Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Jay-Z: Relationship and Marriage Role Model? Eh, I Don’t Think So

Yeah, man. They bought it hook, line, and sinker. It cracks me up too.

Aside from the obvious, the 2008 public ascension of the Obama family had numerous peripheral effects on our culture, including (but not limited to)….

1. We all joked about this at the time, but you can make the argument now that Barack Obama did actually bring light-skinned men “back in style.” Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but at this moment the most popular young rapper, most popular young black entertainer, and most popular young black athlete all easily pass the paper bag test. Hmm.

2. We assumed that seeing the Obama family in the White House would have a panoramic effect on dating and relationships in the black community. It did, but just not in the way we expected it to, as “Wait a second, if Michelle found Barack, how come the rest of you educated black chicks can’t find any men?” became the dominant conversation of the past three years.

While he didn’t exactly sign any bills or pass any laws to make sure that light-skinned black men would no longer be oppressed, Obama’s status as a symbol, a cultural icon is so powerful that he’s able to affect change by just existing.

Jay-Z, the most famous new father on Earth, obviously doesn’t have the same cultural cache as the president, but he’s extremely influential nonetheless. So influential, in fact, that there’s been a burgeoning conversation that Jay’s apparent love for Beyonce and his new daughter might possibly have some peripheral effect on black males everywhere, who’d hopefully stop (collectively) dicking around and finally realize how cool it is to be a loving husband and doting father.

This conversation crescendoed yesterday with the release of “Glory” — a song devoted to his infant daughter and featuring his infant daughter. Saccharin? Sure, but if Google and the blogosphere are any indications, it definitely helped to cement Jay-Z’s new status as a certified positive relationship and marriage role model…a sentiment that’s about as far from the f*cking truth as you can get.

Again, Jay-Z does appear to be in a very happy and healthy relationship, and that’s commendable and enviable. But calling the Jigga Man a relationship role model is like lauding the Nazis for turning Germany’s economy around; you can’t completely eschew the means just so you can lavish praise on the end. In Jay-Z’s case, his super duper awesome marriage is a direct result of the decades of dirt he did to get where he is now.

But, forget about that for a sec. Let’s say that Jay-Z is actually a relationship and marriage role model. Since he’s a role model, a young man would be wise to attempt to follow in his footsteps. In order to do this, the young man would have to do each of the following things:

Spend his late teens and early 20’s amassing a small fortune while being a malignant cancer to his community.

Use the money accumulated by being a cancer to fund a new business venture.

Amass an even larger fortune by unapologetically outlining, in detail, everything he did while he was being a malignant cancer to his community. Do this for 15 years.

Sleep with perhaps hundreds of different women, and amass more of a fortune by unapologetically outlining, in detail, every possible way to diss, demean, degrade, and just generally sh*t on the women he was able to sleep with. Do this for 15 years, too.

Use status and fortune obtained by A) being a cancer, B) outlining exactly how he was a cancer, C) sh*tting on women, and D) outlining exactly how he sh*t on women to bag one of the most sought after women on the planet. Marry said woman.

Ironically, most of the statements I’ve heard about Jay-Z being a relationship role model have come from women.

Why is this ironic? Well, they’re right. Jay-Z already is a role model…for all the men who want to be able to do as much dirt as they can in their 20’s and 30’s and still be able to pull a young hot chick when they’re a decade away from AARP and finally ready to settle down.

These women fail to realize that they’re indirectly praising and promoting the type of behavior they abhor. While it’s true that Jay-Z probably does genuinely love and adore his wife, men like that can only consider “loving” after they’ve made monsters out of dozens of women. Basically, his life is the blueprint for how to be a successful diva dude.

I imagine the tone of this post makes it seem like I’m anti-Jay-Z, and that’s totally not true. I think he’s many positive things. The greatest rapper of all-time. A savvy businessman. An instinctual opportunist. A cultural icon. A real life Horatio Alger tale. A (seemingly) great husband and father.

But, as Panama’s piece last week about Common reminds us, we have to be careful with assigning certain titles to people who don’t deserve or even want them. And, regarding Jay-Z’s new status as the marriage and relationship role model for young black men, be careful what you wish for because it just might happen.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://Lizburr.com Liz

    I think you’re wrong to assume people have to follow a role models entire life cycle. But for men who didn’t have it all figured out from jump are at least shown they can turn things around. Before the kid, Jay was an example in that way. Shoot for the stars and sh*t.

    • Sboogietime

      I agree totally Liz… Jay is doing that and the example he is showing young brothas (in the context of being married and committed to his relationship etc.) should be commended. We all have a past….Granted, now some may not have made the best choices coming up… but he is trying to make it better by not having 20 kids by 20 different women and showing folk that what he is doing IS possible etc… So many in our generation really feel like its just NOT. I feel like if he did have those 20 kids folk would be talking about how negative he is and not a role model too… negros can’t win I guess…

      • Imtoeda

        Does he already have a kid? Or was I misled by the blogs?

        • Sboogietime

          I’ve heard rumors too…but I don’t know. So, I assume no…

          • Iceprincess

            No its true he does! He has like a 10 yr old son frum a video hoe in dominacan republic. The poor kid is his spitting image. Allegedly he gave the mom a 1-time payoff of a million dollars but wants nothing to do wit the child. Peice of shit……….

            • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              Yeah, I also heard this rumor. If it is true, then it is very sad for the kid. I can’t imagine having a celebrity father who won’t acknowledge you (forget about financially… that can be done in secret) because you’d wreck his image. I seriously hope it ain’t true because it’s sad all around.

