Pop Culture

Jockin' Jay-Z??

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By now, the whole world should have heard Jay-Z’s newest creation, the No I.D./Kanye West production, “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)”.  Of course, Diddy is having a sh*tfit right now since his overly promoted album Last Train To Paris (due out in September) is all auto-tuned.  In fact, this dumas asked T-Pain’s “permission” to Auto-Tune his whole album, brought in the owner of the Big A** Chain, and gave him a point on his album for his assistance.

the duchess movie download Oh and why is Diddy having a sh*tfit?  Well, because as the makers of Cristal now know, once Jay-Z says something, the people follow.  After all, Jay does this for his culture.  And as a culture, we look to Jay for guidance.

Right?

Hmm.

As a song, “D.O.A.” is good but, it’s not great.  The “hook” would have been better if he’d just allowed the horns to blow instead of the kind of cliché “goodbye, goodbye…etc”.  Also, I almost find it interesting that Jay really isn’t saying too much of anything on the song about Auto-Tune until he gets to the end, which I suppose is the point.  By doing a whole song with no Auto-Tune on it, it’s not fit for the charts, radio, or iTunes since in current rap, T-Painin’ runs rampant.  He tells us that rappers need to stop singing, which is true.

Anyway, Jay declaring Auto-Tune dead got me to thinking about how much of a trendsetter Jay-Z really is.  I’m starting to think that Jay gets too much credit for some things and not enough credit in other areas, so I guess it all evens out.  For instance, in my opinion, Auto-Tune has kind of been on the way out.  Or at least it’s not as prominent as it was a few months ago.  For one, I rarey hear T-Pain on the radio right now.  Lil Wayne uses it pretty consistently, but even then it seems more artistic than crutch-y. and he’s still rapping.  Of course, Diddy was on his, “I’m gonna Auto-Tune a whole album” but really, does ANYBODY care about a new Puffy album?

Cassie doesn’t even care and she’s his oatmeal bowl.

Even Kanye is like, “i’m rapping on my next album.”  Auto-Tune might not be on the way “out” per se, but it’s not as prevalent as it was when it was harder to find somebody not using it than somebody using it.  So if Auto-Tune is indeed on the way out, it seems more like the natural progression of basically playing itself out.  Same with throwback jersey’s.  Now, I’m not going to diminsh what Jay did with one line.  He essentially killed Mitchell & Ness’s* livelihood.  But like Aut0-Tune, by then, throwbacks had become too cliché.  Folks were wearing throwback jersey dresses and throwback basketball jerseys of baseball teams and basically wearing stuff that made no sense whatsoever.  I feel like in those instances, Jay more or less put the final stamp on an already diminshing trend.

I mean I guess in that regard, Jay is responsible in ending a trend sooner than it might have ended on its own, but I feel like he isn’t totally “responsible”.

By the way, he TRIED to convince people that 30 was the new 20 but it really didn’t work.

Now, let’s take a look at trends Jay is “responsible” for:

In with button-ups – The jury’s still out on his killing throwbacks, but I’ll give Jay full credit here with bringing the button-ups in though.  His one line, “I don’t wear jersey’s, I’m 30-plus, give me a fresh pair of jeans, ninja button ups” pretty much ushered in every male coming to the club in the “grown-n-sexy” special – striped button up shirts with some overly expensive jeans.  This was a very bad trend because as became the course du jour, every Black male rocked some variant of the vertical stripes, which sucked immensely.  Clubs were filled with 500 clones of the Jay special.  Hell, I had 3.  Shoot.Me.

Death to Cristal - Jay pretty much kilt the Cristal market in nightclubs across America with “Show Me What You Got”.  Of course, that was the Cristal people’s fault for talkin’ greasy about the audience that’s taken to drinking their libations.

Hustler turned highlifer - Rick Ross might be the biggest bawse that we’ve seen thus far, but Jay started the whole dope-dealer-turned-hustler-living-the-good-life trend back in 1996 with Reasonable Doubt, and was really on that stuff in the early 90s before everybody caught on.  And, nobody did it better than Jay.  Nobody.  Many have tried, everyone has failed, though Rick Ross’ “Magnificent” is that crack.  T.I also owes his livelihood to Jay-Z.

Soul Samples in Hip-Hop Post Puffy - Jay is directly responsible for Kanye and Just Blaze’s ascent into production superstardom.  With the first Blueprint, he decided to run with a soul motif and then Ye and Blaze became the hottest producers of the past 8 years.  That’s just Jay everyday.

You know, now that I think about it, I actually think Kanye is a more influential rapper/artist, at this point, than Jay is.

Kanye has grown men wearing tight jeans and listening to Daft Punk.  But he’s also shifted the sound of production a few times over and influencs the musical landscape every time he releases an album.

Anyway, what do you think?  Is Jay-Z the trendsetter that he gets credit for being or not?  What trends is Jay directly responsible for?  And hell, is Kanye more influential than Jay at this point?

Say you will.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3

*Mitchell & Ness is the large throwback jersey emporium whose sales increased like 12-fold in the late 90s and early 00s.

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

    I’ont know cus I’m not a super Jay fan like that. Though my iPod tells me otherwise. There are some trends I would like for him to start, however.

    1. Reading books
    2. Being fiscally responsible
    3. Legal activity
    4. Respect for human life
    5. Getting rid of Rush and all of Fox News

    • Me fail english?

      @Hostess,

      Rush should be ashamed of himself with those effin debit cards. What an a*hole. And don’t get me started on the blog his new piece wrote about all the angry black women hating on her!

