Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Moving On Up: Me on Jay-Z

How good is it to be king?

Better late than never: me on Old Hov in The Nation. Holla.

posted by @ 11:16 pm | 8 Comments

8 Responses to “Moving On Up: Me on Jay-Z”

  1. EAT MY SHORTS says:

    Yo Jeff

    I just read your Jay Z article in Nation. It was good. I dont understand it though. Is it an album review or just a profile?

    Also, The first important writer ( which you are definitely one) to give Kingdome Come a good review will get props from me, people scared to like this album.

    Y’all need to be brave.

    Like I said great article, I didnt understand the last paragraph though. Somthing about he head will be safe.

    If Jay dont inspire and young black out there I dont know who will. Not just music, just the fact that he still alive. I mean, a lot of black moguls are middle class and God bless them 4 it, but u find most of Jay’s critics are black middle class intellectual who read too many Marcus Garvey books. With all due respect to the Marcus Garvey. They got it all twisted. Greg Tate been spewing his BS forever do we still tolerate him? He probably still want rappers to sell their publishing for gold chains like in his golden era.

    I am rambling now and losty my train ofthought but just to say it was a good article and dont sleep on Kingdome Come.

    I like it cause it was positive. Peace. People got to see the ppsitivity in what old hov is doing. you need to tag team this ish, you need the conscious rappers and then you need the people with bucks to make it happen. i hope those afrocentric writers out there dont start hating cause hov not wearing a koofi.

  2. Hummingbyrd says:

    Congrats on your new book.

    Happy New Year.

    I just put up a post on whether Oakland Citizens can sue the city for all the murders happening in the streets.

    Peep it.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jeff

    I am reading “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” for my Hip-hop class and I must say, I admire your passion for hip hop and hope you continue to receive recognition for your work.

    I read your article on Jay Z in Nation and it was an interesting read.

    I must comment on what eat my shorts wrote. It’s not that middle class intellecuals have it twisted, they know that Jay Z is one in a million. We are loosing so many of our black youth to violence, drugs, prison, AIDS, and flat out ignorance. Someone like Jay Z is someone that many would say is a positive influence in our community but I beg to ask; how? His music is not conscious about what is going on in our communities at all. Of course I know he is from the streets, but what I mean is he is so mainstream.

    I can’t help but wonder after reading your article if hip hop has lost it’s way. It seems that what started off as a counterculture has now become 1 with the mainstream capitalistic society. Now I see nothing wrong with hip hop going mainstream but as Kool Herc said in the intro to your book it’s no longer about keeping it real. He went on to say that Rappers nowadays have kids attention and should take the opportunity to impart knowledge into thier heads. (I am paraphasing). I agree with him. It’s not about making all the money in the world so you can island hop, it is about touching the lives of the audience for the better. What do you have to say other than you have this, you can do that, you are seeing this person, and you are better than this person.

    I don’t want to sound as if I am “hating”. Again, if money is what you are about then do you. But don’t expect me to look at you as a role model becuse you can make money. Hookers make money, but they sell themselves for it. Money can be lost and stolen. Knowledge can not be taken away.

    thanks and keep up the good work.

  4. Jay says:

    Hey Jeff
    Wow. what an eye-opening article. First I love, love Jay-Z and I will continue to love his work even though you dissected nearly every aspect of his life and career. I am not a hip-hop head but i do have a fourteen year old daughter who has stars in her eyes. This causes me to listen to rap and if i had a choice between Jay-Z and the other non-mainstream rappers, the choice would be easy.
    I never saw a mention of the song “mama, I made it” on Kingdom Come (my favorite song). It is his biography and I’m sorry Jeff, I’m sold. No disrespect to the 1980’s political rap or a total disregard to West Coast-born gangsta rap, but I appreciate rap when it is a mixture of the two, with a touch a R&B. Jay-Z is the epidemy of that, imperfections and all.
    Second, I am enjoying your book Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and as a native New Yorker who grew up in the era, thanks for the knowledge. We have come a long way: African-American pop culture (Hip Hop) as a class and your book as a required read!!!

  5. kiki says:

    First off, I love Jay, and secondly: you summarized Jay’s achievements well, thank you for your efforts in keeping hip hop alive

  6. Brittany W. says:

    That article was very interesting. I think Jay-Z is a good example of what is happening to many rappers. The things that Jay-Z talks about cant be compared to his fan base. He has become a marketing tool, although he sees himself as a brand. The lastest album Kingdom Come is not very good. If he wanted to come out of retirement he could have done a better job. Although it was number one, I believe many of those sells were from fans. If he didnt have fans from before the cd would not have sold like it did. I think he needed to stick to retirement. The features and concerts here and there were good enough. I just feel like he may have lost touch with who is was. Which is understandable because he is no longer that person. Hip-Hop has changed. I thank u for your point of view

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jeff –

    I have just read your article on Jay Z in Nation and I had no idea he was doing it that big. He is definatley shrewed business man.

    I am not a huge Jay Z fan and I can not say I necessarily think he is a great role model. He has changed the game in that he is polished and commercial. He has left the dope boy rap behind and the rough streets of Brooklyn with it. He has become a hip hop mogul and I believe that is what people find so attractive to him. He does not represent anything positive, he just is a young black man from the hood who flipped the script and moved from hip hop sucess to more respected (among mainstream America) money making endeavors.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sure he has overcome a lot in his life to get to where he is now. I am only saying that I still wouldn’t want my son idolizing him. He does not represent change in our communities.

    Jeff, congratulations on your success. Keep up the good work.


  8. Danielle says:


    I thought that the article was great. I do believe though that Jay-Z can be an inspiration to some. The man came from nothing and raised himself up to become one of the most well known rappers and be put at the lead of one of the most well known hip hop labels. To go from the projects of Brooklyn to 5th Ave is a giant leap. I think he is rapping about what he knows. The high life is what he knows now.


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