            • strike_a_poseur

              1. Let’s not call other women hoes. It hard but we can try to respect each other.

              2. She’s Trini.

              3. This article says the man who initially broke the story retracted it. He’s not a reliable source because it’s obvious he put Shanelle’s business out there to wreck her and to make money.

              4. Take a look at the photos in the article: http://urbanislandz.com/2011/09/19/man-retracts-jay-z-love-child-with-trinidadian-model-shenelle-scott-story/

              This is what happens when women and men have a child and there is no love involved. How many times do we as women have to be told that having a man’s baby will not keep him in your arms.

              This is why a song wasn’t written about that little boy. I wish him all the joy and love in the world regardless.

        • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

          I heard that rumor too. So Blue Ivy is worth the hype, but that kid isn’t? smh how wrong.

          • Scoop

            Y’all keep saying “rumor” and then further argue it like its true. It’s a rumor which means it isn’t true until confirmed by the person accused. He’s denied being the father of that kid.

            Either way, this article has some validity. It fits the “good girls like bad guys with the hope that they become good guys” mantra. Most bad guys stay bad, Jay grew up. And what helped him grow up was money.

            I also doubt a woman you meets a reformed or current bad guy will wait over five years for them to get married while they separately handle their careers.

            They give hope on some levels, but are not a handbook for Black relationships.

            • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

              I’m not arguing like it’s true. I’m implying that IF it is true, then that is messed up. IF it is true, then why did he not make a big deal about that child? IF IF IF it’s true. IF being a conditional.

            • Jeanna

              I really wish I could agree bc I usually do with the other articles written but I can’t. Im far from a Jay fan but I think this was an unnecessary bash and incorrect on the contextual basis that you’re disregarding the man he is today bc of the man he was yesterday. I could only agree with the following statement “While he didn’t exactly sign any bills or pass any laws to make sure that light-skinned black men would no longer be oppressed, Obama’s status as a symbol, a cultural icon is so powerful that he’s able to affect change by just existing.”…lol even most of the statements about Obama seemed off. This was a definite MISS for me.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        Should Jay Z be commended for doing what he’s supposed to do? Work, take care of his family, love his wife and his new baby?

        Are we that disconnected — are responsible Black men extinct that we even that Jay Z needs praise? Do we praise the men in our lives for doing the same damn thing?

        Why should young and older Black men want to get married because JayZ is doing it, or want to have a family because he is?

        Aren’t marriage and a family something you do because it is what you want for yourself?

        • DQ

          “Should Jay Z be commended for doing what he’s supposed to do?”

          Yes. He should. By extension hopefully those who are not will take notice. Doing your job and praise are not mutually exclusive. Otherwise why have a mother’s or father’s day or veterans day or memorial day.

          • A Woman’s Eyes

            Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is for the *children* to praise their parents.

            I’m with Chris Rock on grown men and women not needing praise for doing what they are supposed to do.

            • DQ

              Again, I ask, then what is the purpose for mother’s day? What is the purpose for father’s day. The question wasn’t if people needed it, it was a question of should we do it. And we as a culture already do it. So why not now? Why is this time the exception?

              • Mike W

                I agree, we shouldn’t get praise for doing what we are supposed to do.And how do we know he is an excellent father let alone a good one????.. Ignoring the alleged. She was just born, So he made a song….. OKAY

              • A Woman’s Eyes

                We don’t owe JayZ anything. Children, though, should appreciate their parents, love them and honor them.

                And mind you, not all of us were praising him in the first place. So why would we start doing it?

                A grown man doesn’t need praise from other grown people for doing what he is supposed to do as a man.

                • DQ

                  Again, it’s not about “needing” praise. Whether kids appreciate their parents or not, parents don’t require praise or recognition for doing their job (it’s essentially what you are arguing about Jay-Z).

                  If you meant to suggest that mother’s day and father’s day is simply a recognition by the children of their parents, from my perspective, that’s inaccurate. It is a recognition of parenthood, and it can (and does) come from all sorts of family members and friends (at least in my experience). If this praise is acceptable, why is it objectionable to apply it to Jay-Z? I do not see that they are much different than one another.

                  I theorize that oftentimes people let context and/or personalities color their views on topics such that they find themselves objecting to things that they actually agree with.

                  • Justmetheguy

                    I’m with DQ on this one. Didn’t we all have the convo about how black people with the best means to provide for their kids are the main ones NOT having kids these days. Nothing wrong with him waiting till he was ready (unless he really did sweep his first one under the rug. That’s wrong no matter how you look at it)

        • esa

          Yea, I think everyone should be commended for doing what they are supposed to do. Positive reinforcement is a beautiful thing.

          I remember being told countless times that I wouldn’t receive commendations for doing what was expected of me, and all that did was make me feel like all of my efforts went unappreciated.

          Telling someone they don’t get props for being the best person they can be… where is the love?

          • Mo-VSS

            +1

            • Justmetheguy

              +2- If you do things the right way and people stay quiet (cause that’s what you should’ve done). Then you do things the wrong way and people run their mouths incessantly about what you should’ve done, then that means the only time ppl are speaking is when they’re complaining/highlighting something negative. Not a world I’d like to inhabit

          • sunshyne84

            Agreed, but I’m not praising Jay for anything just because I never cared for him anyway. Besides the baby not being a week old. Let’s see some report cards first.

        • http://speechismyhammer.com/ WEKetchum (@WEKetchum)

          Well, yes. Aren’t other people praised for being good husbands/fathers, even though they’re supposed to? If so, why shouldn’t Jay-Z get said praise as well? Every good husband/father should get that praise, because it’s not something to take for granted.