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @Me fail english?,

        Rush should be ashamed of himself with those effin debit cards.

        i think she was referring to rush limbaugh. i could be wrong though. it would be the first time, but im open to new experiences

        • Me fail english?

          @The Champ,

          HAHAHA! That makes more sense. Pardon me, I had some bad vitamins.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @Me fail english?, what were you eating, 12 year old flintstones or something??

        • miss t-lee

          @The Champ,
          I was thinking Rush Limbaugh too…

      • Nikiloveli

        @Me fail english?,

        Ok but still, those debit cards need to be abolished.

        • Me fail english?

          @Nikiloveli,

          Right?! Limbaugh or not, I’m still stuck on those Rush cards. I wouldnt be mad if he just released card with uncannily unfavorable terms. But he had the nerve to trumpet it like some new savings instrument that would help young people learn financial literacy and responsibility. That isht is worse than the check cashing spot!!!

          • Officer Ricky

            @Me fail english?,

            Sounds like you had already signed up for one n sh*t.

            • Me fail english?

              @Officer Ricky,

              Hell no. I have an actual bank account

          • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

            @Me fail english?,

            Re: Rush Card

            I’m super mad at the Baby Phat one for chicks.

      • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

        @Me fail english?, Uh yeah I was talking about Rush L. But you have a good point about those debit cards.

      • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

        @Me fail english?,

        “And don’t get me started on the blog his new piece wrote about all the angry black women hating on her!”

        Wait, what? The angry hot fire of a thousand suns I feel about Rush cards distracted me and I overlooked this. Need to find and read this.

        • Me fail english?

          @Cheekie,

          Yes girl! She wrote some inane garbage about “I’ve been to the ghetto and can see why you guys are so angry, but get over it betches! Find your own men!”

          Stinkin ho! Since when have black women EVER wanted ol’ trout-mouthed Russie????

          • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

            @Me fail english?,

            LOL! I know. Ol’ phlegm-filled mouth self.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Hostess, um, Jay specifically addresses each of those at some point throughout his career.

      1.reading books – i’m sure somewhere on kingdom come when he was on his “grown man” non-sense and referencing his paintings he mentioned some book somewhere, probably the art of war…all rappers have read the art of war

      2. being fiscally responsible – “i can’t help the poor if i’m one of them…”

      3. legal activity – “not guilty, y’all got to feel me…” or the entire 2nd verse on 99 problems

      4. respect for human life – minority report on Kingdom Come

      5. getting rid of Rush and Fox News – eh i got nothing but i’m sure he mentioned boht somewhere…lol

      • http://nextbigthing.blogsome.com Hostess

        @Panama Jackson, I don’t believe you. And I know he hasn’t touched on our community’s piss oor eating habits.

    • temps

      @Hostess, ppl are reading books look at all the ghetto lit books the sisters are reading, on the subway out here in BK if a black chick got a book its most likely ghetto lit book

  • Ashley Neicole

    Glad you decided to post on this. I’m inclined to pretty much agree with you on all above points. I think he deserves all the credit he gets for the trends he sets. I think the best trend he set is showing a lot of men that it’s time to step your game up and move past the “dope” game into the “get your money right legally” game.

    The jury is still out on the necessity of this song. The beat is hot but you are right, auto-tune was on it’s way out and didn’t need an usher to the door.

    As far as Kanye goes…he’s def more influential than Jigga right now, but for all the wrong reasons. He’s influential in a negative way. He’s cocky, conceited and corny. His music is still fire, but it’s like he’s lost sight of that hungry, beat-producin, demo tape-passin fire he had before he was signed. The more mainstream Kanye got, the less I liked him. Simply, he’s an arse now. And the message he’s sending is, “Once you get rich and famous like me, become a d*ck.”

    • DanteA

      @Ashley Neicole,

      And I STILL think all Kanye’s little tantrums and sh*t will make sense when he comes out and says “I like dudes… in a sexual way”.

      I’ve been a fan since way back, even after I saw him run away on MTV’s Punk’d and thought: “Yup, Ye likey the boys.” It’d only make him more bearable if he were outlandishly flamboyant… as a gay man. I dunno… I’d just be more accepting, in that Elton John sort of way.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @DanteA,

        And I STILL think all Kanye’s little tantrums and sh*t will make sense when he comes out and says “I like dudes… in a sexual way”.

        you know, i was having this convo with a friend a few weeks ago. kanye actually makes more sense if you look at him in a rock star context instead of a hip-hop one.

        it seems like he’s creating his own template, but what he’s really doing is following the templates of sting, gene simmons, axl rose, etc, etc.

        because there hasn’t been anyone in hip-hop quite like him, i think we’re too quick to label his behavior as gay.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @The Champ, i don’t think he’s gay at all, or even that his antics are “gay”. i think he’s just uber flashy and flambo and overly concerned with his own greatness. he acts out at all times possible yet thinks he’s the most concerned and caring individual out there.

          i think you’re right on the rock star thing.

          • Officer Ricky

            @Panama Jackson,

            i think you’re right on the rock star thing.

            My name is Officer Ricky and I approve this message.

        • V Renee

          @The Champ,

          I don’t think he’s gay either. Just on that rock star sh*t.

          Me likey! I’m a rockstar in my head so he gets the nod from me.

          • Me fail english?

            @V Renee,

            “Me likey! I’m a rockstar in my head so he gets the nod from me.”

            Yup! If I was Kanye I’d be obnoxious…even moreso than currently.

