It’s also interesting to note how Jay’s ideology on “giving back” has evolved over the years. “So I got rich and gave back to me that’s the win-win” he rapped on 2003′s “The Black Album”. Now it’s “I got a problem with the handouts I took the man route, I’ll give an opportunity though, that’s the plan now.“ This kind of thinking is a bit troublesome as it fits in way too nicely with the same old “I did it, so you can too,” rhetoric right-leaning politicians like to throw around. “I took the man route” sounds a lot like American exceptionalism to me. Besides that, it’s not just about giving money. It’s about dedicating your time and energy to causes, it’s about using your celebrity to do more than advance your celebrity. To put it plainly – it’s about sacrifice.
It’s not fair to judge Jay based on what we see. He may do way more anonymous work than we could possibly ever know. But it would be nice to hear him lay-off lyrics encouraging the struggling masses to be aspirational, and instead throw a few bars toward those with money and power. It’d be nice to hear him encourage them to change the policies and institutions that buttress this tacit caste system upon which many of this country’s institutions are built.
- [Video] Harry Belafonte Wants Sit Down With Jay Z And Beyonce (allhiphop.com)
- Jay Z says My presence is charity, compares himself to Obama (video) (boston.com)
- Harry Belafonte Requests Discussion To End Beef With Jay Z & Beyoncé [VIDEO] (hiphopwired.com)
- Next Up: Part 2 of Jay-Z’s Wide-Ranging Interview (atlantablackstar.com)
- Video: the Legendary Harry Belafonte Talks About Trayvon Martin and Jay Z / Jay Z – “My Presence Is Charity” (madnewsuk.com)
- Jay Z Talks MCHG, Harry Belafonte & More On Bill Maher (VIDEO) (globalgrind.com)
- Harry Belafonte Wants One-on-One Meeting with Jay Z (bet.com)
- This Charming Man (newyorker.com)