Jay Z Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Jay Z. Here they are! All 146 of them:

We change people through conversation, not through censorship.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Jealousy’s a weak emotion.
Jay-Z
Only God can judge me so I'm gone, either love me or leave me alone.
Jay-Z
Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama's running so we all can fly.
Jay-Z
A poet's mission is to make words do more work than they normally do, to make them work on more than one level.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Identity is a prison you can never escape, but the way to redeem your past is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man!
Jay-Z
I believe you can speak things into existence.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
A wise man told me don't argue with fools. Cause people from a distance can't tell who is who.
Jay-Z
Artists can have greater access to reality; they can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss. Just sharing that truth can be a very powerful thing.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
May the best of your today's be the worst of your tomorrow's
Jay-Z
I'm a hustler, baby; I sell water to a well!
Jay-Z
You know the type: loud as a motorbike but wouldn't bust a grape in a fruit fight.
Jay-Z
If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Hip-hop is a perfect mix between poetry and boxing.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Life is for living, not living uptight, see ya somewhere up in the sky.
Jay-Z
[T]he truth is you don't need some external demon to take control of you to turn you into a raging, money-obsessed sociopath, you only need to let loose the demons you already have inside of you.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
You could name practically any problem in the hood and there'd be a rap song for you.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
The art of rap is deceptive. It seems so straightforward and personal and real that people read it completely literally, as raw testimony or autobiography. And sometimes the words we use, nigga, bitch, motherfucker, and the violence of the images overwhelms some listeners. It's all white noise to them till they hear a bitch or a nigga and then they run off yelling "See!" and feel vindicated in their narrow conception of what the music is about.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Everyone needs a chance to evolve.
Jay-Z
either love me or leave me alone." — jay-z
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I couldn't even think about wanting to be something else; I wouldn't let myself visualize another life. But I wrote because I couldn't stop. It was a release, a mental exercise, a way of keeping sane.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
We were kids without fathers, so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history, and in a way, that was a gift. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I'm not afraid of dying I'm afraid of not trying
Jay-Z
Kurt Cobain OD'd on heroin before committing suicide, but he also OD'd on fame. Cobain was like Basquiat: They both wanted to be famous, and were brilliant enough to make it happen. But then what? Drug addicts kill themselves trying to get that feeling they got from their first high, looking for an experience they'll never get again. In his suicide note, Cobain asked himself, "Why don't you just enjoy it?" and then answered, "I don't know!" It's amazing how much of a mindfuck success can be.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Hip-hop gave a generation a common ground that didn't require either race to lose anything; everyone gained.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Man I'm high off life. Fuck it, I'm WASTED
Jay-Z
This is why we shouldn't be afraid. There are two possibilities: One is that there's more to life than the physical life, that our souls "will find an even higher place to dwell" when this life is over. If that's true, there's no reason to fear failure or death. The other possibility is that this life is all there is. And if that's true, then we have to really live it - we have to take it for everything it has and "die enormous" instead of "living dormant," as I said way back on "Can I Live." Either way, fear is a waste of time.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
It's always been most important for me to figure out "my space" rather than trying to check out what everyone else is up to, minute by minute. Technology is making it easier to connect to other people, but maybe harder to keep connected to yourself-- and that's essential for any artist, I think.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Rap has been a path between cultures in the best tradition of popular music.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Which is the other reason hip-hop is controversial: People don't bother trying to get it. The problem isn't in the rap or the rapper or the culture. The problem is that so many people don't even know how to listen to the music.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
No matter where you go you are what you are player and you can try to change but that's just the top layer man you was who you was before you got here
Jay-Z
You can put a new shirt on your back, slide a fresh chain around your neck, and accumulate all the money and power in the world, but at the end of the day those are just layers. Money and power don't change you, they just further expose your true self.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Just don't go out fighting. I don't need to know where you're going, that's your biz. But if you get yourself killed, I got ninety-nine problems and you're the biggest one of them." Rehv to John
J.R. Ward
And all you other cats throwin' shots at Jigga, | You only get half a bar: fuck y'all niggaz.
Jay-Z
THEY NEVER TAUGHT MARCUS GARVEY IN OUR SCHOOL CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS IS THEIR GOLDEN RULE
Jay-Z (Decoded)
[T]he truth is that drug addicts have a disease. It only takes a short time in the streets to realize that out-of-control addiction is a medical problem, not a form of recreational or criminal behavior. And the more society treats drug addiction as a crime, the more money drug dealers will make "relieving" the suffering of the addicts.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Electing a black man named Barack Obama President in the same country that elected George W. Bush - twice! - is as far-fetched as a hustler from Marcy performing at that President's inauguration. But it happened.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
In the end, you can't censor the truth, especially when it comes packaged in hot music.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Oprah, for instance, still can't get past the n-word issue (or the nigga issue, with all apologies to Ms. Winfrey). I can respect her position. To her, it's a matter of acknowledging the deep and painful history of the word. To me, it's just a word, a word whose power is owned by the user and his or her intention. People give words power, so banning a word is futile, really. "Nigga" becomes "porch monkey" becomes "coon" and so on if that's what in a person's heart. The key is to change the person. And we change people through conversation, not through censorship.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Jay stopped and unlocked an iron gate with finals wrought in the shape of pineapples.