          • cynthia

            I think you people are jumping the gun on this one. There is no evidence available regarding the type of husband and father he is. Only the wife knows the type of husband she has. In this case, these two people are rarely in the same hemisphere, we don’t even know if they can even stand to be around each other. They haven’t really had the chance. Doesn’t take much time to make a baby. As for being a good father, she is less than a week old. Everything is great when it is new. Time will tell. Regarding the other child, none of your business.

        • strike_a_poseur

          P-R-E-A-C-H! Men and women should not pat themselves on the back for raising their children. It’s your duty as a parent.

      • http://AverageBro.com AverageBro

        Uh, why are we giving this ninja credit for sh*t he’s SUPPOSED to do? Do you get extra brownie points for loving your wife and child? Cause if so, that’s really f*cked up.

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          +1

        • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

          +2!

        • strike_a_poseur

          +3

      • Imperfect

        “…but he is trying to make it better by not having 20 kids by 20 different women and showing folk that what he is doing IS possible etc…”

        I firmly disagree with this statement! Not havin kids (regardless the number) says nothing about your character. Especially if your character is screwin any pretty, willing thing with a vagina. For all we know, he’s sponsored 20 abortions with 15 different women…and I’m more inclined to believe that than his luck

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I think you’re wrong to assume people have to follow a role models entire life cycle. ”

      you do if the past is directly connected to your status in the present.

      • Mo-VSS

        Negative. Everyone has a unique life experience and what Jay did, the context in which he did and and other things are not and will not be the same for a Jerome working at Wells Fargo as a branch manager. Eventually Jerome will run out of options because he’s a branch manager at Wells Fargo, not a multi-millionaire rapper with women who would sell their firstborns for a taste of the type of life he can provide.

        I’m not saying a man couldn’t follow directly in Jay’s footsteps…I’m just saying the result WILL vary dramatically.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          Everyone has a unique life experience and what Jay did, the context in which he did and and other things are not and will not be the same for a Jerome working at Wells Fargo as a branch manager. Eventually Jerome will run out of options because he’s a branch manager at Wells Fargo, not a multi-millionaire rapper with women who would sell their firstborns for a taste of the type of life he can provide.

          hmmm. this jerome dude may not be able to follow jigga’s footsteps on the same level, but i know tons of 9 to 5 dudes whose dream is to d*ck around until they’re 40-45, and then find some 24 year old to marry. and, to be honest, more are able to pull this off than you probably think.

          • southernsweetness

            agreed Champ. I think one of the reasons women are so apt to throw kudos at men doing exactly what they were put on earth to do is because somewhere along the way, we began to adopt our fantasy of how a man will grow out of certain behaviors (see Emily “Love and Hip Hop”) as opposed to seeking men that have made a positive decision about who they want to be and are actively living their decision. Irresponsible lifestyle choices create issues. I’m not saying a man shouldn’t have the opportunity to grow up and make good on some of his prior bad decisions, I’m just saying don’t do it on my time.
            More often than not, men are celebrated for retreating from a whorish past. Usually, by women. Commonly, as you stated, they do end up in ideal relationships proving yet again that even in the midst of a lifetime of treachery, there is still redemption.

            • TrackStar

              We began to adopt our fantasy of how a man will grow out of certain behaviors (see Emily “Love and Hip Hop”) as opposed to seeking men that have made a positive decision about who they want to be and are actively living their decision. Irresponsible lifestyle choices create issues.

              THIS! I was just thinking this when someone stated up thread that “everyone has a past” um, no. We all don’t have skeletons in our closet and I don’t think it is naive or unrealistic to expect a future life partner to have made responsible, logical choices in life. I think Dr. J at SBM said it best several months during a post about people’s dating histories. To paraphrase what he said, people tend forget that this whole experience is cumulative, and I am looking at how you’ve conducted your entire life.

              • WayUpThere

                @TrackStar, All too true. I agree with everything you said up there. Especially:

                “We all don’t have skeletons in our closet and I don’t think it is naive or unrealistic to expect a future life partner to have made responsible, logical choices in life.”

                You articulated what I was also thinking while reading through the comments and the post.

              • southernsweetness

                exactly.

            • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

              “we began to adopt our fantasy of how a man will grow out of certain behaviors (see Emily “Love and Hip Hop”) as opposed to seeking men that have made a positive decision about who they want to be and are actively living their decision.”

              yes. it’s deceptive. not all men grow out of it, and there are those who seem to have grown out of it but are actually still doing it. just that they chose “simple” girls. Beyonce ain’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.

          • Iceprincess

            Champ u sound like u hating. Actually experienced ppl make the best spouses because they got it out of their system. Jay been there, done that, got the tshirt. Time 2 settle down. He prolly dealt wit 1000 bitches. Dat shit is tiring! He needs 2 send george clooneysold azz the memo too.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

              LOL, it’s not hate. All I’m saying is people (and by “people” i mean “woman”) need to be careful about the type of behavior they’re co-signing.

              • Justmetheguy

                ” All I’m saying is people (and by “people” i mean “woman”) need to be careful about the type of behavior they’re co-signing.”

                Exactly! And this sentiment is a recurring theme in soooo many discussions about dating/relationships. I spent most of my time this evening reading the post about the Diva Dude (missed it the first time around) and noticed that half the female commenters were telling horror stories and denouncing diva dudes, but at the same time talking about how they were drawn to the pretty/metro-sexual type. I’m thinkin “so y u complaining, that comes with the territory”. A lot of those dudes aren’t even naturally pretty boy types, they do it because they see how often these dudes get laid (even with half of the chicks that complain about their diva antics). I personally don’t have much respect for these guys, but at least I now understand why they act this way. I was perplexed about what good they expected to come from this behavior/image at first, but after hearing so many women talk about how this type of moodle (man poodle) was desirable ( if only he paid for dates) I at least see why dudes embarass themselves by trying to be “one of those guys”. Ppl can’t shun something on one hand and co-sign it on the other, that just creates un-natural chaos (see 2012 dating scene in most cities)

            • ikoihil

              +1

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          Problem is many men will not have Jay Z’s life.

