Does Jay-Z Consider Himself The Great Black Hope?
“The Suspicion of Jay-Z” and his Roc Nation partnership with the NFL to advance the condition of marginalized people under the guise of having a seat at the “table” for social reform and justice isn’t anything new beneath the sun or moon.
Conversations abound as to whether this move is about writing a more progressive sentence crafted with muscular verbs and concrete adjectives within the Black paragraph. Or, whether it’s a byproduct of a Bobby Fischer complex. Fischer, to whom Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is paralleled, once said in equal parts sarcasm and naiveté that if in a game with God, he could beat Him with the white pieces.
Does Jay-Z consider himself the great Black hope?
Many find Jay’s ambiguous chess move with the rule-writing, historically self-professed omnipotent white pieces disconcerting. Mr. Carter’s willingness to bedfellow with the good ol’ boys could very well unhinge his credibility and bastardize the work he’s done on behalf of Kalief Browder, Trayvon Martin, 21 Savage, Meek Mill … and oddly enough, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
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The doubt for Jay-Z’s seeming duplicity is reasonable and the uncertainty it presents is justifiable because it appears to be a narrative-distorting diversionary tactic; a sedative to the real anguish of victims of social injustices and blue brutality. The move is flat-out enigmatic considering his record of rallying against the systemic resistance of the hegemonic machine to which he has now aligned himself.
Is history proving prophetic?
Has he dressed himself in one of Kanye’s B.C. fashions? Been washed in the blood of Yeezus? A devotee of his Sunday services? Eaten of his body and sipped from his communion cup of delusion to gain the whole world only to lose his soul? Many fear Jay has been chosen as no more than a sacrificial pawn willed to do the white man’s bidding in disguise as a shepherd over a flock of simple-minded sheep. It’s yet to be determined whether this is an attempt to anesthetize a fatigued mass via idolized worship of one of its brightest stars.
To whom much is given, much is required. This alliance prompts questions that require answers. How might Jay-Z’s affiliation with the NFL lead to socially conscious action? Can his influence hold the league accountable as an agent of change? Is it fair to demand a “leader” be responsible for securing remedies or are these queries best answered through individual community efforts that create the wholeness they seek?
Jay-Z may be deserving of the speculative backlash, but it might be too soon to label him an anathema. Perhaps he believes sheep aren’t supposed to understand the moves of the shepherd.
And in the event he isn’t actually lending his star power to solution-focused dialogue on a global scale because “we’ve moved past kneeling,” the sun and the moon will inevitably shine light on the truth and bring him to his knee-‘Kap.’