Poppy Z. Brite (Exquisite Corpse)
When you step outside of school and have to teach yourself about life, you develop a different relationship to information. I've never been a purely linear thinker. You can see it in my rhymes. My mind is always jumping around, restless, making connections, mixing and matching ideas, rather than marching in a straight line. That's why I'm always stressing focus. My thoughts chase each other from room to room in my head if I let them, so sometimes I have to slow myself down.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
But this is one of the things that makes rap at its best so human. It doesn't force you to pretend to be only one thing or another, to be a saint or a sinner. It recognizes that you can be true to yourself and still have unexpected dimensions and opposing ideas. Having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other is the most common thing in the world. The real bullshit is when you act like you don't have contradictions inside you, that you're so dull and unimaginative that your mind never changes or wanders into strange, unexpected places.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Hip-hop has always been controversial, and for good reason. When you watch a children's show and they've got a muppet rapping about the alphabet, it's cool, but it's not really hip-hop. The music is meant to be provocative - which doesn't mean it's necessarily obnoxious, but it is (mostly) confrontational, and more than that, it's dense with multiple meanings. Great rap should have all kinds of unresolved layers that you don't necessarily figure out the first time you listen to it. Instead it plants dissonance in your head. You can enjoy a song that knocks in the club or has witty punch lines the first time you hear it. But great rap retains mystery. It leaves shit rattling around in your head that won't make sense till the fifth or sixth time through. It challenges you. Which is the other reason hip-hop is controversial: People don't bother trying to get it. The problem isn't in the rap or the rapper or the culture. The problem is that so many people don't even know how to listen to the music.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Lyor Cohen, who I consider my mentor, once told me something that he was told by a rabbi about the eight degrees of giving in Judaism. The seventh degree is giving anonymously, so you don't know who you're giving to, and the person on the receiving end doesn't know who gave. The value of that is that the person receiving doesn't have to feel some kind of obligation to the giver and the person giving isn't doing it with an ulterior motive. It's a way of putting the giver and receiver on the same level. It's a tough ideal to reach out for, but it does take away some of the patronizing and showboating that can go on with philanthropy in a capitalist system. The highest level of giving, the eight, is giving in a way that makes the receiver self-sufficient.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I pimp hard on a trick, look / Fuck if ya leg broke, bitch—hop up on ya good foot
Jay-Z
On the night he died - he was twenty-seven - Basquiat had been planning to see a Run-DMC show. When people asked him what his art was about, he'd hit them with the same three words: "Royalty, heroism, and the streets.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Housing projects can seem like labyrinths to outsiders, as complicated and intimidating as a Moroccan bazaar. But we knew our way around.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I know my past ain’t one you can easily get past/But that chapter is done” —JAY-Z
L. Divine (Drama High: pushin')
You can try to change New York, but it’s like Jay-Z says: “Concrete bunghole where dreams are made up. There’s nothing you can do.
Liz Lemon
New York has a thousand universes in it that don't always connect but we do all walk the same streets, hear the same sirens, ride the same subways, see the same headlines in the Post, read the same writings on the walls. That shared landscape gets inside of all of us and, in some small way, unites us, makes us think we know each other even when we don't.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Boxing is a glorious sport to watch and boxers are incredible, heroic athletes, but it's also, to be honest, a stupid game to play. Even the winners can end up with crippling brain damage. In a lot of ways, hustling is the same. But you learn something special from playing the most difficult games, the games where winning is close to impossible and losing is catastrophic: You learn how to compete as if your life depended on it. That's the lesson I brought with me to the so-called "legitimate" world.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
One of the reasons inequality gets so deep in this country is that everyone wants to be rich. That's the American ideal. Poor people don't like talking about poverty because even though they might live in the projects surrounded by other poor people and have, like, ten dollars in the bank, they don't like to think of themselves as poor. It's embarrassing. When you're a kid, even in the projects, one kid will mercilessly snap on another kid over minor material differences, even though by the American standard, they're both broke as shit.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Jay-Z and Kanye West are to authentic rap culture what diseased rates were to 14th century Europeans
Dean Cavanagh
You call me a princess and sometimes we put on as much gold as we can, and you call me “Jay-Z,” and then laugh so hard.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
We give violent movies a pass but come down hard on a rapper like Scarface, who is ultimately a storyteller just like Brian de Palma. And neither of them is responsible for the poverty and violence that really do shape people's lives--not to mention their individual choices.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I'm here to tell niggas it ain't all swell. There's Heaven then there's Hell niggas One day your cruisin' in your seven, Next day your sweatin', forgettin' your lies, Alibis ain't matchin' up, bullshit catchin' up Hit with the RICO, they repoed your vehicle Everything was all good just a week ago 'Bout to start bitchin' ain't you? Ready to start snitchin' ain't you? I forgive you. Weak ass, hustlin' just ain't you Aside from the fast cars Honeys that shake they ass in bars You know you wouldn't be involved With the Underworld dealers, carriers of mac-millers East coast bodiers, West coast cap-peelers Little monkey niggas turned gorillas.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
My life after childhood has two main stories: the story of the hustler and the story of the rapper, and the two overlap as much as they diverge. I was on the streets for more than half of my life from the time I was thirteen years old. People sometimes say that now I'm so far away from that life - now that I've got businesses and Grammys and magazine covers - that I have no right to rap about it. But how distant is the story of your own life ever going to be? The feelings I had during that part of my life were burned into me like a brand. It was life during wartime.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
As sure as this Earth is turnin, souls burnin / In search of higher learnin, turnin in every direction seeking direction / My moms cryin cause her insides are dyin / Her son tryin her patience, keep her heart racin / A million beats a minute, I know I push you to your limit / But it's this game, love—I'm caught up all in it / They make it so you can't prevent it, never give it / You gotta take it, can't fake it, I keep it authentic
Jay-Z
I wrote this [Most Kings] before MJ died, and his death only proves my point: When he was alive, the King of Pop, people were tireless in taking him down, accepting as truth every accusation people made against him, assuming the worst until they drove him away. When he died, suddenly he was beloved again - people realized that the charges against him might really have been bogus, and that the skin lightening was really caused by a disease, and that his weirdness was part of his artistry. But when he was alive and on top, they couldn't wait to bring him down.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
We were kids without fathers . . . so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves.” —Jay-Z
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
But that's a good match for the way I've always approached life. I've always believed in motion and action, in following connections wherever they take me, and in not getting entrenched. My life has been more poetry than prose, more about unpredictable leaps and links than simple steady movement, or worse, stagnation. It's allowed me to stay open to the next thing without feeling held back by a preconceived notion of what I'm supposed to be doing next. Stories have ups and downs and moments of development followed by moments of climax; the storyteller has to keep it all together, which is an incredible skill. But poetry is all climax, every word and line pops with the same energy as the whole; even the spaces between the words can feel charged with potential energy. It fits my style to rhyme with high stakes riding on every word and to fill every pause with pressure and possibility. And maybe I just have ADD, but I also like my rhymes to stay loose enough to follow whatever ideas hijack my train of thought, just like I like my mind to stay loose enough to absorb everything around me.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Rappers, as a class, are not engaged in anything criminal. They're musicians. Some rappers and friends of rappers commit crimes. Some bus drivers commit crimes. Some accountants commit crimes. But there aren't task forces devoted to bus drivers or accountants. Bus drivers don't have to work under the preemptive suspicion of law enforcement. The difference is obvious, of course: Rappers are young black men telling stories that the police, among others, don't want to hear. Rappers tend to come from places where police are accustomed to treating everybody like a suspect. The general style of rappers is offensive to a lot of people. But being offensive is not acrime, at least not one that's on the books. The fact that law enforcement treats rap like organized crime tells you a lot about just how deeply rap offends some people--they'd love for rap itself to be a crime, but until they get that law passed, they come after us however they can.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
To me, its just a word, a word whose power is owned by the user and his or her intention. People give words power, so banning a word is futile, really. 'Nigga' becomes 'porch monkey' becomes 'coon' and so on if that's what's in a person's heart. They key is to change the person. And we change people through conversation, not through censorship.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
This is black superhero music right here, baby!
