i have heard him in interviews, and his whole to message to me is a gimmick. A clever gimmick, but still one. Jay-z is very sucessful as a rapper,
    And has become even popular, due to his mainstream sucess.
    But he is the poster child, for whats wrong with rappers.
    Nas said it best. ” you traded your soul for riches”
    Jay even admitted, he wants to rap more like common,
    But he crossover, & dumb down his music, for the sake of sales.

    Hip-hop went it started, wasnt about going platinium.
    It was an art form, consisting of 5 elements.
    Which started out as a way, to voice ones ideas,
    Attitude, stuggles, and life experiences, and current conditions of the times.

    Has now developed over the time, into a industry control by money & greed.
    All the way from the rappers, to radio, to music labels.

    Jay career is execptional, but jay is the poster child,
    For everything thats wrong with hip hop….
    But he not the only one. A lot of rappers, do it.

    • bs_hater1

      How is Dr. Dyson pimpin hip-hop? He’s one of the few from the intellectual community that will take a stand & support our culture. If you gonna make a strong statement like that you need some facts to back it up. You ain’t gonna get that by just seeing a few interviews.

      • EL_BARK

        Okay.
        1. I dont need facts to back up my opinion. But since u think it a bold statement, i will tell you why. 
        I going to assume, u know what a pimp does. A pimp collects/ or make money off his hoes. All the while he doesnt really care for the hoe. Or her well being. The only purpose a hoe serve for a pimp, is to make his money. Any thing that the pimp does for his hoe, is not out of genuine love for her, its because she is his primary bread winner. In my statement about Dyson,
        He would be the pimp, hip hop is is hoe.
        Also you called him an intellect? Based off of what? Cause he got a degree, and a piece of paper saying that he has meet the miniuimn(sp) requirements by an accredited institution of higher learning. In a certain field. Lol
        I know plenty of intellects, according to the way, you used it. And they arent the brightest. Lol 
        Sometime i have meet plenty of doctors, people who got masters degrees, and ask myself. Where was i when, they were just giving out MBA to anybody, as if they held an lottery.

        Now based on my facts. Go listen to his interviews or speeches. And if you fail to see my correlation, or metaphor pertaining to him. Maybe u should listen more closely to him. 
        Anybody can spit, a pac verse,
        A jay-z verse, or a verse from
        Biggie’s juicy. And para-phrase wants the verse means or what the artist meant. And thats exactly all he does and all he did,  to get the name 
        “hip hop professor” and i am going back ten years ago, plus maybe more. When he first emerged as such. Lets be real
        He is only relevant, because its not so often you have someone of his statue,
        & age and discuss hip hop & rap, with so much zealous.
        Its almost the same gimmick, when u got a white singer, who sings R&B.(blue eye soul) Mike doesnt fit the sterotypical profile, of your typical
        Hip hop supporter or advocate.  Thus him being educated and of a certain age, he used it to target a certain demographic of people.  Never once have i heard him speaks on the ills of hip-hop, ands want destroyed it.
        Even now why, hip-hop is on the brinks of its demise. He neglects to bring attention, to the core things, or factors that has  ruin it.  One reason why because he made a name for himself, doing interviews on radio. But he’ll never expose the problems or discuss how radio, destroyed hip hop.  All you get from him is, jayz verses, and pac verses. And how they were poets. 
        And all this. I have yet hear him adress, some of the real issue hip hop
        Has faced or facing. But as long as he,
        Support the camel, and talk all his BS,
        He can avoid some of the real issue, and yet get money off of it. At the same time……. His interviews & speeches are redunant and fit the same format.
        Hip hop has got a serious problem, the reason we see an decline in good quality music over the last 10-15 years. Cause the demand isnt there. If he such a hip hop professor. Why he never talks or bring to the light, about Hip Hop OPRESSORS????

        While can he only quoute.
        Biggie, pac, jay-z ????? Aint it something wrong with that…….

        Why does he only quote older rhymes, a lot of times, and if he qutoing news rhymes is prolly jay-z.

        Are those the only two artist that are the face hip hop.????
        2 out of the 3 are dead…..
        I dont never hear him quote
        Cali swag district??????
        Or drake. ????? Lol

        He might spit some X but rarely. 
        Everytime i hear him, its the same verses he spitting. Like i need him to break” juicy”down to me.  Lol
        Niggah that was me and every other kid like biggie. Big did a good job on it.
        I dont need him to translate what the song meant or means. 
        By the ways he doing it for WHITE people not US……..

        PS
        If you think i lying, just look at the author of this piece, and
        He not in the hood teaching his class. He at an college

        And look at the pictures ofthe students????
        The majority of them are what??????

        No shots @ the author. Just saying!!!!!?????

        Can you see the pimp in him now!!!!!!!!!?!???

      • churchboy2

        “…what type of facts are those?” Jay-Z

        Anyone who starts their rebuttal with “I don’t need facts to back up my opinion..” already:

        “Lost One…” Jay-Z

      • EL_BARK

        Anybody that need another rapper words, to resoond to a post
        Or comments.