            *gets up and kicks over computer chair*

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula

          @The Champ,
          you know, i was having this convo with a friend a few weeks ago. kanye actually makes more sense if you look at him in a rock star context instead of a hip-hop one.

          And that’s what I keep telling people. Kanye is not a hip-hop star, he is a rock star… in the same veins as the Princes and the Lenny Kravitz of the world.

          Maybe because my background is more rock than hip-hop, it’s easier for me to grasp the concept.

          Do rappers have to dress and act like Young Jeezy (read stupidly) to be considered straight? *smh*

          • temps

            @Sula, you aint a ROCK STAR if you DONT make ROCK music..Pink Floyd, Bio Hazard, Bad Brains, GNR yea when Kanye and Weezy make music like those bands they are then ROCK stars, singing (when you cant) off key with guitar riffs does not make a rock album, thank you

      • Chocolate Girl Wonder

        @DanteA,

        He does like “fish sticks” (c) South Park… but I don’t think he’s really a pillowbiter. I think he just recognizes what he’s doing and wants to make sure every one else does too.

        He’s the Kobe Bryant of hip-hop. Sure he’s a douche but his talent can’t be denied. Although the douche part makes it real easy to look the other way.

        • Dante_Alexander

          @Chocolate Girl Wonder,

          I still don’t buy it.

          Billy Idol was, for all intents and purposes, the closest thing I could think of to the way you’re categorizing Ye, and in that way, I agree. He’s more of a rock star. Cool.

          In fact, that’s what he is. He’s the Billy Idol of the New Millenium. I can rock with that.

          But I still watched him run (and you saw it, too), and that wasn’t kosher. I’m just saying…

          • Me fail english?

            @Dante_Alexander,

            Ha. I was thinking David Bowie or Freddie Mercury, but Billy Idol is MUCH better for obvious reasons.

    • Leila

      @Ashley Neicole, “the best trend he set is showing a lot of men that it’s time to step your game up and move past the “dope” game into the “get your money right legally” game”

      I concur!

    • http://stuffghettopeoplelike.wordpress.com Stuff Ghetto People Like

      @everyone above on Kanye:
      I look at it like this: The blueprint of the Yeezy steezy is DWB. Not “driving while black,” but “douchebag waxing b*tch*ssness.” To call him gay is an insult to gay guys (no homo).

      All that said, I give him props for stepping up and going where these other mortal rappers fear to tread (see “George Bush doesn’t care about Black ppl.”)

  • DanteA

    Since a trend is only a trend until it’s dead, it NEEDS that final stomp to kill it.

    I wouldn’t give the title of “Trendsetter Supreme” to his catalog, but he has done some things to throw ripples in the mix, if not change the game…

    You mentioned Kanye and Just Blaze, but I’d also like to warn against things of that nature, because it will take you into places you dread treading… You guessed it, the land of the Diplomats. The land where sense was lost.

    See, the same time Jay was ringing Ye and Blaze to the mix, The Pink People Eaters were introducing the world to the Heatmakerz. I think those two sections defined what was in our IPods for the next 5-7 years, really. I dont think there was a song that came out that wasn’t done by those three, was there? Oh yeah… Eminem and Dre tracks. But Dre has always been around, and Eminem tracks always remind me of a dark dungeon. I don’t know why.

    I’m getting off track.

    Jay is a trendsetter, but I think he’s more of a lynchpin for a trend already on the rise, or maybe a driving force behind the true abolishment of something already on the decline. So, I guess I wrote all that to say I agree.

    Technically 30 is the new 20 because lazy sods won’t get out of their parent’s homes anymore for fear of moving into the real world that requires, in many markets, and advanced degree to even compete. Yet another Jay-ism that he may or may not get props for, but certainly something that has been built up over time, and it was just he who said it loud enough so everyone could hear…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @DanteA,

      Jay is a trendsetter, but I think he’s more of a lynchpin for a trend already on the rise, or maybe a driving force behind the true abolishment of something already on the decline

      i agree 100 percent. i dont think he sets trends as much as he publicizes and popularizes sh*t thats already happening. he doesnt do new…he just exposes the new to everyone else

      • Me fail english?

        @The Champ,

        In that case, who in your book qualifies as a trendsetter?Trendsetters just make it the cool thing to do. They’re not necessarily innovators/creators. Ask my man Puff.

        Madonna didn’t create voguing. But you wouldn’t see it on mainstream tv or in hetero clubs til she made a song about it.

        I didn’t see alot of men (at least not the hip hop set) with Louis backpacks and scarves til Kanye.

        Same with Jay, I didn’t know any young black males wearing throwbacks til Jay rocked one in his video. Same thing with button-ups.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @DanteA, you’re definitely right on the Heatmakerz b/c once they hit, they hit hard and were all over the place. Though I will point out that one of Cam’s biggest hits, “oh boy” was a just blaze concoction and “down and out” was kanyeezy.

      but in general, cam and ‘nemz best music was all heatmakerz. all day. cam needs to reunite with them cuz his last album was straight Cassie.

      • college bunni

        @Panama Jackson,

        “cam needs to reunite with them cuz his last album was straight Cassie”

        BWAHAHAHA!!!
        …but what exactly does that mean?

        • Me fail english?

          @college bunni,

          Cassie=Asz

          …and as the official Panamanian to English translator I’d like to ask…when do I get paid???

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @Me fail english?, when an Amerie album goes gold.

            ouch!

            but you are good at translating me and my sometimes insane combinations. brilliant minds, since ya know, my mind is brilliant.

