Thursday, August 11, 2011
Fleshing Out Jay-Z
I've got Jay-Z's first book Decoded sitting on my bookshelf. It's next to some graphic novels and a book on screenwriting. I've yet to finish it.
I flipped through it when I got it and really the book lost me when I read Jay-Z's annotations of his lyrics. That dude was seriously working overtime trying to make his rhymes deeper than they actually were.
Decoded was a pretty successful attempt to loft Jay-Z in the rarefied air of artistry. Now he's thought of as a contender for G.O.A.T. and as genuine thoughtful artist.
Well, if Jay-Z is such a great writer I'd really like to see him address some actual topics. I mean, really, anyone can rhyme about money, cash, hoes and girls, girls, girls. But imagine if he rhymed about something of genuine importance?
Allow me to show you how Jay-Z could broaden his horizons.
The Whole Debt Ceiling Debacle - I know it was a big deal, because the news told me so, but I'm still not quite sure a) what happened b) why and c) what it all means. Apparently it was just politics as usual.
But I'm betting that if Jay-Z is half as smart as he thinks is, he'd be able to put together a "for dummies" version of the crisis and even make it a single.
Why Investing In Your Retirement Is Important - Since all signs point to people retiring at a later age that 65, it'd be nice to have a primer on why investing in your retirement is crucial.
Maybe Jay-Z could present it as a cautionary tale where he goes over a character's entire life and the troubles he has in his later years. Or maybe Jay's song could just be things that you do...to prepare for retirement. Sort of like a Ten Crack Commandments type of thing.
What's on His DVR - Ok, this isn't really important. This is just my curiosity about what Jay-Z watches on tv. What more can I say?
The Importance of a Balanced Breakfast - I'm a grown dude, and I'm still struggling with the concept of a "balanced breakfast." With so much emphasis being placed on nutrition and dietary concerns I think now would be the perfect time for Jay to address how important a balanced breakfast is a person's wellbeing.
Again, he could go the cautionary route. Or maybe he could switch up his lyrical content up and instead of rhyming about expensive cars, yachts and planes, he could rhyme about 2 percent milk, while grains and fresh fruit. I mean, could you imagine if Jay-Z made 2 percent milk as popular as he made cristal? And he played it off as a public service announcement, he could give his chum Obama some much needed good press.
The Current Socio-Economic Conditions in the Countries that Comprise the Former Soviet Union - Jay is a citizen of the world now. But he hasn't really addressed any global concerns, like his pals Bono and Chris Martin. There's literally stuff happening all around the world, and he's turning a blind eye to it.
No one's really paying attention to the former Soviet Union, so if Jay recorded a song about their current condition it might give them some shine. It wouldn't have to even be a song, it could be a freestyle.
The Diminishing Power of the Dollar - Rappers are always rhyming about money. They throw it around in their videos. They make it rain. But when it comes to spending power, the U.S. money ain't a thang compared to the euro or the yen.
It would be nice if Jay, the world traveler, complained about how he's not getting as much value from his dollars as he used to. Sure, he's got a ton of them, but they're not as powerful as they used to be. He could even break down how and why the dollar is so weak.
While I know that Jay-Z is happy being the best two-dimensional rapper alive, I think that maybe fleshing out his topics and giving them a third dimension would really give him an edge in the G.O.A.T. discussion.