There’s no denying that Jay-Z’s 4:44 is one of the most game-changing albums for Hip-Hop music. The album lacking the Brooklyn’s lyricist signature sound of hard-hitting beats and chilled R&B is replaced with fuzzy, almost uncomfortable instrumentals. “The Story Of OJ” stands out though. Samples from both Nina Simone and Kool and The Gang explains the degree of minimalism on the second track of the album. Groovy and tribal in nature fits Jay’s controversial lyrics. On the single he shares his perspective on race in America.
“Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga
Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga
Still nigga, still nigga.”
While some may view it as part of a race-baiting agenda, I find it interesting that someone as successful and significant as Jay-Z takes such a stance. Including himself in the position of a “Nigga” not only confirms the state of racial inequality in America, but tarnishes the luster of his common blabber on luxury living. Confirming the racial divide in wealth gives incite into the struggles someone as wealthy as him has to live with.
“Financial freedom my only hope
Fuck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke
I bought some artwork for 1 million
2 years later, that shit worth 2 million
Few years later, that shit worth 8 million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children
Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99.”
As a wealthy African-American in his position, he’s not safe from discrimination. He believes his experience can help others like him. Explaining that the state of racial inequality will only change if black folks pursue financial freedom.
What’s your opinion?