            • college bunni

              @Panama Jackson,

              Amerie’s new joint is HOT!!!! so maybe you’ll be gettin paid sooner than you think….

              actually..probably not.
              oh well…i’ll still buy the album.

  • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ iloVEGrits

    I see the VSB censors are in full force tonight.

    I’m not a really a Jay Z fan at all. Or hip hop made after 1998. But, to copy Hostess’ steel-o, I do wish he and other rappers would spend 10 percent of their time talking about some important ish:

    The rising HIV/AIDS infection rates in the black community, especially among our women.

    The ridiculously high incarceration rates of our men.

    The alarming rates at which our children die gun related deaths.

    Respect for self and others.

    Stuff like that.

    I get that bling is in but talking about your former street life all the time is not necessarily a deterrent; in fact it glorifies it (too many people miss the point!).

    And I know rappers/other entertainers are just that, but I would think that once you realize you have enough ‘power’ to negatively influence Cristal sales b/c they pi$$ed you off with a racist but oh-so-true comment, that you’d want to use a teeny bit of that air time – like I said, 10 percent; he!! 5 percent would work – to try to positively affect the community.

    How

    • http://presidentialtelevisionandfilm.ning.com Monk

      @iloVEGrits,
      “I do wish he and other rappers would spend 10 percent of their time talking about some important ish:
      The rising HIV/AIDS infection rates in the black community, especially among our women.
      The ridiculously high incarceration rates of our men.
      The alarming rates at which our children die gun related deaths.
      Respect for self and others.
      Stuff like that.”

      It always amazes me when people make statements like this, especially when referring to an artist such as Jay-Z. It really prompts me to ask the question, “do you listen to music or just skim through it.” Jay as well as MANY other hip hop artists address these issues ALL the time. When it comes to speaking about social ills and things that directly affect out community, rappers stay doing this in their music. Why no one ever hold other artists from other genres to the same accountability. No one says instead of Maxwell singing some mumbo jumbo about “pretty wings” and shyt, why don’t he talk about education. No one says why don’t Luther stop making baby-making music and make a song about safe sex and the AIDS epidemic. You never hear that, yet with rappers, we want them to teach our kids how to read.

      Fugg outta here.

      • WordSmith

        @Monk,

        I agree.

      • miss t-lee

        @Monk,
        *head nod*
        Yep.

      • Ashley Neicole

        @Monk,

        I think the double standard is in effect w/ R&B vs Hip Hop because Hip Hop has done a lot to tear the black social community down. It’s like having the Unibomber go out with Habitat for Humanity to build some houses. I think Hostess and Grits mean it’s about replacing some of that which has been destroyed. Hip Hop has taught kids that drugs, sex and violence are OK! Now, some R&B unfortunately, has done that as well, but these are issues that Hip Hop currently revolves around and I think that some of these artists do owe it to society to try to replace some of what they stole with the lyrics they put out. 50 Cent showed young kids all over the world that it’s ok to talk ish about any and everyone and not give a damn…translate: disrespect. Nelly taught kids all over the place that the face isn’t important as long as the azz is fat. But Luther didn’t teach kids that sellin dope and buyin rims is the American Dream. I think that’s why people are so rough on Hip Hop.

        • V Renee

          @Ashley Neicole,

          Hip Hop has taught kids that drugs, sex and violence are OK! .

          I agree that Hip hop promotes these things, but Hip Hop did not start these things. If anything, Hip Hop originally rapped about what they witnessed. It was storytelling. This stuff was already going on.

          I have to agree with Monk. Many of these artists (except Gucci) are out here doing community service and rapping about other things. These kids don’t pay attention to that sh*t though. They hear what they want to hear. Anything else is just background music.

          Nelly taught kids all over the place that the face isn’t important as long as the azz is fat. .

          Artists can’t take the place of parenting.

          • miss t-lee

            @V Renee,
            “Artists can’t take the place of parenting.”

            Please say that 10 more times…lol

          • Ashley Neicole

            @V Renee,

            And you’re right. But that doesn’t decrease the social responsibility a lot of these rappers should have for perpetuating or promoting the lifestyle. They glamorized the “get rich or die tryin” ideal. So I think they have some responsibility in showing these kids that 30 years in prison for drug trafficking and assault isn’t really worth it.

            And yes, parenting is key. But when you have so many single parents out here working 3 jobs to pay the rent, buy the groceries and keep the lights on, mainstream media starts to fill those gaps that would otherwise be filled by another parent or role model in the picture.

            • Nikiloveli

              @Ashley Neicole,

              “But when you have so many single parents out here working 3 jobs to pay the rent, buy the groceries and keep the lights on…”

              Name three.

            • treble

              @Ashley Neicole,

              I agree, but is that Jay-z’s fault? By being successful as an artist(hustler) has he inadvertantly signed up to assist in the child rearing, since the parent has to work n shyt?

            • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula

              @treble,

              I agree, but is that Jay-z’s fault? By being successful as an artist(hustler) has he inadvertantly signed up to assist in the child rearing, since the parent has to work n shyt

              That was funny n shyt.

            • http://presidentialtelevisionandfilm.ning.com Monk

              @Ashley Neicole,
              “They glamorized the “get rich or die tryin” ideal.”

              That whole ideology is the American way and is promoted and perpetuated in almost every aspect of our society. MOST people don’t HONESTLY seek higher learning degrees for the sake of learning, they’re doing it to land the most high-paying job possible so that they can “get rich”. And some “die trying”. So basically the school system and corporate America supports this same theory. It’s bigger than Hip Hop.

