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I have many issues with Jay-Z‘s “Story of O.J.” both the song and the video. I want to like it. It’s presented like cutting edge social commentary, and there’s nothing I like more than cutting edge social commentary. However, upon closer inspection, it’s not hard to tell that he’s utterly full of shit.

  1. The chorus is about how black people are never truly respected in American society, regardless of their wealth or class… but then he spends the rest of the song championing the pursuit of money at all cost.
  2. In the same line, he chides those caught up in the drug game for killing each other, but then advocates dealing enough to launder the drug money through real estate. How does an inner-city drug dealer do that, exactly? The logic here is so faulty.
  3. He pridefully calls himself a “field n*gga“… it’s a bold rejection of race traitors. Yet didn’t Jay-Z launch a high-end clothing line at Barneys NYC and continue to promote it even as they faced lawsuits for racial discrimination and harassment of their own paying customers? http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/hamill-business-usual-barneys-racially-profile-article-1.1494890
  4. The line about how all Jews own all the property in America is straight up Anti-Semitic. That’s not even based on fact, like at all.
  5. The bars he spits about investing in art is some of the worst financial advice I’ve ever heard, which isn’t surprising because it’s actually a humble brag posing as wisdom. Researchers found that the average annual return on artwork is only 6.5%. The S&P 500 can get you annual returns of 10-15%, easily. https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/research-art-good-investment

^^ I can deal with all of this nonsense from other rappers, but Jay-Z is 49 years old and self-proclaimed elder statesmen of rap. He’s sampling Nina Simone and drenching his music video imagery in America’s long history of racist cartoons. Sorry, but I was expecting something a little more substantive.
Btw, elsewhere on this Tidal exclusive album, Jay-Z dedicates whole verses to talk shit about Kanye and London McMillan, the manager of Prince‘s estate. Why? Because they’re both leaving Tidal.
I can’t recall the last time someone so petty was presented to me as “woke”.