Last night Hip Hop royalty, Jay Z, was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame by none other than Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America. Alongside Mr. Carter songwriters, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Berry Gordy, and Babyface were also amongst the inductees last night. It may seem like no big deal but Hov is still making history on behalf of Hip Hop Culture so that in the future writers like Rick Ross, Nas, Notorious B.I.G. can receive accolades on a similar platform. Eyes are always on Jay Z as he makes power business moves but it wasn’t always like that. It wasn’t until Hard Knock Life that Jay became what we know him as now, a success story. Jay hustled with Dame and Biggs to build Roc-A-Fella Records and here we are today with Roc Nation. Jay has been able to evolve and the culture evolved with him. When Jay speaks the culture listens and now because of his success in the realm of business not only does the culture listen but so does the rest of the country. What happened after DOA? What happened when Jay “changed clothes”?
The reason all eyes are on Jay is because he is one of the few that dictate the culture whether you see him on social media or on vacation with his wife. Tupac Shakur was another New York born rapper that exuded the same charisma that made you watch his every move. From style to how to treat a woman Tupac seemed like he could do it all. Pac was on a trajectory that no Rapper has been on since his murder in 1996. Tupac was on course to take Hip Hop Culture the distance with his movie roles in Juice, Poetic Justice, and Sunset Park. Pac was so young at the time of his death he wasn’t able to express all of himself or his creativity to us. Only those who knew him closely knew how multifaceted Pac was. As we all head to the theatres over the next few weeks we have to remember that “All Eyez On Me” is just that, a movie. Tupac Shakur himself was not present to give his input into the film because no matter how much music, how many photos, or interviews he WASN’T there!
We have to keep these types of legacies alive and show respect when respect is due. Do your research because no matter how much you know about an entertainer there’s no way you could relive in the age when that person was on top of their game. The energy and the feeling that resonated after hearing a Tupac or a Jay Z song on the radio was deep and it made you think long after you’ve heard the song. There were gems being dropped and knowledge being shared via Hip Hop music. I encourage you if you can to go to the movie theater and instead if sitting at home and watching it on KODI. If we do not support the efforts being made on our culture’s behalf someone else will and the results are television movies like “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B”. Our support and respect dictate whether or not we’ll get another chance to pay homage to our great in this way. When artists like Jay Z and Tupac Shakur surpass Hip Hop Culture to make huge strides in their careers not only is mainstream white American watching them but us too; all eyez on we!
“There’s never been a nigga this good for this long” – Jay Z
(What More Can I Say)