Empire State Of Mind Draws A Line?

November 10, 2009


I remember hearing about a new Jay Z song on the Blueprint 3 that was supposed to be crazy. Now I had already listened to 3 weak songs from the album so I wasn’t really in the mood. A friend of mine at work said he really liked the album and suggested that I listen to ESOM. So I went on You Tube and listened. The song had a nice beat and seemed to be an anthem. However it didn’t move me much even though I acknowledged that it wasn’t a bad song. Once Jay performed this song on MTV’s VMAs I thought it would be big but not as huge as it is now. I mean the man opened the Yankees 1st home game in the World Series to this song. However on the flip side of the success of this song there is a conversation being had regarding what view of New York does it represent.

No one can deny that Jay Z is a man who pulled himself up from the gutters of Brooklyn NY. The thing is he did that a long time ago. Remember when Jay released his debut album in 96 he was riding around in a Lexus and reading the magazines about living the high life. Jay’s mind has always been in that space but as he moved through his career there was always a sense that he was making a way for us to do better along with him. Some might say the overall air of this Empire State Of Mind song gives the impression of a man who is now above it all and rubbing elbows with the city’s elite, alone.

I will now post an entry from one cat from Okayplayer who says it all better than I could. I give you OKP L.E.S. Now mind you L.E.S. wants us to know that he’s not rallying against Jay-Z, but only describing why he’s turned off by the whole thing.

“this is the anthem for the New ‘White Washed’ New York”

Michael Bloomberg just bought himself a re-election, and changed the law. while I’m very happy the Yankees won, the average person in New York cannot afford to go to a game in the new Stadium, which is basically a giant shopping mall that happens to have a ball field. Big and small business are closing down left and right, even in wealthy neighborhoods like the Upper East Side. Small businesses in working-class neighborhoods are in serious trouble if they haven’t already closed down.

So hearing this sentimental, commercial, New York Jay-Z anthem rubs me the wrong way. As a matter of fact (i’ve always been a big Jay fan) it’s the first time i almost feel resentment toward him. He has now gone to the ‘other side.’ I was never turned off by Jay braggin’ about getting money, women, jewels etc. but this song is more of a statement, in my opinion, that he really is an elitist. When i saw Michael Bloomberg introduce Jay at City Hall I thought to myself, these are the people in the top bracket of income in this city and country. they have more in common with each other than they do with me. I can’t relate to either of these people and they have all this power politically and culturally. So while i did not cast my vote for Mike Bloomberg, I will also not cast my vote for Jay-Z.

It’s a wrap, times up, Jay’s term is up, this is the first Jay album I didn’t buy or even listen to. Jay is talented and i love his body of work over all. but we need
new voices in New York. Jay-Z is no longer the voice of any people but himself and the elite in this city.

Now I ask you all, do you agree or disagree. State ya biz (c) Young Vito voice of the young people.

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One Response to “Empire State Of Mind Draws A Line?”

  1. Edward said

    I agree with you 100%. But let's be honest, most rappers who make it in the industry and continue to make unnecessary records are doing it for one thing and one thing only… their ego's. Jay-Z has been an elitist, since he reached commercial status about 7 years and counting. There hasn't been an exciting upcoming artist I've been looking forward to for a while now. I feel Hip Hop music in general is basically done. No one is making any interesting music anymore. It's sad… very, very sad.

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