        Speaks volume about themselves. And if u read my post,
        I said it was my opinion.

        But then gave more then one example, to back up my statement.

        And if u didnt peep, i gave a couple facts…..

        Now if you want to be a stan of mines, just comment again on my post,
        And then failed to post any, FACTS of your own to discredit any thing i said.

        Define: a jay stan aka lame.
        Churchboy. Well your name said it all.
        Try to play me by saying i dont have any facts. But yet doesnt put up no facts of his own as a rebutall…..

        By the way: since you wants some facts.
        Church boy. The church is not of the most high will.

        You will burn in hell……. FACT…….

        Its you think i am lying, lets go to the bible for facts….

        Lol

        You illcoon and gangster grouch greg,
        Yall shouldnt fuk up the old format.

        Now you got lames, and non regulars commenting
        To the gods of the board. Lol & dont know they will get they ass chewed up.

        Atleast post a warning to these new breed, homo twitter niggahs
        That popping up dropping comments all of a sudden.

        That it takes a certain type of breed to mix it up in here lol

        These weak niggahs 2/3 niggahs will get the treatment by ME…..

        I just a tad bit two much for them to handle………

        Yall know, yall block me or try too. Atleast…..

        Cut from a different cloth get them
        Everytime…….

      • churchboy2

        1) Quoting Jay-Z in a Jay-Z thread is highly relevant.
        2) The rest of your rambling post was just far too enlightening and superior for me. [Taps out] If only we could all be as… well.. whatever you are.
        3) god of the Boards? Congratulations! Your parents must be so proud…
        4) Perhaps Prof. Dyson should use the brilliant reasoning in your post as the basis for his next lecture.

        (I mean honestly, did you actually re-read what you typed and conclude that you had scored some sort of intellectual points?) “New breed homo twitter niggahs?” Really? Is that supposed to make you seem smart?

        Someone takes an opposing viewpoint and you label them a “stan” or a “lame” and somehow your viewpoint is validated? Is that what passes for logic these days?

        Oh, my bad, I did not realize that the fact that you post here more frequently than most makes you wiser than most. No, actually… that just means that you post here alot… or that you have alot say… or that you have far too much time on your hands… or that you love the sound of your own voice…

        Well, at least we have your wonderful words preserved for posterity. Thanks for sharing. You have contributed so much to the intellectual millieu.

      • EL_BARK

        Just seen your post above your a jay -stan.

        It makes sense nows…..

        Define irony.
        A lame cooments on your post, because you didnt post facts.
        But in 2 of his replies, he hasnt stated one FACT, to dispute anything,
        You said in your intial post……. All he did was give his opinion of what he thinks of you as a blogger. Lmao….

        What we have here, is a jay- stan and its clear he cant dispute anything i said about dyson,
        So he tries to smoothly ignore, the issues that started this back & forth.
        Smh

        Also i dont post on here to hear my voice, u dumb smart niggah.
        Do you have some special type of gadget, hook up to your computer,
        That dictates to you how i sounds????? That gay. And i believe ur just a lonely fuk,
        Who needed somebody to talk too.

        I see how you smartly avoided me telling you, your going to hell church boy.
        The most high doesnt approve of the church….

        That comments prolly goes straight over ya head. Lol
        He looking at his mom computers, like what the hell is this dude talking about.

        Instead of try to battle me, which its very clear by anybody who read this, you are losing,
        Go read a book and gets some knowledge of yourself first..

        Stop being a jay stan, he a snitch, and only faggots respects other snitches.
        I bet if i threaten to slap via net, you prolly would called the police on me like your idols did.

        But i should slap your mother, for not swallowing you,…….
        And giving birth to such a lame……

        I feel sorrry 4 ya pops, the most though.. He prolly looks at you every day,
        And just puts his heads down & shake its @ you…..

      • churchboy2

        The problem is that your idea of debate is not intellectual sparring but name calling. Your logic amounts to “you’re a stan,” “Your mother should have swallowed you,” “You’re a faggot…”

        …like any of those things have the least thing to do with your initially biased statement “Dyson is pimpimg hip-hop”

        How do you know that the person you are addressing is not a a married father of five with a master’s degree and not a child on “his mother’s computer?” You dropped a funny but disqualified yourself as an intellectual at the same time.

        You’re right, I did not bother posting facts to support my initial objection because with you it is obviously a waste of time.

        Your approach to the conversation that followed proves the point. It took you no time to degenerate into street-corner-Jerry Springer-name-calling. Anyone who knows anything about debating knows that there is no place for such behavior in academia.

        But I’ll admit that this was my fault. Why on earth would I expect anything less than mindless posturing on a website… I should have known better.

        I’ll save my well-constructed arguments for people who are legitimately interested in them.

        And by the way, you can stop following me on DISQUS, I’m not open to that sort of stalking…

      • EL_BARK

        Lol

        I resorted to name calling, cause u didnt have not one legitimate fact, to back your first objection……

        Please i’m not following you on discuss, i seen your reply, went i went to my profile…..
        But i am on a touch screen phone, so i could had hit follow, when i was trying to enlarge…..