          And the dude working at Wells Fargo can move up the ranks or advance to a better job.

          Has Jay Z really learned from his life? If we were to look at his past to his present, we’d have to see if he actually learned from his life or has been maintaining his perspective of women, including the ones he happens to be with.

          JayZ has a daughter now to give him a new perspective on how those views of women will affect his daughter. No amount of money in the world can give a girl self-esteem. She is still gonna be watching what her dad raps, says and does while figuring out who she is.

      • majo

        well put. i for one was not a fan of jay z. and i’ll admit it. i find it hard to be a fan of someone whose music helped set black women back 50 years. and the fact that he got the most ‘eligible’ black woman out there only shows that our society is really messed up. really

        • Sharon J

          Great response majo.

      • DJ

        “I think you’re wrong to assume people have to follow a role models entire life cycle. ”

        I think it depends on the individual.

        People that are seeking the keys to success with no clear path of how to get there will eventually want to know “how did they make it? What was their blueprint for success?” So in this instance, their life cycle does become important .

        But if people are simply looking for inspiration beyond the blueprint, then maybe the life cycle isn’t as important. If simply seeing a successful black man is inspiring enough for others to create their own path, then their background won’t matter.

      • The Law

        “Like I told you, ‘Sell drugs.’ No, Hov did that, so hopefully you don’t have to go through that.”

        I think your premise is a little faulty. One can admire Jigga’s character arc and strive to reach where he is now, relationally, without having to re-create that arc in their own lives. And, realistically, most dudes DO try to d*ck down just about every chick in their youth, then find the hottest chick they can pull and wife her up. So, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone couold just want to end up where he is at the end, without having to go through all the rest.

    • DQ

      “I think you’re wrong to assume people have to follow a role models entire life cycle. ”

      Have to agree. Parents right now are telling their kids to be like Obama, kids themselves are looking at Obama as a role model. Does that mean that they also need to emulate his drug use as a youth? Do they also need to follow lack of focus on academics as a youth or his smoking habit?

      No.

      For the record, just based on Champs past posts, I know he would be as ecstatic as I would be if Jay-Z inspired more men to be fathers, so it isn’t shade. And I am of the school of thought that “ends do not always justify means, how you get to your destination DOES matter”. But here I choose to take the good that’s available.

      If people start wanting to be a loving fathers because Jay-Z appears to be, more power to the whole situation. We all win.

      • http://dailylovelife.wordpress.com Interlocutus

        No, they don’t have to emulate his drug use. But by the same token, he is an example for them that if they decide to go after drugs, it could still turn out ok. So maybe drugs aren’t so bad.

        • ikoihil

          *slowclaps*

        • DQ

          I guess there are a number of false conclusions they could draw about Obama’s life. They could also conclude that to truly make it they need to be born from an interracial couple.

          False conclusions aside, we would not be asking kids to emulate his evolution, we would be asking them to emulate the end result.

    • ruby

      Who the hell is bringing this light skinned, paper bag shit into the realm of what it means to have a successful relationship/marriage or whatever. If the president has a great relationship, you can best believe that it is not because he is light or that his wife is darker, period. If Jay-Z and his wife have a great relationship, once again, you can believe that it is not because one is lighter or darker than the other. Once again, if Alfre Woodard and her white husband have had a good relationship all these years, it is not because she is Black an he white. No matter what one’s background or shade is, a good marriage takes work and due respect. And, part the respect for the relationship is to keep significant portions of your relationship out of the public eye. Believe what you want, and yes a partner does tend to look good when he and or she have some cheddar, but when you choose to look at that person every day and cuddle with that person every night and conduct business with that person and remain committed to that person; you have made a decision that transcends the Black shades or white color lines. Any time we see a couple that appears to be making it work. I think we should applaud them. Once again we are looking at the Kim & Chris, please!

  • Iamnotakata

    Umm ill…he so is not…just like T.I.( in and out of the penitentiary) Harris is father of the year for getting on his daughter for having a boyfriend at 10. GTFOH….I think not…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      lol, i had to re-read that sentence like five times to get what you were saying. when i skimmed it the first time, all i saw was “T.I. has 10 year old boyfriend”

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      If T.I. got on his daughter for having a boyfriend at 10, then he was doing what he is supposed to do as a father.

      • http://AverageBro.com AverageBro

        {golf clap}

  • http://www.shardesaidwhat.blogspot.com ShardeMarie

    Yeah I’m tired of being told to follow in the footsteps of the almighty Jay and Bey. I wouldn’t be interested in a former man whore.drug dealer who is 12 years older than me. No thank you .

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      not even if he had a big ego?

      • Franklin

        hahahaha

      • Justmetheguy

        Pow! Right in the kisser lol. Good one Champ

        Glad to see that ShardeMarie has standards though. I imagine those would be my sentiments if I were a woman. Especially if I were Beyonce, but if he makes her happy then i’m happy for them both. I love that I’ll have the option to get a woman 12 years younger than me though. Even I’ll probably opt out, it’s pretty awesome to know that I could if I wanted to

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      I’m just thinking about the ex-drug dealers who actually go around telling young men “don’t do what I did. this is what happens to you if you make the choices I did, don’t go down that path and if you are on it, get off”

      Those types of men are dead serious about saving young men’s lives and stopping the cancer in their communities–so yes, Champ’s points made me feel a whole lot more than a Jay Z lyric.