Jay-Z
KENNA ROWAN’S PLAYLIST 1) “Raise Your Glass”—P!nk 2) “Dynamite”—BTS 3) “Happy”—Pharrell Williams 4) “Particle Man”—They Might Be Giants 5) “I’m Good”—The Mowgli’s 6) “Yellow Submarine”—The Beatles 7) “I’m Too Sexy”—Right Said Fred 8) “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”—Justin Timberlake 9) “Thunder”—Imagine Dragons 10) “Run the World (Girls)”—Beyoncé 11) “U Can’t Touch This”—MC Hammer 12) “Forgot About Dre”—Dr. Dre featuring Eminem 13) “Vacation”—Dirty Heads 14) “The Load Out”—Jackson Browne 15) “Stay”—Jackson Browne 16) “The King of Bedside Manor”—Barenaked Ladies 17) “Empire State of Mind”—JAY-Z 18) “Party in the U.S.A.”—Miley Cyrus 19) “Fucking Best Song Everrr”—Wallpaper. 20) “Shake It Off”—Taylor Swift 21) “Bang!”—AJR
Colleen Hoover (Reminders of Him)
Housing projects are a great metaphor for the government's relationship to poor folks: these huge islands built mostly in the middle of nowhere, designed to warehouse lives. People are still people, though, so we turned the projects into real communities, poor or not. We played in fire hydrants and had cookouts and partied, music bouncing off concrete walls. But even when we could shake off the full weight of those imposing buildings and try to just live, the truth of our lives and struggle was still invisible to the larger country. The rest of the country was freed of any obligation to claim us. Which was fine, because we weren't really claiming them, either.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I take pride in playing immigrant characters. I've come across people who had a negative opinion about playing Asian characters that have an accent. I've even met Asian actors who won't audition for a role that has an Asian accent. They believe these accented characters reinforce the stereotype of an Asian being the constant foreigner. Frankly, I can't relate. I was an immigrant. And no matter how Americanized I become, no matter how much Jay-Z I listen to, I'll always be an immigrant. Just because I don't speak English with an accent anymore doesn't mean that I'm better than the people who do. My job as an actor is not to judge anyone and to portray a character with humanity. There are real people with real Asian accents in the real world. I used to be one of them. And I'm damn proud of it.
Jimmy O. Yang (How to American: An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents)
I'm hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That's what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that's from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.
Jay-Z
We're all just here for a blip in time, riding on a rock that's flying through space at a million miles a day in a galaxy that has a hundred billion stars. Me, Jay Z, the president, a goldfish... in the end there's not much difference, chère. We come and go. We live and die. If we're lucky, we love and are loved.
J.T. Geissinger
This communist talk is so confusing
Jay-Z
Allow me to re-introduce myself .. I am the jabroni-beating,pie-eating,trail-blazing,eyebrow-raising.
Jay-Z
Some people have used this song as evidence that I worship the devil, which is another chapter for the big book of stupid. It's really just laughable. But the sad part is that it's not even remotely a song about devil worship! It's a song about the intersection of some basic human emotions, the place where sadness meets rage, where our need to mourn meets our lust for justice, where our faith meets our inclination to take matters into our own hands, like karmic vigilantes. People who hear the word Lucifer and start making accusations are just robbing themselves of an opportunity to get in touch with something deeper than that, something inside their own souls.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Having money will make you look enticing to women even if you are not a good-looking dude. Don’t believe me, go ask Mick Jagger, Donald Trump, Jay-Z and the rest of the fugly men who have all the money and get all the fine women.
Rebecca Scott
When it comes to signing up new talent, that's what I'm looking for-- not just someone who has the skill, but someone built for this life. Someone who has the work ethic, the drive. The gift that Jordan had wasn't just that he was willing to do the work, but he loved doing it, because he could feel himself getting stronger, ready for anything. He left the game and came back and worked just as hard as he did when he started. He came into the game as Rookie of the Year, and he finished the last playoff game of his career with a shot that won the Bulls their sixth championship. THAT'S THE KIND OF CONSISTENCY THAT YOU CAN ONLY GET BY ADDING DEAD-SERIOUS DISCIPLINE TO WHATEVER TALENT YOU HAVE.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
On a 2013 album Jay-Z, one of the country’s richest and most popular rappers, referenced one Wayne Perry in a song. Perry was a hit man in the 1980s for one of Washington, D.C.’s most notorious drug lords. He pleaded guilty in 1994 to five murders, and received five consecutive life sentences. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2010, President Barack Obama expressed his affinity for rappers like Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, whose lyrics often elevate misogyny, drug dealing, and gun violence. At the time of the president’s interview, Lil Wayne was imprisoned on gun and drug charges.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
The music is meant to be provocative—which doesn’t mean it’s necessarily obnoxious, but it is (mostly) confrontational, and more than that, it’s dense with multiple meanings. Great rap should have all kinds of unresolved layers that you don’t necessarily figure out the first time you listen to it. Instead it plants dissonance in your head. You can enjoy a song that knocks in the club or has witty punch lines the first time you hear it. But great rap retains mystery. It leaves shit rattling around in your head that won’t make sense till the fifth or sixth time through. It challenges you.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Korey is twenty-eight. I’m seventeen. That’s only . . . an eleven-year difference. When I’m eighteen, he’ll be twenty-nine. Gabriela is three years younger than Jay. Kylie Jenner was eight years younger than Tyga. Beyoncé was eighteen when she met thirty-year-old Jay-Z. Mom is seven years younger than Daddy. It’s not that uncommon.