            • Ashley Neicole

              @Nikiloveli

              Three of my good friends are single parents working 3 jobs each to survive, all pursuing degrees. One of them is a man.

        • Me fail english?

          @Ashley Neicole,

          Especialy when you considered that this genre has historically billed itself as the “black CNN”. Don’t BS with us the “90% of what I rap about I done did it or know someone who did” and then refuse to talk about the less glamorous parts of what goes on in the ghetto!

          You wanna be held to the same standards as Maxwell? Oer even Arnold Schwarzenegger? Fine. Start with stepping out of character and presenting yourself as a professional character and not a real live kingpin turned rapper. Ya know? Just to avoid the confusion. Thanks,

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @Ashley Neicole, i guess i should have posted about this yesterday since i’m kind of torn on this one…

          “Hip Hop has done a lot to tear the black social community down.”

          i think this is a pretty reckless statement and overstates the problem. that’s like saying everything was fine until hip-hop hit. now granted, hip-hop (or at least some of it, the most commercially viable and most visible) does tend to exploit some of the worst of human nature…but then the question becomes, why do people gravitate towards it in the first place? me no know.

          i’m careful of blaming rap for bringing down society when there are so many more prevalent and directly responsible -isms that exist bringing the Black community “down.”

          While I will say that rapping about tip-drills and then doing philanthropic tours and drives to promote health awareness sends a mixed message, in some regards (and the economist in me) thinks its better than nothing.

          Though, Nelly, at one point, represented the worst of every possible facet of hip-hop. Like really, dude ACTUALLY created a P.I.M.P. Scholarship. My guitar gently weeps for common sense.

          But at the same time, these cats all on this, I rap about what I see…yes and no. You chose to rap about a certain facet of what you see b/c it sells, thing is they do see it and it does exist so which responsibility do they have to the people to portray, if any?

          Interestingly enough, I find it interesting how much credit the Common’s/Talib’s/Mos’s, etc get for being so positive when a lot of time…they say as much ignant stuff as anybody else. They just tend to have more balance in their music…

          especially Common. people seem to forget that before he was mr. sensitive, sleeveless turtlenecks and knitted kufis, he was the pimp from stoney island.

          • Ashley Neicole

            @Panama Jackson,

            I’m not saying that Hip Hop is to blame completely. But what it has evolved into during the course of it’s history has done a lot of damage to black society as a whole. Hip Hop has damaged not only how the world sees us, but how we see us as well.

          • Me fail english?

            @Panama Jackson,

            Ah yes. Common and his middle class ennui/angst.

            I wonder why no one ever questioned his sincerity as the soulful, new age dude. I don’t doubt his being genuine but it seems that other artists who make less dramatic shifts fall under a microscope…

        • http://stuffghettopeoplelike.wordpress.com Stuff Ghetto People Like

          @Ashley Neicole,
          This might get lost in the sauce, but hold on a second.

          Yes, rap promoting the D-boy/thug life has poisoned the well something fierce….but one needs to keep in mind that if it wasn’t for Hip-Hop:
          -so many sisters wouldn’t have been inspired to ditch their perms and go natural.
          -not many people would have discovered the love of being Black.
          -folks wouldn’t have been inspired to explore philosophies outside of Christianity
          -there’s a lot of non-whites that wouldn’t even have jobs in the mainstream if not for Hip-Hop’s influence.

          Yes, the bullsh*t is disproportionately out in front, and I hate it too, but we all know this wasn’t Hip-Hop’s mission, it’s raison d’etre…it got hijacked. And let’s face it, eliminate negative/ignorant rap’s existence from the time-space continuum yesterday, and Black ppl would still be a mess. There’s other weeds in the garden.

          • WordSmith

            @Stuff Ghetto People Like,

            “so many sisters wouldn’t have been inspired to ditch their perms and go natural”

            Please expound.

            • 8th Wonder

              I’m curious about that one myself.

            • http://stuffghettopeoplelike.wordpress.com Stuff Ghetto People Like

              @WordSmith,
              It’s an indirect by-product of the late 80s/early 90s pro-Black and consciousness movement…PE, BDP, X-Clan, Brand Nubian, King Sun, countless others, even Cube went hard with ideas that changed up a lot of ppl’s thought processes and had a lasting effect. Even though rap overall went savage not long after that, it still directly influenced a lot of the steez of so-called neo-soul, spoken word, and Common, Mos, and Kweli constantly being spoken in the same breath.

              It’s not that far of a stretch to me.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @Monk,

        Why no one ever hold other artists from other genres to the same accountability

        it does happen. cats like marilyn manson have been blamed for everything from columbine to swine flu.

        still, getting back to your main point, hip-hop artists do catch alot of flack because many (not all. but enough) of them have become rich by promoting personas that represent some of the worst ills in the black community. because of this and their panoramic influence, they do hold more responsibility than a luther or a maxwell to try and rectify those ills.

        is it jay-z’s fault that “is that yo b*tch” is more well-known than “soon you’ll understand”? no. society is sick. but, if you’ve purposely and successfully profited from that sickness, as a human being you have a great debt to pay.

        • Me fail english?

          @The Champ,

          Good points. I’d also go so far as to say tho “Is that yo …” is much catchier than “Soon You’ll Understand” and I could see why he’d choose to promote one over the other, he has no excuse for releasing Change Clothes.

          I had a point when I first started typing, but that was a real long time ago…

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @Me fail english?, “change clothes” was some straight bupkus in my book.

            that joint was a total Pharrell joint featuring jay. not the other way around.

