July 22, 2011

Jay + Ye

It’s hard to find the words to describe to those who just don’t get it. I can explain until I am blue in the face and it wouldn’t matter. Some people just don’t get it. I’ve met lots of people in my life. I’ve met people who are extremely passionate about certain things. Just for a couple of instances, I know people who love to game; love Bruce Lee movies; run like it’s a religious service; watch football; watch themselves on home videos from their glory days in high school; being cheap; flying; religion; politics; you name it….

My “obsession” with Jay-Z and Kanye West isn’t an obsession. It’s a passion. It’s a feeling of joy that I have when I hear the music of these creative types. It has nothing to do with the men themselves. I hate that Jay calls himself HOV. To me that’s disrespectful to the Almighty Supreme. I hate that Kanye wears chains of the Eye of Horus, something that goes back to the mystical Egyptians and their numerous pagan gods. I hate that I have to filter through the cursing, the immoral sexual content. There are lots of things I hate about the two and their music. But at the very core, the very, very core, it’s beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s art at its finest. There are few people in the world that have created art like Jay and Ye have. I love their art. Some people don’t get it. That’s fine. It doesn’t take away the artistic value of the art. It never will.

Kanye West, to me, is the epitome of an “I CAN” attitude. He has made his career grow exponentially by believing in himself. He is the epitome of great self-marketing. His attitude is hated by most but I love it. If you’re not your own biggest fan, can anyone else buy into who you are? Kanye taught me that it was ok to be different. It was ok to not fit into one stereotype. It was ok to not be labeled just one type of person. It was ok to be all things to all people. In the Bible, the apostle Paul was like this. He was preaching all through the then known world and he said that he had become all things to all people. In many ways, Kanye West has done the same. It’s amazing. But the most amazing part of it all is that no one really gave him a break. They thought he was too cocky. They thought he couldn’t rap, he couldn’t hold an album, etc, etc…until Jay-Z, one of the generations greatest business minds figured out that Kanye West was more than just a dude who hyped himself up. Kanye West was a genius; a musical genius; someone who was far ahead of his time.

Jay-Z: the greatest rags to riches story ever. Jay grew up in Marcy Projects, the worst projects in the country. Jay started selling crack at 12 and did it, not out of a love for the “thug life” but out of a respect for his mother, for his family. He sold crack and helped pay bills. Something that his runaway father couldn’t provide…Jay provided. As he got older, Jay made a lot of money as a drug dealer. But as he explained, there is nothing that could bring more sense to life than hustling crack. It was just the thing to do in an environment where you couldn’t excel otherwise. It’s the “fight to survive” mindset that most people from middle America don’t get. Jay made it. And despite the odds that he had to overcome, Jay fronted the money for his first album Reasonable Doubt, and did so because he could not get a record deal. They told him, like they told Kanye, that he would never amount to anything.

Now here we are. 2011 and Jay-Z and Kanye West are about to release one of the most anticipated albums in history, Watch the Throne. The title is so fitting because there aren’t any two rappers in the world bigger than Jay and Kanye. Sure, you might argue Lil Wayne, but honestly, Wayne is popular among little kids and commercial types. Jay and Ye are the kings, the top of the rap food chain, and they are coming together to make quite possibly the best album ever. There is a lot of reaction to it. Some think it’s going to be amazing. Some are already counting it as a flop. Either way, August 2nd can’t come soon enough.

If you know me, you know I love the music of these two. I’m very passionate about it and there are multitudinous reasons why. But honestly, ask yourself, why are they so great. If you don’t know, I would suggest making the way through each of their music catalogs and seeing what is out there. Watch the Throne is going to be amazing. Period. Why? Because there are two amazing artists that made it. Long live the kings….

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