Tiffany D. Jackson (Grown)
As sure as this Earth is turnin, souls burnin / In search of higher learnin, turnin in every direction seeking direction / My moms cryin cause her insides are dyin / Her son tryin her patience, keep her heart racin / A million beats a minute, I know I push you to your limit / But it's this game, love—I'm caught up all in it / They make it so you can't prevent it, never give it / You gotta take it, can't fake it, I keep it authentic / My hand got this pistol shakin, cause I sense danger / Like Camp Crystal Lake, and / Don't wanna shoot him, but I got him, trapped / Within this infrared dot, bout to hot him and hit rock bottom / No answers to these trick questions, no time shit stressin / My life found I got ta live for the right now / Time waits for no man, can't turn back the hands / Once it's too late, gotta learn to live with regrets
Jay-Z
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops. When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow. Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow. It had to come home.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
The music is meant to be provocative—which doesn’t mean it’s necessarily obnoxious, but it is (mostly) confrontational, and more than that, it’s dense with multiple meanings.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I'm like a dog. I never speak but I understand.
Jay-Z
See how the universe works? It takes my hurt and help me find more of myself It's a gift and a curse
Jay-Z
There is a new song on Top 40 radio right now that's so good I want to kill myself. I'm not sure why exceptionally good hip-hop singles make me want to commit suicide, but they often do. I don't know what the title of the song is, but it's that religious woman with the perfect stomach from Destiny's Child and Jay-Z doing a duet featuring a horn riff from the '70s that I've never heard before (but that sounds completely familiar), and the chorus is something along the lines of, "Your love is driving me crazy right now/ I'm kind of hoping you'll page me right now." It's also possible that Jay-Z compares himself to Golden State Warriors guard Nick Van Exel during the last verse, but I can't be positive. ANYWAY, by the time you read this sentence, the song I am referring to will be ten thousand years old. You will have heard it approximately 15,000 times, and you might hate it, and I might hate it, too. But right now -- today -- I am living for this song. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing that matters as much as hearing it on the radio; I am interested in nothing beyond Beyonce Knowles's voice. All I do is scan the FM dial for hours at a time, trying to find it.
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
Man, I keep waiting for her to break up with Jay Z. Then I’m all in.” “Dude, your dream is dead in the water,” Jax says. “You don’t have a chance in hell with her.” “You’re gonna eat your words,” Whip promises. “Our love is destined. She totally winked at me during that charity concert we all did last month.” “It was windy,” Killian says with a snort. “She had dust in her eyes.” “She had me in her eyes.
Kristen Callihan (Managed (VIP, #2))
We were kids without fathers . . . so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves.
Jay-Z
I’ll give you an example. In my many years in the entertainment industry, I’ve been around some amazing artists, in particular some of the greatest rappers of all time. Now, rapping might not be an art form that people associate with calmness and stillness, but I can tell you that from LL Cool J to Chuck D to Biggie Smalls to Jay Z, one trait that all those great artists share is an ability to operate out of stillness. There are a lot of rappers who worked as hard as those guys, but very few were able to dip into that well of creativity like they were.
Russell Simmons (Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple)
1) “Raise Your Glass”—P!nk 2) “Dynamite”—BTS 3) “Happy”—Pharrell Williams 4) “Particle Man”—They Might Be Giants 5) “I’m Good”—The Mowgli’s 6) “Yellow Submarine”—The Beatles 7) “I’m Too Sexy”—Right Said Fred 8) “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”—Justin Timberlake 9) “Thunder”—Imagine Dragons 10) “Run the World (Girls)”—Beyoncé 11) “U Can’t Touch This”—MC Hammer 12) “Forgot About Dre”—Dr. Dre featuring Eminem 13) “Vacation”—Dirty Heads 14) “The Load Out”—Jackson Browne 15) “Stay”—Jackson Browne 16) “The King of Bedside Manor”—Barenaked Ladies 17) “Empire State of Mind”—JAY-Z 18) “Party in the U.S.A.”—Miley Cyrus
Colleen Hoover (Reminders of Him)
The great ones, however, never get lost in those distractions. Biggie in particular was legendary for his ability to stay focused. There could be all sorts of things going on—drinks being passed, blunts being rolled, people trying to holler at him about various projects—but he’d just sit in a chair with his eyes closed, seemingly oblivious to all the chaos around him. That was his way of connecting to the stillness inside of him, so that when it was time to get behind the microphone, he wasn’t caught up in worrying about how his last record did or how this one might be received once it was released. No, when it was time to make a song, he was always able to connect with both the music he was hearing in his headphones and the poetry that was filling up his heart. The same way today artists like Jay Z or Lil Wayne are able to create entire songs without ever putting a word down on paper. Through being able to connect completely with the music, they are able to operate from that “zone” that the great ones are able to access. That might not sound like a big deal, but I’ve seen so many artists get sidetracked by those distractions. And when it’s time for them to get in the recording booth and execute their craft, their mind is somewhere else. Sure, they’re rapping along to the beat, but they’re not connected to it.
Russell Simmons (Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple)
99 Problems is almost a deliberate provocation to simpleminded listeners. If that sounds crazy, you have to understand: Being misunderstood is almost a badge of honor in rap. Growing up as a black kid from the projects, you can spend your whole life being misunderstood, followed around department stores, looked at funny, accused of crimes you didn't commit, accused of motivations you don't have, dehumanized -- until you realize, one day, it's not about you. It's the perceptions people had long before you even walked onto the scene. The joke's on them because they're really just fighting phantoms of their own creation. Once you realize that, things get interesting. It's like when we were kids. You'd start bopping hard and throwing the ice grill when you step into Macy's and laugh to yourself when security guards got nervous and started shadowing you. You might have a knot of cash in your pocket, but you boost something anyway, just for the sport of it. Fuck 'em. Sometimes the mask is to hide and sometimes it's to play at being something you're not so you can watch the reactions of people who believe the mask is real. Because that's when they reveal themselves. So many people can't see that every great rapper is a not just a documentarian, but a trickster -- that every great rapper has a little bit of Chuck and a little bit of Flav in them -- but that's not our problem, it's their failure: the failure, or unwillingness, to treat rap like art, instead of acting like it's a bunch of niggas reading out of their diaries. Art elevates and refines and transforms experience. And sometimes it just fucks with you for the fun of it.