      • http://www.katwebbmusic.com KitKatCuty84

        “I’m just thinking about the ex-drug dealers who actually go around telling young men ‘don’t do what I did. this is what happens to you if you make the choices I did, don’t go down that path and if you are on it, get off'”

        If this was Jay’s message, he undermined himself by eventually going on to be a billionaire, marrying Beyonce, and birthing the pop culture equivalent of Jesus. Dudes stopped listening to all that “don’t do what I do” stuff as soon as they saw that by doing what he did, Jay got all THAT.

        It’s just like some women stay put with the CLEARLY wrong dude because some friend of a friend somewhere in Bali eventually MARRIED a guy who did all the WRONG things (just like HER guy), and they’re supposedly sublimely happy. The male equivalent is to do all that dirt and think you’ll still end up with Beyonce.

        Sad thing is, men who do dirt until 40-45 settle down with hot 20-somethings A LOT more often then women getting married to the guy who finally straightened up and did right by them. Life ain’t fair and ish.

    • GoldenGirl

      “former” chile please lol. For those not in the know Jay still gets it popping, but he is far more discreet now that he’s married.

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      “Yeah I’m tired of being told to follow in the footsteps of the almighty Jay and Bey.”

      +1

  • John S. Wilson

    Not much I can add to that. I too am a Jay-Z fan but the lack of critical thinking on the issue of whether he can be a model for relationships and even fatherhood, is mindboggling. Let’s just keep listening to his music (and by that I’m talking pre-WTT) and call it a day.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      you weren’t feeling WTT?

      • John S. Wilson

        no, not at all. I feel like it was concocted to bring in tour money. No real passion exuded, lyrics weren’t particularly strong throughout, and it was overrated.

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      ” …the lack of critical thinking on the issue of whether he can be a model for relationships and even fatherhood, is mindboggling. ”

      Yes!

    • DQ

      I don’t want to draw any false equivalences here, I mean my past, and possibly the past of most here, is not that of a drug dealer. But who among us could be relationship role models if we had to include all the bull$h!t and foolywang we engaged in our youth had to be included in our body of work?

      Yeah I wasn’t a drug dealer or a killer, did I do things I wish I could take back? Is there anyone in here who can say they haven’t (man or woman)? Do you think the fact that you weren’t dealing drugs means:

      Your Tom Foolery > Jay-Z’s Tom Foolery?

      • Mo-VSS

        +100

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    Jay-Z is not the best rapper of all time. I can’t even compute that sort of blasphemy. His body of work has some highs, but I wouldn’t but anything he did in the top 25. All of his duo and group work is blah. He released the Blueprint 2. Common perception is that Nas bodied him with Ether. The greatest rapper of all time is clearly Ghostface Killah. No one has a discography that compares.

    Granted I’m not on Twitter as much as usual because Tumblr has become my current attention stealer so I don’t people were actually attempting to start the argument that Jay is a role model. I don’t see how. We have absolutely zero insight into how their relationship operates on any level. Even if we operate under the assumption that Jay and Beyonce’s records are 100% factual in the depiction of their relation, that isn’t anything to aspire to have.

    • J.T.

      Don’t forget to shout out the slums of Shaolin, the Rza, the Gza, Method Man, Raekwon the chef, O.D.B., U God, Masta Killa, and Inspectah Deck.

      • LadyC

        Wu-Tang forever! And Talib Kweli for lyrical content. Nobody flows on the mic harder than Pimp C ;)

        • Franklin

          Shout out to Rakim, Lupe, Blu, Em… though it’s really difficult to declare a g.o.a.t. They all have their own styles, and the audience and goal vary. There is also an issue of wordsmithery vs accessibility. Both of these factor into how good a rapper is. You even have to consider who their producers are as well. Some rappers sound better than lower caliber rappers because their producers are more talented. It’s not a 1 + 2 + 3 thing, it’s a, x + y + z type issue… ok, I’ll get off of this tangent now…

    • legitimate_soul

      I like this comment a whole lot. Ghost is one of my favs….

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Jay-Z is not the best rapper of all time. I can’t even compute that sort of blasphemy. His body of work has some highs, but I wouldn’t but anything he did in the top 25. All of his duo and group work is blah. He released the Blueprint 2. Common perception is that Nas bodied him with Ether. The greatest rapper of all time is clearly Ghostface Killah. No one has a discography that compares.”

      Ghostface is my favorite rapper too, but by most reasonable metrics (consistently, longevity, skill, influence, etc) Jay-Z grades near the top.

      The first Blueprint isn’t in your top 25?

    • thelonius

      Tony for mayor, Tony for Mayor…

    • Todd

      First of all, how dare you ignore the Great Bard of Wyandanch, the God MC, Rakim Allah. Though I do feel you on Ghostface Killah. While I wouldn’t say he’s number one, he’s definitely in my top 10 list and is probably the most versatile MC to bless the mic.

      That said, I think Jay Z is a role model for that dude who screwed up in his youth that, yes, you can become a responsible pillar of the community. There are so many brother who think that because they did dumb crap in their youth that they’re worthless and throw their lives away. While I wouldn’t hold him up as an example for the youth, I would hold him up as a example for that dude who wants to get his act together.

    • DQ

      For me Rakim will always be the greatest. Hands down. He was skating lyrical circles around folks before folks even knew what it mean to be lyrical.

      That all said, you lost me when you said nothing Jay-Z’s done even breaks into your top 25. This is unfathomable and requires either:

      1) more people
      2) a detailed hip hop explanation that goes completey off topic

      I’d prefer option #2

      • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

        LOL.

      • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

        I’ll be back with option number 2.