        Here you go again, i could have a MASTER DEGREE is thats suppose to impress ME..?????
        Sorry it doesnt, not one slight bit…

        If having a piece of paper validate you, and make you feel you are englighten,
        Or intellectually (sp) incline so be it….

        If you dont have one, i still wouldnt give a damn….

        Like i said above it was very funny, a person who criticizes my post without facts.
        Couldnt or didnt post any of his own, to discredit, any of my initial statements..

        I threw the bait of “name calling” cause your so predictable.
        You havent said nothing relevants. IN THREE POST & just like a typical want to be intellectual on here. You take, i not debating because you resort to name calling, and your not as intelligent as me. Lol

        Works everytime…… Thats why you felt to throw out thete you might have a degree.
        who are you tryimg to impress with that.

        I know convicts thats got there master in jails… Bif fuking deal…

        Id you did have a master does that make you feel special?????

        Your just as qualify as any moron like me that can acess a computer…

        You know they give out master degrees, for going to school -on line,
        You dont even has to step foot in a class room.

        And i am suppose to be impress, you went yo
        School to get a job to work, for someone…..

        Ok issac newton… Am i hope my name calling immature antics,
        Made yall
        Homo inferior ass, jigga feet licking, from marcy son ass, ever adress the god again
        -2/3 niggah judah voice… Lol
        I seen i have to start treating lames again, in my take no prisoners bag.

        You

      • >>>Don’s E Vest & pulls Katherine Propper behind me , as we take cover!

  • I think it’s good that the Professor is dealing with aspects of Hip Hop.

    Today it’s Jay Z , tomorrow may be KRS-One. KRS-ONE might even step into the classroom & teach a lesson or two.

    Is Jay Z the best subject? Hard to say. You don’t feed a newborn steak , so Jay Z might be the best way to ease into the curriculum.

  • Pingback: Decoding Jay-Z at Georgetown University : KPR1 – Keeping It Positive in Hip Hop & R&B()

  • EL_BARK

    Edog

    Yo should pass off an — e vest

    U know e- bullets fly all the time. Dont want nobody to catch a stray.

    All though aint been no warfare around here since they change the format……

    I bet the old format crew can prolly still comment.
    But they ” i’m to cool bag” since its dead around here.

    Tell illcoon, grouch gangster greg, < u know he know jimmy very well right???
    And EM-creekmur. congratz….

    They manage to turn this site into an hip hop graveyard…..

    And they did it two themselves (camron voice)

    I might have body the coon, but atleast comments manage to hold an heartbeat.

    Shet on life support, with the plug bout to fall out the sockets. Lol

  • Roy

    Jay-Z definitely has some gems in his lyrics that sail over the heads of many, as he acknowledges and points out himself: “Niggas, do you listen to lyrics, or do you just skim through it.” As a grown ass educated man myself, growing up breaking rewind buttons on cassette players while listening to some of the most mesmerizing marriages of beats and lyrics in Hip Hop/music history, I would love a self-study of the course’s content. I could NOT stand 5 minutes listening to caricatures like Dyson or Cornell West though. It’s like their goal is to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher beyond some seconds, the hell with minutes. You tune them out as a circus side show. I’d get the feeling that I was watching a particulary annoying performance on Def Poetry Jam.

  • Biba Adams

    As a journalist and educator of college-aged students, as well as an avid hip-hop fan, I am very excited about this class. Welcome to the team, Katherine!

  • >>>Passes E-Vest to Katherine based on El Bark’s suggestion & tells her:
    ” Wear this when you on AHH! Stray ” E-Shots ” be flying all across this site. !!”

  • ladynamor

    Since it is obvious people do not care about someone bragging about how rich they are on a record that dropped during the worse financial economy for 99% of society, while white people are making $20 to a black persons $1, poor producers suing for royalties and ideas stolen, robberies up, drug-dealing death’s soaring, black kids literally die for a rolex, and jobs lost across America, I will also recite some Jay-Z lyrics to satisfy the situation. Its a hard knock life for us-Instead of treated WE get tricked, (now he is the tricker though) Ironically, that is probably his biggest song. SMH

  • Jay z aint that hard to understand… i guess when your not from the hood alot of his lingo might get in the way… maybe his earlier stuff… but jay after TBA is dumbed down for yall and his pockets…

  • Pingback: Georgetown University offers course on Jayz and Hiphop « TheRansomDiscourse()

  • rep87

    Nothing complex bout JAY Z this dude rap /its nothing he saying you can use to better your life by when anyone looking for solutions to life problems they dont say hey let me put on a jay z cd and listen for the ansewer to my problem/ why not write a article on Dr.Cornell West or MIN.Louis Farrakhan or President Obama these are people of honor and people of intelligents who can instill something to live by good education will open many doors for our youth / most of jay z shit is fantasy and is pure entertainment