Jay-Z
When presidential candidate Barack Obama presented himself to the black community, he was not to be believed. It strained credulity to think that a man sporting the same rigorously managed haircut as Jay-Z, a man who was a hard-core pickup basketball player, and who was married to a dark-skinned black woman from the South Side, could coax large numbers of white voters into the booth. Obama’s blackness quotient is often a subject of debate. (He himself once joked, while speaking to the National Association of Black Journalists in 2007, “I want to apologize for being a little bit late, but you guys keep on asking whether I’m black enough.”) But despite Obama’s post-election reluctance to talk about race, he has always displayed both an obvious affinity for black culture and a distinct ability to defy black America’s worst self-conceptions.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
Danny’s Song” by Kenny Loggins “Reminder” by Mumford & Sons “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel “I and Love and You” by The Avett Brothers “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele “Can’t Break Her Fall” by Matt Kearney  “Stillborn” by Black Label Society “Come On Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz “This Girl” by City & Colour “My Funny Valentine” by Ella Fitzgerald “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong “Stormy Blues” by Billie Holiday “I would be Sad” by The Avett Brothers “Hello, I’m Delaware” by City & Colour “99 Problems” by Hugo (originally written and performed by Jay-Z) “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons “Let It Be Me” by Ray LaMontagne “Rocketship” by Guster “Don’t Drink The Water” by Dave Matthews Band “Blackbird” by The Beatles
Jasinda Wilder (Falling Into You (Falling, #1))
Alex Honnold, free solo climbing phenom: The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding and others: ambitones like The Zen Effect in the key of C for 30 minutes, made by Rolfe Kent, the composer of music for movies like Sideways, Wedding Crashers, and Legally Blonde Matt Mullenweg, lead developer of WordPress, CEO of Automattic: “Everyday” by A$AP Rocky and “One Dance” by Drake Amelia Boone, the world’s most successful female obstacle course racer: “Tonight Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins and “Keep Your Eyes Open” by NEEDTOBREATHE Chris Young, mathematician and experimental chef: Paul Oakenfold’s “Live at the Rojan in Shanghai,” Pete Tong’s Essential Mix Jason Silva, TV and YouTube philosopher: “Time” from the Inception soundtrack by Hans Zimmer Chris Sacca: “Harlem Shake” by Baauer and “Lift Off” by Jay Z and Kanye West, featuring Beyoncé. “I can bang through an amazing amount of email with the Harlem Shake going on in the background.” Tim Ferriss: Currently I’m listening to “Circulation” by Beats Antique and “Black Out the Sun” by Sevendust, depending on whether I need flow or a jumpstart.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
[J.Ivy:] We are all here for a reason on a particular path You don't need a curriculum to know that you are part of the math Cats think I'm delirious, but I'm so damn serious That's why I expose my soul to the globe, the world I'm trying to make it better for these little boys and girls I'm not just another individual, my spirit is a part of this That's why I get spiritual, but I get my hymns from Him So it's not me, it's He that's lyrical I'm not a miracle, I'm a heaven-sent instrument My rhythmatic regimen navigates melodic notes for your soul and your mental That's why I'm instrumental Vibrations is what I'm into Yeah, I need my loot by rent day But that is not what gives me the heart of Kunte Kinte I'm tryina give us "us free" like Cinque I can't stop, that's why I'm hot Determination, dedication, motivation I'm talking to you, my many inspirations When I say I can't, let you or self down If I were of the highest cliff, on the highest riff And you slipped off the side and clinched on to your life in my grip I would never, ever let you down And when these words are found Let it been known that God's penmanship has been signed with a language called love That's why my breath is felt by the deaf And why my words are heard and confined to the ears of the blind I, too, dream in color and in rhyme So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house Cuz whenever I open my heart, my soul, or my mouth A touch of God reigns out [Chorus] [Jay-Z (Kanye West)] Who else you know been hot this long, (Oh Ya, you know we ain't finished) Started from nothing but he got this strong, (The ROC is in the building) Built the ROC from a pebble, pedalled rock before I met you, Pedalled bikes, got my nephews pedal bikes because they special, Let you tell that man I'm falling, Well somebody must've caught him, Cause every fourth quarter, I like to Mike Jordan 'em, Number one albums, what I got like four of dem, More of dem on the way, The Eight Wonder on the way, Clear the way, I'm here to stay, Y'all can save the chitter chat, this and that, this and Jay, Dissin' Jay 'ill get you mased, When I start spitting them lyrics, niggas get very religious, Six Hail Maries, please Father forgive us, Young, the Archbishop, the Pope John Paul of y'all niggas, The way y'all all follow Jigga, Hov's a living legend and I tell you why, Everybody wanna be Hov and Hov still alive.
Kanye West
Eventually I became a tad compulsive about hearing certain songs. At first it was a handful of jazz classics—Miles Davis’s “Freddie Freeloader,” John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things,” Frank Sinatra’s “Luck Be a Lady.” (Before one primary debate, I must have played that last track two or three times in a row, clearly indicating a lack of confidence in my preparations.) Ultimately it was rap that got my head in the right place, two songs especially: Jay-Z’s “My 1st Song” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Both were about defying the odds and putting it all on the line (“Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it? Or just let it slip…”); how it felt to spin something out of nothing; getting by on wit, hustle, and fear disguised as bravado. The lyrics felt tailored to my early underdog status. And as I sat alone in the back of the Secret Service van on the way to a debate site, in my crisp uniform and dimpled tie, I’d nod my head to the beat of those songs, feeling a whiff of private rebellion, a connection to something grittier and more real than all the fuss and deference that now surrounded me. It was a way to cut through the artifice and remember who I was.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
If you push something down, it’ll find its way out. You can’t run from it. Jay-Z says we can’t heal what we never reveal. And it’s true.
Michael K. Williams (Scenes from My Life: A Memoir)
Anytime you see Beyonce, Jay Z, Kanye West. Anytime a young black person's doing good, that's motivation for everybody else. Anytime, anytime, it's motivation. Use that fuel to push you forward. That's what I did.
Keke Palmer
No matter where you go, you are what you are player And you can try to change but that's just the top layer Man, you was who you was 'fore you got here Only God can judge me, so I'm gone Either love me, or leave me alone
Jay-Z
Jesus can't save you, life starts when the church end.