        • DQ

          Ok, taking bets what do you think we will get first

          a) A studio LP from Jay Electronica
          b) Option #2 from Malik

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      “Jay-Z is not the best rapper of all time.”

      :)

    • John S. Wilson

      Ghostface? Um, ok.

  • J.T.

    Maybe a more appropriate way to look at Jay as a relationship role model is as the exception and not the rule. He represents the possibility of doing 20 years of dirt and still establishing a healthy relationship and family, not the model of healthy relationship building.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Maybe a more appropriate way to look at Jay as a relationship role model is as the exception and not the rule”

      good point

      • Franklin

        Very good point…

    • DQ

      I’m not saying he should be a role model, I’m just saying if you hold him up as one, it should be on the basis of the relationship he has now… not the ones that didn’t last (for whatever reason). That’s the one we would suggest should be emulated.

    • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

      “Maybe a more appropriate way to look at Jay as a relationship role model is as the exception and not the rule.”

      Masboot! Correct! ¡Precisamente!

  • http://www.have-a-seat.com AGDM

    Ain’t nobody looking at JayZ or TI for advice on love and being a father.
    Nor are women looking for Michelle to pen a memoir on how she just happened to snag Barack.
    FOH with that.
    Ninjas need to live they own life and stop lookin at these folks who “made it” to either be the prototype or the target of scrutiny.

    • Sboogietime

      You’re right…but I study/research the media, that’s what I do professionally. I wish it were that simple… real talk, folk of a certain age and maturity can’t decifer one from the next. These youngins comin up….yes those getting tatoos all over the place for no reason… not so much. So, they are looking at TI and Jay as a role model. We all know parents should be the first role model blah blah blah, but the reality is many parents are not… and TI and Jay in many households are…

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        It makes the people who go around saying that t.v. = mind control seem not so crazy.

    • LadyC

      So true! I can’t buy into the fact that people are paying attenion to their moves. It’s more so, people paying attention to them as a couple in their projects mainly because they make it their business to stay in the press

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        So true! I can’t buy into the fact that people are paying attenion to their moves. It’s more so, people paying attention to them as a couple in their projects mainly because they make it their business to stay in the press

        i disagree agree with this. one, because, for a uber-famous couple, they seem to be relatively private. also, there are people with a laser-beam like focus on everything they do

        • LadyC

          Announcing pregnancy on VMA’s…subtle

    • Chanelle

      “Ninjas need to live they own life and stop lookin at these folks who “made it” to either be the prototype or the target of scrutiny.”

      This is true. Its funny how we don’t truly know these people or how good/bad their personal relationships are but yet many want to mimic a relationship they know nothing about. I actually don’t need celebrities/entertainers to tell me what I want out of a relationship.

      • TrackStar

        I am a big Jay-Z fan. Went to the WTT tour last year and the BP3 tour in 2010. However, I do sometimes wonder if he feels any remorse or responsibility for the behavior and mentality of the generation of young men that were raised on the money, cash, hoes portion of his catalog. It is very apparent in many of the men that I deal with on the dating scene that the only father figures they had were Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and 50 cent (I am 24 btw). Think about the lessons that these “dads” taught their “sons”.

        While you may not got your relationship guidance from Jay and Bey, there are thousands, if not millions of young people who do, so it is important to hold him accountable for his actions.

        • http://drgoddess.com Dr. Goddess

          Hi there. Your statement is so profound and I thank you for it. I’ve been chatting up you all’s commentary on Twitter (@drgoddess), so I owe this blogpost commentary as well. I was just sent a link from Clutch Magazine on how Jay called himself an “animal” for “Big Pimpin'” and I do appreciate that, I must say, but that’s just not enough. And, now, I fear that if he comes out with some “I was a real ass” PSAs for the youth, they may see him as washed up and/or the old dude at the club, now that he’s married and a father. Unless, of course, you’re Ice Cube and you’re married to a bundle of saline solution and you allow your son to go around calling himself a pimp. Lawd.

          Also, I think that Bey’s more stable home life and great love from her parents allowed her to share a transformational love with Jay Z. He seems to have really been healed by his developing a relationship with his father before he died and with Bey’s unconditional love for him and vice versa. I think it’s a beautiful thing and, perhaps their story is more so about how we can heal childhood trauma and wounds?

          I shared this when I was on the panel at “The Dating Truth” in Pittsburgh, PA and some people laughed at me (*cries*) but I stand by it. LOL.

          Great post, Champ! xoxo

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          + infinity

          • A Woman’s Eyes

            in response to TrackStar’s comment.

  • Imtoeda

    Oh so agree!!! I’ve actually heard people (yes people I know gay dudes too) say things like “I want a man like Jay Z” and my first thought always is “Oh you want a man that sleeps with another man’s baby mama and then raps about it to make the other guy look bad? Cool story bro”. That and I can’t cosign anyone calling their significant other a bitch. I don’t care if it’s a compliment or the rap game, I’m not the baddest bitch in the game homie and if you wanna eat dinner in our house you better realize it.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      who knew gay men had crushes on jay-z too?

      • Todd

        Word! I’d think Jay-Z would be low on the list of celebs gay dudes are checking for.

        • http://twitter.com/tylerg_thomas tgtaggie

          If that the case who is first on that list…”Wheelchair Jimmy”?

      • sunshyne84

        I’m still trying to figure out what any woman sees in him. O_o

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      This speaks to the TYPE of masculinity people think is attractive — how masculinity is portrayed, what it says, how it behaves et cetera. And JayZ would be on the list of men even gay dudes would like – why? because even gay men look at what masculinity is, especially when JayZ’s type of masculinity is also linked with being a powerful person.