        • Precious Rubenstein

          @The Champ, I have to emerge from my lurking status to co-sign hard on your comments. Amen, and alla that! Carry on.

        • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com Naturally Alise

          If Jay, Yeezy, and ‘nem are the geniuses they claim to be then why can’t they make a “positive” or thought provoking song that is catchy? and then Jay can give it to Memphis Bleek so he can have his one hit away from his whole career?

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @Naturally Alise, cuz you can pay for school but you can’t buy class.

            i mean, it’s memphis bleek. plus, why waste the real heat on somebody who might not get it to its full potential. he had his chance. hell, “is that your b*tch” was on Bleek’s album, not Jay’s.

            Bleek’s just not interesting.

            • miss t-lee

              @Panama Jackson,
              Yeah Bleek had potential to be hot. Hell I own that album with “Is that Your B*tch”. It has some of the hottest beats on it, but even with Jay’s help…dude was just boring.
              AMIL was more exciting on that album..and that ain’t saying squat.
              Plus he was all over Life and Times vol 3/Hard Knock Life vol 2/Roc La Familia and still couldn’t make it happen.
              Dah well.

            • Me fail english?

              @miss t-lee,

              Word! Forget “Coming of Age” and “It’s Alright” I really thought after the intro to Vol. 2 Bleek was gonna blow by Ja Rule easily and just kill the whole east coast scene!

              As you can see, I’m never wrong :)

          • Me fail english?

            @Naturally Alise,

            You still think Bleek’s one hit away?

            Clearly you haven’t seen his work with Garnier. Hmph!

            • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com Naturally Alise

              @Me fail english?,

              you fail sarcasm detection? yes… lol (and yes lawd I have seen the Garnier commercial…sad)

            • Me fail english?

              I got the sarcasm. My post wasn’t serious either.

            • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com Naturally Alise

              @Me fail english?,

              oops, me failed. lol….

        • http://presidentialtelevisionandfilm.ning.com Monk

          @The Champ,
          “cats like marilyn manson have been blamed for everything from columbine to swine flu.”

          This is true that his music has been blamed for things that happen, but society doesn’t say to him, “you need to talk about more positive, uplifting things. you should make music about being a productive citizen.” Nope, they don’t do that. People tend to want to TELL hip hop artists what their subject matter SHOULD be. What part of the game is that if you’re an artist. No one tells country singers you need to make a song about literacy and preventing teenage pregnancy, yet people still wanna suggest what they want rappers to rap about. That’s a huge double standard.

      • Peysonic Temple #69

        @Monk, I agree. I had a convo with a man who gets on my last nerve, Mike Eric Dyson. He brought up the great point that we expect rappers to be held accountable for a community that was never held accountable to and for them. I think when you really think about that comment, you understand how important proper child rearing is

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @Peysonic Temple #69, i do pretty much hate michael eric dyson too, but even a broke clock is right twice a day.

        • http://presidentialtelevisionandfilm.ning.com Monk

          @Peysonic Temple #69,
          “we expect rappers to be held accountable for a community that was never held accountable to and for them.”

          Chuuuch!!

      • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula

        @Monk,

        I concur.

        It’s not even an artist job to talk about society’s ills. It is an artist’s job to perform their art. If said art involves making the community aware of its ills, so be it.

        There are other entities whose job is to deal with that stuff… i.e parents, families, schools, government agencies…. the list goes on.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          @Sula,

          There are other entities whose job is to deal with that stuff… i.e parents, families, schools, government agencies…. the list goes on.

          no. its EVERYBODY’S job in the community to deal with that stuff. no one is exempt.

          • Me fail english?

            @The Champ,

            Very true. We all touch each other and set the course of cultural exchange. Unless you exile yourself to a remote island, you play a part in influencing others.

          • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula

            @The Champ,

            We’ve already have that convo. We’ll again agree to disagree. In my opinion, it’s no one’s job to raise your children but you. Nobody is to be held responsible but you.

          • http://mysixcents.wordpress.com klysha

            @The Champ, I agree that it’s everyone’s job to deal with that stuff, but what about the rappers who are victoms of that stuff themselves…how can they be expected to provide solutions to the problems when they are victims of these very problems and therefore have no idea how to solve them…. Now the one’s who have already made it out and have seen a different life on the other hand should be held to a different standard…

          • http://presidentialtelevisionandfilm.ning.com Monk

            @The Champ,
            “its EVERYBODY’S job in the community to deal with that stuff. no one is exempt.”

            This is basically my point. We can’t just blame hip hop as we look at the condition of our people. It takes a village as they say and that village consists of a lot more than just rappers. People in entertainment makes up a very small percentage of folks out here so there’s no reason why they should be blamed for the bulk of issues that plague our communities…especially since it’s existed before hip hop’s conception.

            Everyone needs to step their game up.

    • Me fail english?

      @iloVEGrits,

      “I get that bling is in but talking about your former street life all the time is not necessarily a deterrent; in fact it glorifies it (too many people miss the point!).”

      I agree! I can’t think of too many dope dealers that decided to truly go square following Jay’s lead. I’ve known a lot of kids that wound up thinking that was a fine way to start their careers tho. Maybe not cuz of JayZ but I’m sure he didn’t help matters

      • ESQuared

        @Me fail english?, *De Lurk*

        Just about everyone here has valid points and i applaude the discussion taking place.

        HOWEVER, the core of the issue is that these people are ENTERTAINERS. All they have to do is make songs. You dont have to like, listen, or buy them. Thats the end of the issues. Same for Athletes, they get paid to play ball and THATS ALL.

