Sunday, July 28, 2013: Jay-Z

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 4:38 AM By: Octavius Haye

Hello. Welcome to the first installment of what I hope will be a weekly hip hop blog. I feel like I can't start any better than with Young Hov himself, Jay-Z, who just put out another number 1 album "Magna Carta... Holy Grail" , his twelfth solo album. The album's sales for the first week as well as sitting on number 1 on the Billboard for two weeks shows that Jay is still a huge force in the game. Now to me, Jay will always be the best to ever touch a microphone. And I know saying this on a Nas site may anger some people, but I can't lie; I feel Jay is the best. Now don't get me wrong I am a bigger Nas fan and enjoy his music over Jay-Z's, but I also can't deny talent. This is all my opinion and people are welcome to disagree. That's the beauty of hip-hop; we can go back and forth; everything is a competition. From who got the best verse to who got the most money, artists and fans get to have these arguments about this culture, and it's one of the most fun things to ever do if you ask me. But about Jay-Z--you have to admire a man who debuted in 1996 and is still hot today, is still selling out everywhere, still gets number 1 on billboard, and still make hot music that appeal to the masses. He truly has perfected the art to staying relevant every year only increasing his legacy and wealth. And speaking of wealth he gets a lot of heat for doing what everybody else does. Talking about his money... What I say to that is it's Jay-Z. What the hell do you want him to talk about--being broke? We as fans must accept that artists will evolve and change as their career moves forward. We can't expect 40-something-year-old Jay-Z making half a billion dollars to talk about the same things he did when he was 26, and trying to make a name for himself. There's too much of a gap between his street-life and working in corporate America; he can't be that same young man. Years have gone by, he's experienced different things and leads a different life. And why would you want somebody to rap about the same things they were talking about almost 20 years ago? To me that shows all your success is a waste that you have nothing new to discuss, with all the years you traveled and all the new things you learned from those experiences, and from just getting older all you have to talk about is the same stuff we heard from you when you were broke. I couldn't listen to somebody like that. They would just come off as fake to me. Jay gives you the truth and truth is Jay-Z is living a very good life from the years he's been out grinding, but he still has his raps that aren't so superficial. For example, the "Watch the Throne" album he put out a few years ago with Kanye West had many serious issues discussed. Everyone talked about how all they talked about was money, but I wonder if I bought the same album as them because the one I heard talked about race, poverty, wanting to be somebody, wanting to leave something for their children to be proud of, how lonely it is at the top, religion, hope, despair, and triumph. Now they did have their "look how rich we are" songs, but that's okay because they are very rich and those songs are always fun. To me, that album will always be a classic masterpiece between two musical geniuses. I feel we as fans we should start to really listen to what an artist is saying before we start complaining that they changed or sold out because it could just be a progression to a new stage in their life that they want to share with us. As for Jay-Z, I think that his ability to go along with the times while also staying true to who he is has kept him popular for all these years. As long as he has something to say, I will always be there to listen as a fan, who is interested on where life has taken him.

Next Sunday's blog will be about the rapper Future!

Follow me on Twitter @OctaviusHaye

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