  • Mo-VSS

    Yeah…no. I’m calling BS on this for a few reasons:

    1) While Jay-Z is reported 42 years old (which means 40 is the new???…I digress), his relationship status NOW is what people are lauding. How he got there, people don’t care too much for or about. Not saying that it doesn’t matter, but at the end of the day, people respect the end result because they don’t usually see what it takes to get to that point. Speaking of which…

    2) You, me and anyone not involved in his daily life or inner circle have NO IDEA what type of man he was prior to being with his wife. We can speculate based on his music, but honestly…how many former flames have come out and said anything, good or bad, about this man? Not including Superhead, I can’t think of one. And Superhead was a jump-off, not a legitimate gf or significant other. As we know little to nothing about his past relationships from the people directly involved, how can anyone say with confidence that this man was this or that in his personal life and relationships with women?

    3) Men don’t have to do dirt in order to get it right. I know y’all want us to desperately believe that y’all need to sport f*ck until your late 30’s in order to appreciate a good woman, but that’s a line of BS this woman isn’t buying. You either realize the worth or keep it moving.

    4) Let’s suppose for a minute that you’re right and he was a ho, dog, playboy, etc earlier in his life. The type of women he encountered may have had something to do with that. If he’s surrounded by hos, it’s easier to be a ho. Women who only wanted him for money, fame, cars and clothes probably got a fraction of that and some dyck for good measure. Then along comes someone with her own, not looking for a come up and he was impressed. So he had to step his game up.

    At the end of the day, the message should be that when the right one comes along, men need to step up. Y’all holler about “where are the good women” while you entertain and chase hos for years on end. Meanwhile the good women are sitting back wondering why we have to settle for a man who’s good years have been spent with hos. Just as no good man wants to sport a ho for a wife, no good woman wants to settle for some used up man with a string of hos (and kids upon kids, or diseases or a f*cked up mentality because of the type of women he used to deal with) in his past.

    Jay-Z may have some things in his past that are unsavory (and don’t we ALL) but the message is clear. Cut the games, grow up, treat your woman with respect and class, MARRY HER and have pride in the family you two create. If that’s not admirable, then what’s the point of this all any damn way?

    • Sboogietime

      Mo-VSS! Your post is everythang! Your better write that girl! That last couple paragraphs how you summed it all up in the end! Masterpiece! I am sooo serious : )

    • H.A.

      YES for #2. I’ve never really heard anything from jumpoffs about jay-z ( for the record, I’m not saying it didn’t happen) but you don’t really hear about it. . .

    • http://www.womenaregamechangers.com Women Are Gamechangers

      I agree that men need to get over themselves dating all the wrong girls and then get upset if their “ideal” good girl has one blemish in her past. We as women are not sitting around waiting on men to grow up. We have lives to live as well.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Y’all holler about “where are the good women” while you entertain and chase hos for years on end. Meanwhile the good women are sitting back wondering why we have to settle for a man who’s good years have been spent with hos. Just as no good man wants to sport a ho for a wife, no good woman wants to settle for some used up man with a string of hos (and kids upon kids, or diseases or a f*cked up mentality because of the type of women he used to deal with) in his past”

      doesn’t this contradict your entire “this is BS” premise? i mean, isn’t that exactly what jay-z (supposedly) did? (spent his “good” years being a ho and chasing hoes)

      • Mo-VSS

        If, in fact, that’s what he did, it’s BS cuz no woman wants that. You’re asserting that men who are looking at him as a role model have to do what he did (allegedly) to get what he now has. That’s the BS I’m talking about. No woman wants a man who has all that dirt on his hands trying to wife her in the end because he finally realized she was a good counterpart. That’s why I made that point.

        I do not agree that any woman who looks at the end result (his marriage and child) in a high regard has to put up with crappy behavior from someone or wait until men in their 20’s and 30’s wh0re out of the game to come their way. Nor do I believe men have to behave as hos in order to turn over a new leaf and do right by a chick. If that’s the point of your post (which I read it as such) then I call BS.

        • Mo-VSS

          My point is he can be a role model for what he’s doing now. Also, people can look at his current actions and not believe they have to do what he did in the past to get the same result. His results aren’t directly correlated with his past. His results are based on his efforts to change (again, IF he was a wh0re in his past). Thing is..we don’t know anything about his past based on anything but gossip and assumptions so your assertion that his past as a wh0re=blueprint for relationship success that the male masses are eating up is faulty, and therefore BS.

          • Franklin

            @Mo-VSS @the Champ: I agree points both of you are making…

            @Mo-VSS: lol I thought he was being facetiously serious there. I could be wrong, but I read that with an “I’m joking, though it’s the truth” kind of tone. More of a “I’m being funny, but you get the idea” type of deal…

          • Justmetheguy

            @-Mo VSS- I agree. However, Jay-z choosing to smash every attractive chick that he had the opportunity to bed has no bearing on why the rest of us want to be manwhores while we’re young and (relatively) attractive. He’s just the most visible example we have to reference…

          • http://goggle Louisiana BobCat

            The point is noone should be labeled as a role model. Noone knows what kind of relationship he and Beyonce has. They may have a horrible relationship and show us what they want us to see. Children/adults should never idolize anyone.
            We should all try to help each other, and uplift each other, but stay clear of human Gods.

        • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

          Plenty of women want former man whores. Former man whores get married to women who are happy, no, elated to have them. Every day.

          I think its morw likely than not Jay Z spent his youth taking advantage of the opportunities presented him. If he was pushing women off him day and night and keeping himself pure for a good woman, I’m thinking he might say something about it.

          Ima go ahead and assume he did his dirt and got it out of his system and the beautiful Beyonce fell crazy in love with him regardless. That’s how it usually works.