Jay-Z
I’d written America off, at least politically. Of course, it’s my home, and home to millions of people trying to do the right thing, not to mention the home of hip-hop, Quentin Tarantino flicks, the crossover dribble and lots of other things I couldn’t live without. But politically, its history is a travesty. A graveyard. And I knew some of the bodies it buried.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
When you reach a certain level of success, relationships between men and women can get really fucked up and start feeling like a raw transaction, with high levels of suspicion on both sides.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
11) “U Can’t Touch This”—MC Hammer 12) “Forgot About Dre”—Dr. Dre featuring Eminem 13) “Vacation”—Dirty Heads 14) “The Load Out”—Jackson Browne 15) “Stay”—Jackson Browne 16) “The King of Bedside Manor”—Barenaked Ladies 17) “Empire State of Mind”—JAY-Z 18) “Party in the U.S.A.”—Miley Cyrus 19) “Fucking Best Song Everrr”—Wallpaper. 20) “Shake It Off”—Taylor Swift 21) “Bang!”—AJR
Colleen Hoover (Reminders of Him)
Drug dealers anonymous Y’all think Uber’s the future, our cars been autonomous Mules move the drums, take ‘em to different spots We just call the shots by simply moving our thumbs
Jay-Z
Ultimately it was rap that got my head in the right place, two songs especially: Jay-Z’s “My 1st Song” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.” —JAY-Z
Chris Guillebeau (The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future)
The closing record from Jay Z’s Black Album is called “My 1st Song.” He starts the song with an audio clip from Notorious B.I.G. saying that, “The key to staying on top of things is treat everything like it's your first project.
Shaan Patel (Self-Made Success: Ivy League Shark Tank Entrepreneur Reveals 48 Secret Strategies To Live Happier, Healthier, And Wealthier)
team.” Shaheem invited me to attend Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” video shoot, which became more of a case study by default. I observed
Tamiko Hope (The Indie Insider: 10 Key Facts From Music Industry Insiders)
Hustling, the action, the performance, is embraced because it often provides the only relief from economic misery. The hustler is determined not to suffer silently and turns distress to opportunity.
Michael Eric Dyson (Jay-Z: Made in America)
At the age of 12, Jay Z shot his drug-addicted brother for stealing money from him.
Tyler Backhause (1,000 Random Facts Everyone Should Know: A collection of random facts useful for the bar trivia night, get-together or as conversation starter.)
The need to protect Z. To be the strong figure he needs in his life is a fire in my stomach that I have never, ever had before. Not even for hockey. And Sofia. Sofia Morgan was sobriety. Hard to reach. Even harder to hold onto. But when you had her? There was nothing else you could ever want.
Monty Jay (Blind Pass)
Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week
Jay-Z
At most, he was introducing me to a body of knowledge I could draw from, like the writings of Joseph Campbell or the teaching of the Buddha or the lyrics of Jay-Z. After
Neil Strauss (The Game)
When you’re both looking over the menu and trying to decide what you want and if he orders the same exact item as you, flip the table and run out of there as fast as possible to escape that psychopath. Even if this is a date, you don’t need that bullshit in your life. What kind of person sits down at a restaurant with another person and orders the same exact thing? This is a restaurant, homie! There are so many options! If I’m ordering something you want, it’s your duty as an AMERICAN to get the second-most-desired item so that we can have both! Are you even serious right now? You think Jay Z and Beyoncé go to restaurants and order the same meal?! Deduct one thousand points! If he has some human decency and orders a different meal for both of you to enjoy, then I guess you can add ten points. It’s lasagna. Not an engagement ring. Don’t get crazy.
Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare)
. . . Around the time Solange went mortal combat on Jay-Z . . .
Eric Jerome Dickey (One Night)
We have all manner of music glorifying the degradation of women, and damnit, that music is catchy so I often find myself singing along as my very being is diminished. Singers like Robin Thicke know “we want it.” Rappers like Jay-Z use the word “bitch” like punctuation. Movies, more often than not, tell the stories of men as if men’s stories are the only stories that matter. When women are involved, they are sidekicks, the romantic interests, the afterthoughts. Rarely do women get to be the center of attention. Rarely do our stories get to matter.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist: Essays)
Aristotle was privileged to study at Plato’s Academy, but some kid on the other side of the world was probably just as promising as young Aristotle and never got the mentorship. How can building deep relationships with master mentors be a smartcut if it hinges on our being lucky enough to know the master? Hip-hop icon Jay-Z gives us a clue in one of his lyrics, “We were kids without fathers . . . so we found our fathers on wax and on the streets and in history. We got to pick and choose the ancestors who would inspire the world we were going to make for ourselves.” In ancient Greece, few people had access to the best mentors. Jay-Z didn’t either, but he had books from which he could get an inkling about what those kinds of mentors were like. With every increase in communication, with every autobiography published, and every YouTube video of a superstar created, we increase our access to the great models in every category. This allows us to at least study the moves that make masters great—which is a start.
Shane Snow (Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success)
Bajan Pride Barbadians should be proud of Rih, Thanks to Evan Rogers and Jay-Z, At only twenty eight, Rih's at the top of her game, And it's seems like Robyn Rihanna, Is still the same, Same friends, Same personality, Never adding flavor to her accent Some say Rih has never changed, Even with all her diamonds and pearls Rihanna is still a St. Michael Girl.
Charmaine J. Forde
El error fatal Las ramificaciones fatales de posicionar nuestra marca como el héroe podrían ser enormes. Consideremos el fracaso del servicio de música en streaming Tidal. ¿No te suena de nada? Es por una buena razón. El rapero Jay Z fundó la compañía, en la que invirtió personalmente la impresionante cantidad de 56 millones de dólares, fijándose como misión «conseguir que todo el mundo vuelva a respetar la música».13 En vez de ser propiedad de las discográficas o las empresas tecnológicas, los dueños de Tidal serían músicos, lo que les permitiría saltarse a los intermediarios y llevar sus productos al mercado directamente. En consecuencia, el artista se llevaría una parte mayor de los beneficios. El plan suena fantástico. Pero Jay Z no se dio cuenta del error que suponía posicionarse él mismo y otros músicos como los héroes. ¿Se iban a comprar música unos artistas a otros? No. Pues entonces hubiera debido colocar al cliente, y no al artista, como héroe de la historia.
