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Jay-Z’s new album,”4:44″ was first teased through posters in New York City and Los Angeles. Then on June 1, a one minute ad spot was aired about “4:44” during the NBA finals featuring, Mashershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o and Danny Glover with the release date, June 30.
People then thought “4:44” would then be a music soundtrack in the same vein like Jay-Z’s other album, “American Gangster.” But after time, some people thought it wasn’t going to be music related at all, perhaps a film. Back in September of 2016, The Weinstein Company signed an exclusive first look deal with Jay-Z to make films, and scripted and unscripted TV, so maybe “4:44” would be coming because of that deal through Tidal, but things changed on June 18.
On June 18, we got a new clip called, “Adnis” where Jay-Z was heard rapping. The clip being named “Adnis” comes from Jay-Z father’s name, so at this point, It was clear this was going to be connected to the New York rapper and new music was on its way. Then three days before “4:44” was set to be released, another clip called, “Kill Jay-Z” was released.
“Kill Jay-Z” ended up being the first song on “4:44.” The album eventually was released and we found out it was a brand new album, completely produced by No I.D with 10 tracks. The features on the album came from Frank Ocean, Damien Marley, Jay-Z’s mother Gloria Carter and Beyoncè. Now among the songs that were released, there is a notable song called, “Family Feud” where Jay-Z discusses the disconnect in the hip hop culture between the new rappers and the old school rappers.
In an interview with IHeartRadio shortly after releasing the album, Jay-Z said about the song, “Family Feud is about the separation within the culture. Like, new rappers fighting with old rappers, saying all these things. So, the line is, Nobody wins when the family feuds.”
Now the disconnect has always been in rap and in the culture, but at this current time, the disconnect is getting a lot bigger and a lot more noticeable and if there was any rapper alive right now that can truly bring rappers together right now, it’s Jay-Z. He was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame as the first rapper ever to be inducted. And on that special day, Jay-Z went on a rare tweeting spree by naming all the rappers who got him to where he is today.
Jay-Z started off by saying, “Thank you to all the people who inspired me. Rakim, Kane, KRS, Chuck, Cube, Jaz, Em, Andre, Big, Pac, Cole, Kendrick, Chance, Jay E.. Wait.” He then went on and tweeted even more artists and finished off by saying, “Salute to anybody who made a song to feed their family or just vent.” Now when it comes to rap, Jay-Z is not only one of the most respected rappers of all time, he’s arguably the greatest of all time, so when he speaks, everybody in the culture listens. At 47, its remarkable how that’s still the case considering rap is a young man’s game.
And when he dropped his album, one of the young rappers in the game who gets a lot of attention thrown his way because of the way he dresses thanked Jay-Z for the song “Family Feud.” Because in the song, Jay-Z said, “And old niggas, y’all stop actin’ brand new, like Tupac ain’t have a nose ring too, huh.”
The rapper in question, Young Thug posted the lyrics from the song on his Instagram with the caption, “Thank you Jay.” Now in an age where old hip hop heads love reminiscing about the old days of rap and are bitter and cold to the new age of hip hop, it’s important for someone like Jay-Z to speak up for the younger generation.
Because over the years, the flamboyant nature of Young Thug has been attacked. More specifically, Thug wearing a dress on his mixtape, “Jeffrey” garnered a lot of attention, a lot positive, but a lot of negativity came from it too. Recently, one of the old head’s in the game Snoop Dogg mocked Thug in a new video called, “Moment I feared.” In the video, a rapper by the name of Fonz D-Lo wears a dress similar to the one Thug wore on his mixtape cover and in an one-on-one interview in the video between Snoop Dogg and D-Lo, Snoop asks the character if he’s gay.
Now when it comes to situations like this, where the old guys in the culture go at the young guys, we can go back years of the disconnect between old heads and new heads with Kanye West wearing a kilt during the Watch The Throne tour. Kanye was heavily criticized for that. During that time, old head Lord Jamar, a member of Brand Nubian said about the situation, “That’s not hip-hop.”
Nowadays, in 2017, It’s not Kanye getting shitted on, I mean he still is, but it’s primarily Young Thug, Migos and Lil Uzi Vert taking heat. Recently, Uzi Vert was asked about what he was wearing at the Billboard Music Awards. During the red carpet interview, Sway asked him if he cared about people considering him feminine because of what he wears and Uzi Vert said,” You know what it is? They’ve never felt these fabrics before.”
So with all of these times rappers having to defend themselves or get criticized, it’s important for someone like Jay-Z, who the old heads love to remind the old heads like hey, Tupac wore a nose ring. Like hey, Tupac who is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time pushed the boundaries too. So when Jay-Z brings up a point like this, he becomes the person who can really bridge the gap in hip hop because he’s one of the rare rappers who is loved by the entire culture.
Now at this point in his career, it’s clear he’s the godfather of rap and with a position like that, he has the power and influence to really speak on the things that are impacting the culture and the disconnect right now in the culture is real. It’s always been there, but right now, it’s glaring, and through his song, “Family Feud” he’s trying to fix things. And at the end of the day, if he can’t fix things, at least someone in his position is trying and embracing the youth. Like Young Thug said, “Thanks Jay.”
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From The 6ix,With Love
Thank You For Reading
Sincerely, Kid From The 6ix
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