‘We’re Not Gonna Be Tricked Out of Our Position’ – Rolling Stone


After dropping a Rare and almost instantly beloved four-minute verse to the title track from DJ Khaled’s latest album, “God Did”, rap veteran Jay-Z joined Khaled, journalists Rob Markman and Ari Melber, and more for an even rarer public conversation inspired by the song via Twitter Spaces on Wednesday evening. In it, Jay discussed his rise from poverty to billionaire status — and seemed to respond to critics who called the mogul and his ilk capitalists.

After Markman urged him to discuss his history of empowering financial opportunity for others, most notably reported billionaires Rihanna, Kanye West and LeBron James, Jay said, “Yeah, we’re not going to stop. You know, hip-hop is young, we’re still growing, and we don’t fall for that trick nology whatever, you know, this audience brings out.”

“Back in the day, the American dream was, ‘Pull yourself on the bootstraps, and you can make yourself… you can make it in America,'” all these lies America has been telling us all our lives,” Jay continued. “And when we came in, they tried to lock us out. They start making up words like you know, ‘capitalist’, you know, that sort of thing. I mean, you know, we’ve been called “n-ger” and “monkeys” and all that. I do not give a hoot; you all come across those words. You must come up with stronger words.”

Also on Wednesday, audio from Ari Melber’s MSNBC segment, in which he broke the rapper’s “God Did” verse, was uploaded to Jay-Z’s Spotify page as a nearly 12-minute “audiobook” titled “Hov Did” . Through the segment, Melber – who often weaves rap into his reporting and commentary on his show, The rhythm — explains Jay’s stories as reflecting the rapper’s incredibly successful transition from the illicit drug trade to the entertainment industry and other ventures as a systematically improbable one, given the US government’s often racist, hypocritical, and ever-changing War on Drugs.

“Numerous people have spent their lives in prison for the kinds of things he made billions on rapping, and the disproportionate lasting impact of failed government policies on black people is well documented,” rolling stoneSimon Vozick-Levinson recently wrote about Jay-Z, ‘God Did’ and the War on Drugs. “Jay is sounding more and more like the eloquent advocate for criminal justice reform he’s become in recent years as the verse heats up: ‘Back and forth on this turnpike, really took a toll on them/Many fallen soldiers on these roads of sin /For those who make the laws, I always smoke for them.’”

In yesterday’s Twitter Space, Jay continued to spar about American inequality, but he also seemed to object to the idea of ​​tackling it by targeting the rich. “We’re not going to be tempted out of our position,” he said. “You’ve locked us all out. You have created a system that we do not belong to. We said fine. We went our alternate route. We made this music. We did our thing, you know, we rush, we killed ourselves to get to this room. And, you know, now it’s like, you know, you know, ‘Eat the rich’, and, man, we’re not stopping, so that evolution is, you know, ours.”

In recent years, “Eat the rich” — a hyperbolic phrase born in reflection on the French Revolution, after which quality food for the poor became scarce — has re-emerged as a rallying cry against extreme social and economic stratification in America.

Jay-Z has long touted entrepreneurship as a means of changing the material conditions of poor communities, especially black ones, and he’s not alone. “From Malcolm X’s speeches calling on black communities to build bigger companies than General Motors to Jay-Z’s ‘The Story of OJ,’ in which the rapper tells dealers to ‘take your drug money and buy the neighborhood’, stories about liberation entrepreneurs have been on heavy rotation in the culture for generations,” journalist Aaron Ross Coleman wrote for the Nation in an article titled “Black Capitalism Won’t Save Us.”

Coleman points to the mammoth task that black capitalism’s rhetoric – investment in creating and patronizing black businesses and entrepreneurial efforts – cannot overcome: closing the racial wealth gap for many. Instead, Coleman’s work argues that instead of relying on wealthy black leaders to change economic conditions with policies and partnerships that empower them, the federal government should implement reparations and targeted anti-poverty programs to catch a wider net and to lift.

“If we ever want to create economic justice, we need to change the way our art conceptualizes that justice,” Coleman says. “We need to change the stories we tell. We have to tell the truth.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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