Jay-Z: A Devil’s Blue Print


“I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell, I am a hustler baby, I’ll sell water to a well”. Those were lyrics from a Jay Z song called “U Don’t Know” off of his 2001 critically acclaimed album entitled: The Blue Print. When hearing about Jay-Z’s (a.k.a Shawn Carter) latest venture with Samsung regarding the release of his up and coming album: Magna Carta Holy Grail, to one million consumers of the new Galaxy mobile phone, I began to think to myself; what exactly won’t Jay-Z sell? This is not in any way an indictment to his business ventures and their success, because let’s face it; he has made it. I, much like many others, have Roca Wear Jeans, I’ve gone to the 40/40 Club, I play his songs loudly in my car and for the most part I have admiration for him being a person who went from rags to riches utilizing the “hustling” and “selling” mantra he proclaimed in the aforementioned lyrics. But the question still remains: what exactly won’t he sell? Let us look into his marketing history.

Jay-Z grew up in Marcy Houses; a project tenement in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. He was an understudy of several Hip Hop Legends that influenced his lyrical delivery and gave him a platform to display his talents. I don’t want to get too deep into a biographical depiction of his life because that is not what this article is about; we will save that for a VH-1 Behind the Music documentary. The legend of his “hustling” and “selling” is where I am concentrating my efforts. It has been made known publicly that Jay-Z went to extreme measures to get his song incorporated into a NYC radio station’s rotation, so much that he walked into their office with a duffel bag of money inquiring about how much would it take to get his song played on the airwaves. Some would say that it was a masterful ploy and a smart business move, however, I’m going to call it exactly what it is,”hustling”. Back then, Jay-Z was a street hustler who was selling illegal narcotics. His mentality back then was to sell his music, just like he sold his narcotics; aggressive with no apologies. Did he know any other way? Of course not. In life you know what you know until someone teaches/educates you on a better methodology. It’s the natural progression of life, as we are taught hard lessons by life, redefined by our teachings or education; how we live that life is determined by our morals or standards; this is the essence of life in itself. So let me fast forward my diatribe. He’s got albums, he’s got music videos, he’s gotten recognizable fame, he’s got the hottest chicks wearing his chain, etcetera, etcetera. He’s the owner of Roc-A-Fella Records, Rocawear Clothing, yes he is now “selling”. The street narcotics have now turned into clothing lines, protégé/musicians he has on his record label and he’s selling swagger to the streets as being the drug dealer who turned businessman who is now living the dream. Ok, let me stop for a minute. I want to paint the picture here: He sold drugs to his people while living amongst them. He built up enough money from his own people in order to afford him an opportunity to make a successful move towards his dream of being a rap artist. He becomes a rap artist, becomes a mogul/icon and turns around and resells his product back to the people he first exploited. Genius! If you didn’t get it, please read it again. So, he’s selling his “product” again except its legal now. He’s dating a top-notch star who is giving him exposure to the world, yet his music career is not quite up to snuff in my opinion and he delivers the news of the “Black” album being his last album, because he’s now going to retire from Hip Hop Music forever. Really? What you talking about Willis? Could it be? Yup, he’s “hustling” us again. He stayed retired about as long as it took me to write this blog. He was back on the scene, better than ever, just buy his new album he will tell you all about it himself (album was called Kingdom Come). So we move on, he’s done a soundtrack for the Denzel Washington movie American Gangster, he’s part owner of the NJ/NY Nets (which was a joke for anyone who knew his % stake in the team) and he’s heading towards matrimonial bliss. I think its safe to say that his music is drawing less attention than my blog is right now, as he is not as relevant musically as he once was. In fact his fiancée kind of made him become an afterthought as he became “the husband of” more so then the “rapper that was”. Enter in, his new friend, no not Kanye, he’s walking with Jesus and became Yezus (except he Jesus never wore tight pants). No we are talking about his new friend: Lucifer. If you don’t believe this, get familiar with the phrase “Do what thou wilt” and study the term Illuminati (read: The Illuminati 666). Jay-Z has been extremely transparent in associating himself with cult terminology and symbolism. Phrases such as “Do What Thou Wilt” and Illuminati Cult symbols can now be seen in his videos, clothing wear and jewelry designs. His album has references of proclaiming anti Christian rhetoric as we the case in the “Empire State of Mind” song, where he boldly stated that “Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church ends”. He’s also be bold enough to recycle his name from Jay-Z to J-Hova, referencing the original theology that God’s true name is Jehovah. None of his references are cryptic; they are in the forefront of a viewers site. On his collaboration with Kanye on the “Watch The Throne” album, there’s a song entitled “No Church in the Wild” asking in the lyrics “Is pious, pious cause God loves pious” Pious according to Webster is something “marked by conspicuous religiosity” it’s also defined as “marked by shame or hypocrisy”. So according to these lyrics, God loves hypocrisy and conspicuous religion. Jay-Z unapologetically parades these anti-Christian values and sells them to the masses. Once again he’s “selling” us on ideologies of him now being some sort of deity who is right on the same level as the creator. Just check out the title of his new album: Magna Carta Holy Grail. The Holy Grail in biblical reference, refers to the chalice Christ drank from at the Last Supper. Many will call this hip hop, I call it blasphemy. Is this “hustling” or “selling”? And if so, at what cost?

If we are all free moral agents, I guess that would make us free consumers as well. I love hip hop music and the success individuals have garnered from it. It has opened up avenues for individuals that may not have been available had it not been invented and to that I am extremely thankful. We live in a time where you have to hustle your work and sell your worth. That’s great marketing in itself when you are able to make something out of nothing. Jay-Z is a true blue print or template that many can see as a prime example of what to do. But I will ask the question again; but at what cost? For Jay-Z, perhaps his own soul?

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