Donald Miller (Cómo construir una StoryBrand)
Si Jay Z (un genio, por otro lado) hubiera comprendido las ancestrales reglas de las historias, habría podido evitar ir directo a un campo minado. «El agua no se cobra —declaró Jay Z—. La música se cobra a seis dólares la canción, pero nadie quiere pagarlos —añadió en tono un tanto confuso—. Deberías poder beber agua del grifo sin pagar nada. Eso está fenomenal. Y, si quieres escuchar las canciones más maravillosas, entonces apoya al artista.»14 En las redes sociales, sobre todo en Twitter, le dieron una buena paliza a Jay Z y su Tidal. Miles de personas le recordaron que igual tenía que consultar con quien fuera que le pagaba las facturas, porque, de hecho, el agua sí se pagaba. De la noche a la mañana, un artista que había forjado su carrera hablando en nombre de la gente sonaba a minoría privilegiada. Al público le resultó indignante contemplar aquel plantel de músicos famosos y millonarios tratando de dar pena para cobrar más por su música. El error garrafal fue que Jay Z no supo responder a la pregunta que rondaba por la cabeza de todos los clientes héroes: ¿de qué manera me ayudas a mí para triunfar? La razón de ser de Tidal era ayudar a los artistas —que no a los clientes— a triunfar. Y por eso fracasó. Dale el papel de héroe al cliente siempre, y que tu marca sea la guía. Siempre. Si no, morirás.
Donald Miller (Cómo construir una StoryBrand)
Jay-Z told me once that one of his buddies from the Marcy Projects, in Brooklyn, said to him, "Man, you've changed." And he replied, "You're goddamn right. You act like I've been busting my ass to stay the same.
Justin Timberlake (Hindsight: And All the Things I Can’t See in Front of Me)
Cameron’s god-mother made sure that he left the hospital with a five-man security team as if he were the firstborn son of Beyoncé and Jay Z.
Leo Sullivan (Keisha & Trigga 4: A Gangster Love Story (Keisha & Trigga: A Gangster Love Story))
D’aron the Daring, Derring, Derring-do, stealing base, christened D’aron Little May Davenport, DD to Nana, initials smothered in Southern-fried kisses, dat Wigga D who like Jay Z aw-ite, who’s down, Scots-Irish it is, D’aron because you’re brave says Dad, No, D’aron because you’re daddy’s daddy was David and then there was mines who was named Aaron, Doo-doo after cousin Quint blew thirty-six months in vo-tech on a straight-arm bid and they cruised out to Little Gorge glugging Green Grenades and read three years’ worth of birthday cards, Little Mays when he hit those three homers in the Pee Wee playoff, Dookie according to his aunt Boo (spiteful she was, misery indeed loves company), Mr. Hanky when they discovered he TIVOed ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ Faggot when he hugged John Meer in third grade, Faggot again when he drew hearts on everyone’s Valentine’s Day cards in fourth grade, Dim Dong-Dong when he undressed in the wrong dressing room because he daren’t venture into the dark end of the gym, Philadelphia Freedom when he was caught clicking heels to that song (Tony thought he was clever with that one), Mr. Davenport when he won the school’s debate contest in eighth grade, Faggot again when he won the school’s debate contest in eighth grade, Faggot again more times than he cared to remember, especially the summer he returned from Chicago sporting a new Midwest accent, harder on the vowels and consonants alike, but sociable, played well with others that accent did, Faggot again when he cried at the end of ‘WALL-E,’ Donut Hole when he started to swell in ninth grade, Donut Black Hole when he continued to put on weight in tenth grade (Tony thought he was really clever with that one), Buttercup when they caught him gardening, Hippie when he stopped hunting, Faggot again when he became a vegetarian and started wearing a MEAT IS MURDER pin (Oh yeah, why you craving mine then?), Faggot again when he broke down in class over being called Faggot, Sissy after that, whispered, smothered in sniggers almost hidden, Ron-Ron by the high school debate team coach because he danced like a cross between Morrissey and some fat old black guy (WTF?) in some old-ass show called ‘What’s Happening!!’, Brainiac when he aced the PSATs for his region, Turd Nerd when he hung with Jo-Jo and the Black Bruiser, D’ron Da’ron, D’aron, sweet simple Daron the first few minutes of the first class of the first day of college.
T. Geronimo Johnson (Welcome to Braggsville)
I move onward, the only direction Can’t be scared to fail in search of perfection.” —JAY Z, “ON TO THE NEXT ONE
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Today, Carter is better known as a rapper named Jay-Z. By 2013, after twenty years of success in music and business, he had a personal fortune of around half a billion dollars.
Kevin Ashton (How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery)
I’m not much of a drinker, so when Mark kept ordering bottles of Cristal for our table—and I kept drinking direct from them like I was Damon Dash on a yacht in an old Jay Z video—I shouldn’t have been surprised when I blacked out.
Jensen Karp (Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big)
I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell, I am a hustler baby, I’ll sell water to a well” – Jay Z
Jay Z
If this feminist world we proclaim is so dope, why wouldn’t a Black girl like her want to be part of this work, too? And if her husband Jay-Z’s recently released confessional album 4:44 is any indicator, perhaps feminism helped Bey find her power when she was confronted with an unfaithful partner. Feminism has certainly been a soothing reminder of my badassery every time I’ve been forced to mend my own broken heart.
