The Black Album’s most innovative piece is this Rick Rubin-produced rocker. Still in defensive mode, Jay continues addressing his lyric’s critics, specifically those who claim that his content doesn’t stray far from loose women and dead presidents. To those uninformed folks, Jay offers his ass to be kissed. He then suggests they consider the child who grew up with holes in his shoes because their family couldn’t afford new then found riches as an adult. That adult most likely will celebrate the liberty of comfortable finance as often as possible. That adult is Shawn Carter.
The media continues to be outted. Radio stations as well as rap publications are scolded for requesting that Jay appear at their concerts or on their cover for the main purpose of selling more ads off of his star power. He refused to play their brand of ball. His position of power stood firm like the Roc of Gibraltar.
10 years later…
The saying “I’ve got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one” has imbued the Hip-Hop lexicon so richly that it now resides in pop culture’s vernacular. Jay has received less criticism for the big money in his sentences. Yet he grants rap media even less access than he did last decade, instead making himself available to white institutions such as the New York Times and Rolling Stone. His collaborative album with Kanye West, Watch The Throne, which documented arrogance afforded by excess and excess awarded by arrogance, was internationally acclaimed more than criticized. WTT’s purpose was to celebrate two MC’s crop crème status. Its creative process alone––week long stays at the Mercer hotel to private flights to Scotland to record more––was an exercise in stunting above competition and for the masses. Jay is even less apologetic for his ostentatious rap today than he was three years ago. Again, he’s only playing his brand of ball #newrules.