Friday, April 19, 2013

Somebody tell them Hip Hop Took it This Far: Jay Z the face of what Hip Hop can really do

In the song So Ambitious from Jay Z's Blueprint III album, he addresses his life in the hood and the struggle to get out of it. He creatively ties in his upbringing and the obvious forces working against what he felt he could become. In the second verse he sums it up:
I had to lace up my boots even harder, Father is too far away to father Further-more all the kids either- smoke reefer or either move white, theres few righteous in my cypher, So they made... light of.. my type a dreams seem dumb..They said wise up, how many guys a you see making it from here? The world don’t like us, is that not clear? 
Alright but.......... 
I'm different, I can’t base what I'm gon' be off a what everybody isn’t. They don’t listen, just whispering behind my back,No vision, lack of ambition,So wack!
Interesting enough this guy who no one could see becoming anything more than a reefer head or drug dealer is now gracing the cover of Time Magazine's Top 100 Influential people. Amazing right? I was a bit taken a back by an irrational headline today concerning Hip Hop and the suspect in Boston's bombing. Like, really what do they know about Hip Hop? While many lyrics do tell stories of hardship and violence, Hip Hop at it's essence has changed so many lives in a positive way. Jay Z and this cover was the first thing that came to my mind when I thought about that headline.

If not for Hip Hop, where would Jay Z be? What about his many contributions to his hometown, his neighborhood? The opportunities he's afforded so many others...? What about his efforts to engage youth in political process? What about his story (which may even be your story) of struggle being shared around the world, and how it may have even landed in the ears of people with a little power to change things. What about how  his words have helped change the perspective of many concerning the reality of many black men in this country. What about the basic concept that lives in the minds of many young black boys in the hood because of Jay Z, the idea of, "If he can do it, so can I"?

What about these things? They all stem from a simple love of rhyming and a gift of words. They all stem from Hip Hop.

Everyone knows Jay is my favorite Hip Hop mogul. He's just an inspiration. Along with covering Time, he and wife Beyonce were named the first Billionaire couple in music this week. He has an adorable toddler, beautiful family, growth, maturation, a presence, and respectable name that many who start life with silver spoons in their mouths never attain.

I'm proud of this guy. Hip Hop definitely took it this far.

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