Brittney Cooper (Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower)
But let’s be clear: the madness of everyday life was its own issue. It didn’t have any relationship to whether or not Christianity was bullshit. Obviously, Christianity was total bullshit. It was the most insane bullshit! But it was impossible to make an argument against superstition and magical nonsense, and have it stick, when that argument was delivered from a society where every citizen was a magician. And yes, reader, that includes you. You too are a magician. Your life is dominated by one of the oldest and most perverse forms of magic, one with less interior cohesion than the Christian faith, and you invest its empty symbolism with a level of belief that far outpaces that of any Christian. Here are some strips of paper and bits of metal! Watch as I transform these strips of paper and bits of metal into: (a) sex (b) food (c) clothing (d) shelter (e) transportation that allows me to acquire strips of paper and bits of money (f) intoxicants that distract me from my endless pursuit of strips of paper and bits of metal (g) leisure items that distract me from my endless pursuit of strips of paper and bits of metal (h) pointless vacations to exotic locales where I will replicate the brutish behavior that I display in my point of origin as a brief respite from my endless pursuit of strips of paper and bits of metal (i) unfair social advantages that allow my rotten children to undertake their own moronic pursuits of strips of paper and bits of metal. Humiliate yourself for strips of paper. Murder for the strips of paper. Humiliate others for the strips of paper. Worship the people who’ve accumulated such vast quantities of strips of paper that their strips of paper no longer have any physical existence and are now represented by binary notation. Treat the vast accumulators like gods. Free blowies for the moldering corpse of Steve Jobs! Fawning profile pieces for Jay-Z! The Presidency for billionaire socialite and real-estate developer Donald J. Trump! Kill! Kill! Kill! Work! Work! Work! Die! Die! Die! Go on. Pretend this is not the most magical thing that has ever happened. Historical arguments against Christianity tended to be delivered in tones of pearl-clutching horror, usually by subpar British intellectuals pimping their accent in America, a country where sounding like an Oxbridge twat conferred an unearned credibility. Yes, the Crusades were horrible. Yes, the Inquisition was awful. Yes, they shouldn’t have burned witches in Salem. Yes, there is an unfathomable amount of sexually abused walking wounded. Yes, every Christian country has oriented itself around the rich and done nothing but abuse the fuck out of its poor. But it’s not like the secular conversion of the industrialized world has alleviated any of the horror. Read the news. Murder, rape, murder, rape, murder, rape, murder, rape, murder, rape, murder, rape...Despair. All secularism has done, really, is remove a yoke from the rich. They’d always been horrible, but at least when they still paid lip service to Christian virtues, they could be shamed into philanthropy. Now they use market forces to slide the whole thing into feudalism. New York University built a campus [in Abu Dhabi] with slave labor! In the Twenty-First Century AD! And has suffered no rebuke! Applications are at an all-time high! The historical arguments against Christianity are as facile as reviews on Goodreads.com, and come down to this: Why do you organize around bad people who tell you that a Skyman wants you to be good? To which the rejoinder is: yes, the clergy sucks, but who cares how normal people are delivered into goodness?
Jarett Kobek (Only Americans Burn in Hell)
Those closer to home have been lashed in the face by a nation that praises white hustle but despises such agency in their darker kin.
Michael Eric Dyson (Jay-Z: Made in America)
He better call Becky with the good hair.
Beyoncé Knowles
Now that she was closer, she could see that Hat Tilt looked like Jay-Z—if Jay-Z suddenly aged ten years and never worked out and was a pasty white guy trying to look like Jay-Z. “No,
Harlan Coben (Caught)
It’s so weird watching rappers becoming elder statesmen. “I’m out for presidents to represent me.” Well, now they do—and not only on dollar bills. Heavy responsibility lands on the shoulders of these unacknowledged legislators whose poetry is only, after all, four decades young. Jay-Z’s ready for it. He has his admirable Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, putting disadvantaged kids through college. He’s spoken in support of gay rights. He’s curating music festivals and investing in environmental technologies.
Zadie Smith (Feel Free: Essays)
It’s like watching The Walking Dead!
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
Whenever there's a drought, get your umbrellas out because that's when I brainstorm,
Jay Z
Never Let Me Down" (feat. Jay-Z, J-Ivy) [Intro:] Yeah Grandmama Told you I won't let you down Told you I won't let this rap game change me, right? [Chorus:] When it comes to being true, at least true to me One thing I found,one thing I found Oh no you'll neva let me down, Get up I get(down) Get up I get(down) Get up I get(down) Get up I get(down) Get up I get(down) Get up I get(down) [Jay-Z:] Yo, yo first I snatched the street then I snatched the charts, First had they ear now I hav they're heart, Rappers came and went, I've been hear from the start, Seen them put it together Watch them take it apart, See the Rovers roll up wit ribbons I've seen them re-poed, re-sold and re-driven So when I reload, he holds #1 position When u hot I'm hot And when your feet cold, mines is sizzelin It's plain to see Nigga's can't f*** wit me Cuz ima be that nigga fo life This is not an image This is God given This is hard liven Mixed wit crystal sipping It's the most consistent Hov Give you the most hits you can fit inside a whole disc and Nigga I'm home on these charts, y'all niggaz visitin It's Hov tradition, Jeff Gordan of rap I'm back to claim pole position, holla at ya boy [Chorus] [Kanye West:] I get down for my grandfather who took my momma Made her sit that seat where white folks ain't wanna us to eat At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit in With that in my blood I was born to be different Now niggas can't make it to ballots to choose leadership But we can make it to Jacob and to the dealership That's why I hear new music And I just don't be feeling it Racism still alive they just be concealing it But I know they don't want me in the damn club They even made me show I.D to get inside of Sam's club I did dirt and went to church to get my hands scrubbed Swear I've been baptised at least 3 or 4 times But in the land where nigga's praise Yukons and getting paid It gon' take a lot more than coupons to get us saved Like it take a lot more than do-rags to get your waves Noting sadder than that day my girl father past away So I promised to Mr Rany I'm gonna marry your daughter And u know I gotta thank u for they way that she was brought up And I know that u were smiling when u see that car I bought her And u sent tears from heaven when u seen my car get balled up But I can't complaint what the accident did to my Left Eye Cuz look what a accident did to Left Eye First Aaliyah and now romeo must die I know a got angels watching me from the other side
Kanye West
No disrespect, Sergeant Major, but you can kiss my big, black, New York ass!
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
He was a figurative monster in life and a literal monster in death.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
It’s Glen, the guy who liked to eat chips in my ear while I tried to fix his computer.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
I don’t smoke, but hey, I’m banking that lung cancer won’t be what kills me, at this point.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
Oh, shit! Run!” I scream, forgetting that I’m a badass.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
I’m simply not comfortable in regards to containment.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
Crackheads were different. They’d smoke in hallways, on playgrounds, on subway station suitcases. They got no respect. They were former neighbors, ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’, but once they started smoking, they were simply crackheads, the lowest on the food chain in the jungle, worse than prostitutes and almost as bad as snitches.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I wanted to kill Auto-Tune like Kurt Cobain killed the hair bands.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
our first kills were sloppy; full of fear, hesitation and nausea. Now, we’re like badass assassins.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
He’s living proof that you don’t have to be smart to be rich.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)
Vegas blurts out, “Sid had sex with a zombie!” “Really?” I ask. “Well, I wasn’t expecting that.
Jay Zano (Z Towers: An Apocalyptic Plague: MADE IN THE U.S.A.)