“Let me ask you this: Would you kill the world to save yourself?” – Loaded Lux
This blog isn’t written for the stans of “Hov” or people from Brooklyn who can’t stand to have their version of Jesus, critiqued. This is for critical thinkers and open minded people. If the former and not the latter is you, head for the exit
I was watching New York’s “The Breakfast Club” awhile back and like every other radio show, they attempted to place the blame of New York’s demise, on 50 Cent. When if you sit back and think about it, New York’s demise is mostly the blame of Jay Z, and I will gladly tell you why.
I once heard Jay Z refer to himself as Genghis Khan and as years passed, I realize how much of an insult to Genghis Khan that actually is. Genghis Khan via almost any means necessary, united many tribes, nations to create an ultimate Dynasty. Jay Z via his actions had no interest in that. Jay Z’s interest has always and will forever be, “What’s best for Jay Z.” While you can’t knock him for that, you can’t dissolve him of the fallout from his self-centered, self-preservation stance. Think about the irony in all of it. Roc-A-Fella existed before Jay Z, it dissolved with his departure and him selling his part without speaking to his partners. Dame Dash, in the beginning of it all pulled a “real nigga” move, brought you into the fold, gave you a piece of the business and instead of seeing the kingdom, the dynasty continue on without you, you seek to destroy it. You didn’t like the Cam move, sure, you didn’t like other things, sure. It happens in business. However, what you don’t do is what most of us who were raised in the same conditions as Jay Z would consider: “Snake shit”.. 1st option to buy your shares should have went to the man who helped build you. Your partner. The guy who talked you out of wearing Hawaiian shirts and gold teeth. The guy who assisted in polishing the image. You tell your partner “I want out.” Before you sell your piece to Def Jam who, while you were signed to them, they were mortal enemies of the same guy who pledged allegiance to you and became their enemy while fighting for you and the business you co-owned.
Roc-A-Fella The Dynasty, was looking powerful. Not only did it have Jay Z, it signed KanYe West who admittedly felt bad for going with Jay Z when Dame is the real reason he was a Roc-A-Fella artist. You had Sigel and State Property who along side of M.O.P & Dipset gave The Roc it’s control of the streets. Even went as far as signing Twista and Noreaga. The Roc label became expansive and they didn’t make meaningless tax write-off signings a la Cash Money. They made “We want to run rap” signings. Which they did. Ruff Ryders had a ton of talent but they didn’t run NY, neither did Murder Inc, they both played lil bro or lil sis roles to The Dynasty. Roc-A-Fella ruled the Land, other entities existed within. It kept other regions from claiming much stake because New York was just too powerful. Yes, Jermaine Dupri and So So Def existed, but even he had to reach out to the King Of New York. Dr Dre even had to reach over and have Jay Z ghostwrite a few records. Master P who sprouted from nowhere, Paid Jay Z over 1M for a verse. The control was there, the Dynasty was powerful, you had a few test it and while even the battle with Nas may be considered an “L” on wax, it didn’t derail Jay Z. It didn’t stop Roc A Fella. Most beefs end in one party becoming very irrelevant, no matter how much they continue to rap. Jay Z was immortal.
Move forward to the break of the Roc, almost every artists who was signed, sided with Jay Z because he became the president of Def Jam. “Jay Z promised I’d get a release date” / “Hov Run Def Jam so the choice on the business side of things was easy. I love Dame but I have to feed my family.” Was said by artist after artist who was signed to the Roc label. Jay got there and Peedi got a hot single with Ne-Yo at most and didn’t see a release date. Omillio Sparks wrote a record that Jay Z confiscated, you’d at least think that after Jay Z talked him into sticking with him that Jay would give HIM a release date for a single. It didn’t happen. This is The domino effect of all this turmoil. Not only did the breakup create a void in New York that needed to be filled, the 2nd biggest hip hop city on the east coast was destabilized as well. Sigel, Freeway, Young Chris, Neef etc all had to find a new way. Artist who spoke out about the new president of Def Jam, was shelved or dissed. Budden, DMX, LL Cool J, etc. Meanwhile one of the greatest marketing minds, one of Hip Hop’s greatest personalities was made to walk the plank and then duct taped, tied up to a raft and pushed out to sea.
50 Cent could have beefed with whoever he wanted to. He wouldn’t have had the power he had to shun people out with Jay Z at the helm of New York’s culture. DJ Khaled and them shunned Trick Daddy out when rumors were circulating that he would sign to G-Unit. If Khaled didn’t run Miami radio could that have been done? No, because he would have had someone with a larger presence than he whom he would have had to answer to. It’s kind of how in my city, Philadelphia, the police run out or jail all the O.G.’s and then the body count rises, same as Chicago, Detroit, etc. Well Why? New Niggas have no hierarchy, so they implement rule and laws as they see fit. They run the land, according to them. They are like pit bulls who suddenly get out of the gate. You can’t demolish a structure. You always have to transition. Roc-A-Fella created a black hole. That hole swallowed all hope of a Mongol-like Empire (The Mongol empire is the empire that Genghis Khan ruled).
Now, in 2014 you have artists claiming they are the ones who is bringing New York back. For all intents and purposes, Troy Ave is the new leader. Which is scary, if you want to keep it real with yourself. You went from Jay Z to 50 Cent to Troy Ave. The jury is still out on what he can and will be. I’m not a big fan myself but I am a fan of Hovain, he’s a great marketing and branding mind. However this is also a part of the domino effect. Who in New York will lead the new wave, who truly embodies the soul of a King? Who comes with his own sound and style and has the people gravitate to the obvious leader he is. Is it Troy Ave? Is It French Montana? New York, whether we love it or not.. New York’s resurgence is crucial to hip hop. It makes it all whole again. However, it needs that true leader. Not a leader by default, but someone who embodies that. Jay Z doesn’t care anymore.. He abandoned y’all. Accept it.
Jay Z is undoubtedly one of the greatest of our time, I have every album on my iPad and there’s never a bad time to listen to some Jay Z. I’ll black out to The Black Album en route to your funeral, fam. However my acknowledgment of his greatness doesn’t blind me of his flaws or errors. He’s human like you and I. Jay Z in his quest to accomplish his personal goals, destroyed the Roc Dynasty & New York’s choke-hold on the game. If our government disbanded now, Anarchy would hit the streets. You can’t blame the fallout on well, the fallout. You directly blame the source who caused it.
I could have went on and on into details and picked apart the Rocawear clothing deals etc. However, I’m sure I tested the limits of your ADHD as is.
Until next time…
(My next Hip Hop opinion piece will be about T.I., it can be checked out on TripleHQ.com. Stay tuned for the announcement.)