        Now one can argue the merits of community service and reaching back. HOWEVER they dont have to do any of that “No body owes any body else sh*t” because in the end they are an individual out for their individual success. Jay adresses the issue with “i cant help the poor if im one of them” the goes on to say that he gives back and thats the “win win” but if a person so chooes not to give back financially, spiritually, or in terms of community service thats on them. As said above its on us to uplift our own communities. Its not the jobs of the few to uplift the many. IF we are going to go that route then we bring into play the “Tallented Tenth” scanario.

        Is that really where we want to go?

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula

          @ESQuared,

          Thanks for delurking. I wholeheartedly agree.

        • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

          @ESQuared,

          Just want to add a disclaimer that I agree with the parents being the core of the issue and not the media. And also co-sign Dyson’s statement up above that Panama quoted about taking account for THEM and why they do the things they do. We have to start at the beginning, we can’t just jump in the middle.

          This, ESQuared is interesting:

          “HOWEVER, the core of the issue is that these people are ENTERTAINERS. All they have to do is make songs. You dont have to like, listen, or buy them. Thats the end of the issues. ”

          Because at the heart of it, I agree. But there are those entertainers that are actively trying to give the folks that look up them a message. And it’s not just entertainment. Edu-tainment, if you will. So, saying they are only there to entertain sort of alienate those that are actively trying to make an impact with their music.

          It’s something I think about. If kids can get positive messages from hip hop (which are usually intentional and directly expressed without shame), then they can get negative ones as well (which may not be intentional or directly addressed).

    • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ iloVEGrits

      @Monk,

      Maybe you missed a key part of my comment:

      “I know rappers/other entertainers are just that, but I would think that once you realize you have enough ‘power’ to negatively influence Cristal sales b/c they pi$$ed you off with a racist but oh-so-true comment, that you’d want to use a teeny bit of that air time – like I said, 10 percent; he!! 5 percent would work – to try to positively affect the community.”

      I understand it’s his job to entertain. But damn…what kind of person, when they realize they have such an influence don’t want to do something positive with it.

      You are correct: I skim the music. But it would be hard for me to believe Jay Z ‘stays’ doing something positive.

      Like Champ said “We all are responsible for our community” and if you can’t take a noticeable public stand for something positive every blue moon, then I have no use for ya.

      I will NOT get the fugg outta here;lol. Some body has to work in our communities, talk to the kids and raise awareness and change things. Too bad my platform isn’t as big as Jay Zs.

  • aceklub

    Jay was also partially responsible for the two-way pagers.

    And I agree, if Jay was to talk about some more positive images, etc. He could really change circumstances for our young black folks. However, it would have needed to happen about 3-5 years ago b/c the youngins aren’t following Jay like that.

    Unfortunately, these kids are following the likes Weezy, Jim Jones and such.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @aceklub,

      Jay was also partially responsible for the two-way pagers.

      lol, admittedly, the “excuse me miss” video was directly responsible for me buying a sidekick in jan of 2003.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @aceklub, though i don’t think Jay would really impact the Black community in such a way to create large scale “positivity” (whatever that means) I do think that in the early 00s, Jay could have singlehandedly kept hip-hop away from the ringtones and more gutta if he had done two things:

      1) made that Primo album
      2) if instead of MFDoom, Jay had gotten ahold to those Madlib instrumentals so that we never got Madvillainy (which is beautifully chaotic) but more like, MadHov or something…

      instead, Jay went pop to sell records…can’t blame him, but its just sad that Jay is rapping NOW over more hardcore gutter beats like “D.O.A.” or even “Successful” instead of Jay at his prime.

      • Dante_Alexander

        @Panama Jackson,

        One thing I think Jay realized as he got older, which I think gets overlooked a LOT, is the fact that he started to take Hip Hop out of the Studio and in front of live band.

        Like, my Pops is a staunch hater of everything that is our generations music. he hates drum machines (even though he uses one), and he hates sampling (even though he does it). But he has always been a fan of using said media when it is easily translatable to a live band.

        See, he’s from a school where the show as important (if not more) as the music it was presenting.

        I remember he didn’t like DMX circa Flesh of My Flesh. Then he saw him perform in front of a live band on Saturday night live. Guess what? he loved X until the crack.

        Same thing with OutKast… he started to turn with Spottieottiedopalicious (he literally nodded his head with the “ugly face” and said “THAT’S Fonky!”), and now that they’ve done so many different things now, he’s enamored. Loves those cats. And Atlanta. That’s a whole nother story…

        Anyway, Jay has helped make it cool to do such things. His mash up with Linkin Park was another of those things that, while he didn’t start it, he brought it to a mass audience that would have readily ignored it before.

        “We ain’t invent the wheel, but we made the Good Rich Tire”

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula

          @Dante_Alexander,

          Same thing with OutKast… he started to turn with Spottieottiedopalicious (he literally nodded his head with the “ugly face” and said “THAT’S Fonky!”), and now that they’ve done so many different things now, he’s enamored. Loves those cats

          Your pops knows good stuff! :)

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @Dante_Alexander, Common…is that you???

          (wondering how many people will get this reference)

          • Me fail english?

            @Panama Jackson,

            Ok, I won’t lie. I totally missed that til you said smthg. Good ish.

          • Dante_Alexander

            @Panama Jackson,

            As long as they don’t think of me like I wear sleeveless turtlenecks.

            I have been bamboozled by a hood rat with intellectual prowess, though. I cannot tell a lie. Badu’s evil(er) twin… (from the waist down).

            • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

              @Dante_Alexander,

              “As long as they don’t think of me like I wear sleeveless turtlenecks.”

              Oooh, I’m doing a throwback but “sleeveless turtlenecks” woulda been a LOVELY addition to the past grind my gears lists. I HATE those so much. Like you gon’ have a winter summer shirt?

              Ok, breathe.

  • YGB

    I think he doesn’t get enough credit for looking like he does and still managing to bag Beyonce!

    • Ashley Neicole

      @YGB,

      very valid point

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @YGB, it’d be a good point if he was broke. but we all know rich ugly men aren’t as ugly as broke ugly men.

      plus, you can actually find women out there who think Jay is fine. Puffy too.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @YGB,

      I think he doesn’t get enough credit for looking like he does and still managing to bag Beyonce!

      lol, theres no trend here. super rich men have always been able to bag and marry basically whoever they want. this is one of the reasons why they became “super rich men”

      • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula

        @The Champ,

        Pretty much.

    • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

      @YGB,

      I always said if Pac awas around he woulda scooped up Bey. Bey jus look like she got the cheerleader complex (will bang you if you quarterbackin hard)

    • http://www.blackcynic.com/blog T. Troy Stewart

      @YGB, I ain’t saying Bey is a gold digga….but Jay ain’t no….

  • http://wrdsbikmplx.blogspot.com kmplx

    think jay is hollywood now, stretching back to the streets to keep himself relevant. not a bad thing, he made his dosh, married beyoncé, but something about money always desensitises you from your muse.
    ye is just real, and black middle-class so he appeals across the board. he’s also got that “i got a big ego, because i”m just that good”… he just brings something new everytime, making the haters go back to the drawing board. genius, yes. trendsetter, no.
    in fact, i can’t think of any consistent trendsetter currently. which maybe is the problem… too many trends going on at the moment. like people can’t decide what they want to do. not a bad thing… just a bit suspended in space with ADD.

    • superwoman

      @kmplx, plus, anyone who Gwyneth Paltrow claims as a personal friend is immediately and incredibly suspect to me… insipid little brat…. stole Cate Blanchett’s Oscar…

    • Peysonic Temple #69

      @kmplx, I think jay admits that he is hollywood. In D.O.A he raps “Get back to rap you T-Pain’n too much
      Ah, I’m a multi-millionaire
      So how is it I’m still the hardest n—a here?
      I don’t be in the project hallway
      Talkin’ bout how I be in the project all day
      That sounds stupid to me,”

      He clearly doesnt want to be the hardest dude out here, he wants to rap about money, but the lack of other rappers rapping about being hard forces him to do so

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @kmplx, “in fact, i can’t think of any consistent trendsetter currently. which maybe is the problem… too many trends going on at the moment. ”

      i was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day about how there’s a little bit TOO much fashion out there right now. everybody is a walking new fashion trend.

      you know something’s wrong when wearing a “white tee” was an actual fashion trend.

      • http://wrdsbikmplx.blogspot.com kmplx

        @Panama Jackson,
        lolol @ white t-shirt. too too true.

  • superwoman

    ok, hang on…

    did you just describe cassie as diddy’s OATMEAL BOWL?????

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    you’re bloody HILARIOUS, champ!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @superwoman,

      “you’re bloody HILARIOUS, champ!”

      vsb.com: where south africans dont pay attention to bylines.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @The Champ, LOL.

        happens a lot. “you owe me nothing, pay me no mind…”

        • superwoman

          @Panama Jackson, hee! sorry, credit transferred to PJ, the gemini genius!!

      • Me fail english?

        @The Champ,

        lol

  • http://www.singlesisterspeak.wordpress.com Nicki Sunshine

    I’m a huge Jay-Z fan, but I haven’t checked out this song yet… He has a song that I downloaded about a month ago that I wasn’t feeling, so I think I’m scared to hear this Autotune song- I don’t want my imagine tainted of him.

    I think Jay Z’s a trendsetter because of the same reasons you stated (ESPECIALLY that button up trend)…. plus, he’s pretty well respected across the board.

    And although, I like Kanye, a lot of people do not. People complain about his “cockiness,” which I think is just a big running joke for him, but for that reason, I can’t say he’s as big as an influence.

    • Me fail english?

      @Nicki Sunshine,

      “I think I’m scared to hear this Autotune song- I don’t want my imagine tainted of him.”

      I feel the last three years Jay’s been hit or miss lyrically. I just like to think somebody ghostwrote stuff like “Jockin Jay-Z” or that Rick Ross remix.

      I like DOA tho.

      • http://www.singlesisterspeak.wordpress.com Nicki Sunshine

        @Me fail english?, I just listened to the DOA. And I must say, I like it, but the music was kinda annoying, I think it’s the horns, which remind me of the annoying background of Brooklyn we go hard.

        I haven’t heard Jockin Jay Z though (dang, I call myself a fan.) lol

  • http://jameskphoto.blogspot.com Mr. Mister

    I never owned a the traditional “button up” uniform.
    Come to think of it, I didn’t own a throwback either.
    *shrug*

    I agree with you though. Jay > Kanye as far as influence goes. But Jay isnt regarded as relevant to the younger age brackets anyway so…eh

    • http://jameskphoto.blogspot.com Mr. Mister

      @Mr. Mister, …I meant <

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @Mr. Mister, yeah, Jay’s influence is definitely on the wane…he’s Jordan playing for the Wiz…everybody looking at Kobe and now Lebron.