          (For female hoes, too)

          • http://twitter.com/tylerg_thomas tgtaggie

            “I think its more likely than not Jay Z spent his youth taking advantage of the opportunities presented him. If he was pushing women off him day and night and keeping himself pure for a good woman, I’m thinking he might say something about it.”

            e.g. Tebow? I know I might catch some h*ll behind this but I really want to see if he could pull it off (staying a virgin while being a NFL star). I know the temptation was great when he was in Florida but now all the groupies are after him. lol.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “Nor do I believe men have to behave as hos in order to turn over a new leaf and do right by a chick. If that’s the point of your post (which I read it as such) then I call BS.”

          the point of my post is that jay-z’s past is exactly why he’s able to have such a great present. you can’t ignore that if you want to give him relationship role model status. you want to say be more like jay-z? fine. but acknowledge that jay-z is “like jay-z” now because of certain actions that aren’t very, um, role modelesque.

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          You talked about many topics at once, but I wanted to point out this:

          “No woman wants a man who has all that dirt on his hands trying to wife her in the end because he finally realized she was a good counterpart.”

          Yet there are women who seek out men like this…thinking they will change him or stick with him until he finally marries her.

          Weren’t we talking about Jim Jones proposal to his now official fiancée recently?

          There are women seeking out thugs and liking being called his bitch and thinking that all the past dirt he did makes him hot.

          I’ve heard women who are “upstanding” and “good” say they want a man like Jay-Z.

          *le sigh*

          • CPT Callamity

            I had to laugh a bit…

            I find it funny that someone would say that no one doesn’t want a manwhore when they are the exact people that I see getting married and trying to say that it’s a good look for everyone. Whereas I don’t really GAF, the dudes who had women at their beck and call like a vending machine are now trying to tell me that I need to settle it down because that’s where they are at. SMH.

          • Justmetheguy

            “I’ve heard women who are “upstanding” and “good” say they want a man like Jay-Z.”

            You act like it’s only some of em lol. If I had a nickel everytime I heard something like “I want a intellectual with that Tupac swag” dead lol

            • A Woman’s Eyes

              I’m with you, Justme, trust me. . . *sigh*

    • RiaDC

      Amen girl! Nuff said.

    • shonda

      Damn Mo, I think I love you! And I am married with kids! That post was the most. Do you have a blog somewhere? Cheers darling;)

      • Mo-VSS

        LOL, I’m too lazy to blog. I’ve started a few but the commitment waned and here I am…on someone else’s blog. Thanks for the comment.

        • kickandasnare

          @MoVSS YES!!!

          slow clap, alldis ^^^^

          And though I rEALLy hate to quote Drake (sigh) didn’t he say in one of his most recent whines, i mean songs, that even he is aware of the incongruity of having slept with a boatload of hoes but then expecting purity from any future wife?

    • http://twitter.com/tylerg_thomas tgtaggie

      +1 and Co-sign.

      “3) Men don’t have to do dirt in order to get it right. I know y’all want us to desperately believe that y’all need to sport f*ck until your late 30′s in order to appreciate a good woman, but that’s a line of BS this woman isn’t buying. You either realize the worth or keep it moving.”

      That has always been my line of thinking. It might not be culturally “popular at the moment” but I think its important to me to be able to tell my future wife that I wasn’t chasing women like its a recreational sport.

      “At the end of the day, the message should be that when the right one comes along, men need to step up. Y’all holler about “where are the good women” while you entertain and chase hos for years on end. Meanwhile the good women are sitting back wondering why we have to settle for a man who’s good years have been spent with hos. Just as no good man wants to sport a ho for a wife, no good woman wants to settle for some used up man with a string of hos (and kids upon kids, or diseases or a f*cked up mentality because of the type of women he used to deal with) in his past.”

      People bring so much unnecessary baggage (emotional, f*cked up thinking and other stupid ish) into relationships. We as people has been conditioned to think that just because we meet the “right” person everything is going to work out. Irregardless of the fact that (I’m using examples here) she has trust issues (an ex cheated on her), financial issues (debt up to wazoo) and emotional issues (her dad left when she was a child, dude was basically Barney Stinson in undergrad). I really think that its unfair for the “right” person to put up with that kind of unnecessary BS. It takes years, patience and a lot of prayer to change that kind of behavior.

      • WayUpThere

        To respond to Mo’s #3:

        I see your point, but let’s be honest; quite a few women have sport-smushing pasts (or even presents) themselves, too.

        • Mo-VSS

          Agreed, but since this post is about a man, I chose to emphasize men’s actions.

          • WayUpThere

            Duly noted. Just wanted to put that out there though so both side of the story were getting told.

    • SunaoButterfly

      A’can ah get an AMEN! *cue the tambourines, hollerin’, and joyful noise*

      Got. Damn. I am not worthy. m(_ _)m

      • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

        m(_ _)m <-this is cute!!!!

    • Ash

      Well said! I usually read and don’t comment much, but this right here?? Esp. #3…Yes ma’am.

    • http://dailylovelife.wordpress.com Interlocutus

      There is also the message that you can be a manho as long as you make it right in the end. Sure, we see his success now, but they also legitimize his failures. It is like looking at Bill Gates life. Dropping out of college to pursue your dream got so much better because of him. Even though that is an awful plan for most.

    • Chuck

      AWSOME!

  • DC

    Meh, I mean…I don’t know that it matters in the grand scheme of things. He’s not the first rock star to marry a younger woman, have a kid with her and all that. It’s just different ’cause it’s rap.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      apples and hand grenades.

      • DQ

        You can pull the stem off of both. ijs.

        • Tezzybaby

          lol

          • DQ

            Well as I live and breathe, there has been a Tezzy sighting. :)