The Story of Jay-Z: Decoding the historical context behind the emcee’s economic nationalism on his new album 4:44

Adam Serwer | The Atlantic
July 07, 2017 | 11:42 AM ET

jayznew album 2017Until 4:44, Jay-Z’s albums could be understood as an indictment of the immorality of capitalism by a man luxuriating in its fruits. Jay-Z argued that there was something revolutionary in this, in a black man born in the projects proving himself a better entrepreneur than white men born into plenty, as if to suggest the infinite human potential destroyed by the circumstances he escaped. He was right.

Jay-Z used the terms of finance to describe the drug trade—referring to his crew as his “staff,” his organization as his “conglomerate,” smoothly transitioning from acknowledging the violence of the trade to comparing it to the stock market (“drug prices up and down like it’s Wall Street homes, but this is worse than the Dow Jones, your brains are now blown”), and connecting the inequality of the system that shaped his life with his determination to triumph over it.

Read more here: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/07/the-story-of-jay-z/532896/

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