Parents V.S. Jay Z

Friday, Jan. 5, 2002 4 p.m. ET

Springfield, IL: Im a 48 year old mother from Illinois and my 3 kids love Jay-Z. All they talk about is Bentleys and Ice and being pimps. My 14 year old daughter wants to be a stripper so she can be a dancer in one of your videos. It hurts me to see that you have so much influence and choose to use it for selfish and personal reasons. Please explain to these kids that life isn't all about cars, clothes, chicks, and jewelry. I would appreciate it if you would think about it because kids look up to you. Im not trying to hold you responsible for raising my kids, I just want you to look at the reality of what you are doing.

Jay-Z: Those are just the singles I do, the ones the radio plays. If you listen to the album, there's so many different types of music.

Carrie Pink 2 cents! Funny because Empire State of Mind now in 2009 seems to have the same damn message.. he's sounds like the cockiest son of a bi#$* ever.. what are you buying into exactly? Is this really what we are requesting to hear day in and day out??

Petersburg VA: There is no doubt that the production quality of your work is superb! My questions: What is your real opinion of women? If it's positive, then how can you continue to portray them as what could be viewed as degrading by some? Of course, sex sells and it's all about the bottom line in the music business, I'm sure. But will we ever begin to see a palpable "trend" towards uplifting our (black)women in video images with hip-hop and specifically your music?

Jay-Z: I believe that like guys, there are some good women and some bad. Videos are entertainment. I don't want people to see them as real life.

How do you guys feel about this interview? Is Jay Z too cool to be responsible for the message that he portrays to kids? Who account for the majority of album sellers.

Luckily this interview is from 2002 so we will give time to grow and mature its credit. I wonder what his answer would be if the same questions were asked of him, today.

Carrie Pink
Pretty World Inc
Modern Day Supergirl


Anonymous said...

Carrie I generally love your columns but this one strikes a nerve with me.

First, with regards to the mother from Illinois. When was the last time Jay-Z had video's with models/strippers in them? If you have looked at his last 6 music video's only 1 has had a model in it ("They Know") and this model by the way is Zoe Kravitz. Also let's not get into the point of a 15 year old saying that she wants to be a stripper just so she can dance in a Jay-Z video. 1) I blame that on parenting and 2) the mother probably meant Trey Songz, whose last video would make even the freakiest of freaks blush. The "Invented Sex" video is Skinamax soft core porn worthy. Where are the parents complaining about that at? Maybe at a Trey Songz concert?!?

Secondly, to me, Jay is such an easy target to ridicule only because he is one of the most mainstream and successful artist in the hip-hop genre however, young people believe that Hov is past his prime. Currently, kids/young adults can quote more Lil' Wayne, Souljaboy Tellem, Drake, Gucci Maine, Young Jeezy, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj and etc. lyrics than they can Mr. Carter's. But you hear more people complain about Jay-Z than you do of the aforementioned artist. That to me doesn't make any sense. Lil Wayne has talked about filet mignon'ing a females vagina (I still don't know what that means lol) and Nicki Minaj rapped about putting hers on a guys sideburns (again puzzling). Where's the uproar? Where are the complaining parents? Probably tweeting #FreeWeezy on Twitter?

Third, what about the Empire State of Mind song makes him sound so cocky? Is it because he is "Sitting courtside, Knicks & Nets give me high 5's" or you can "Catch me at the X OG at a Yankee game"? If you buy the Blueprint 3 album and read the lyrics to songs on the inside you'll be surprise what he is actually saying as opposed to guessing what he says when you hear it on the radio. Those 2 lines that I mentioned, who wouldn't want to be able to do those things if they had the money to? If I could afford $10,500 per seat to sit courtside at a Knicks vs Lakers game I definitely would and hell, I might even brag about it too.

In closing, I say instead of bashing Jay-Z for all that is wrong with our culture and kids, we need to be looking at BET, VH1, MTV (Viacom Corp) and Bravo who only broadcast reality TV shows which tell us that if we make fools of ourselves we can be famous. That's deeper than anything Shawn Carter is talking about.

- Rob

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