To be honest, I can’t really be mad at Jay-Z for partnering with the NFL. Being one of the best (if not, the best) rapper in Hip Hop, Jay Z, at the end of the day, is a billionaire. And if there’s one thing I understand about billionaires is their need to make more money. So if helping the NFL capitalize Colin Kaepernick’s movement helps Jay Z make more money, then why would I be surprised that he would go along with it?
I mean, Jay Z has told us he’s a hustler and a business man on too many classic albums to truly be surprised by his latest endeavor. Besides, it’s not like Jay Z will be held accountable for anything he’s doing, anyways.
His spot as the Greatest rapper of all time is stamped and the ink isn’t going to fade anytime soon. If Jay Z dropped an album tomorrow, it’s still going to sell. This NFL partnership won’t stop anyone from chucking out their whole paychecks just to go to a Jay Z concert.
Unfortunately, even the outrage shown because of the Jay Z/NFL Inspire Change Initiative will eventually go silent, or at least, will be drowned out by screaming fans. As they say, “money talks,” and our collective anger isn’t going to quiet the alluring voice of money in Jay Z’s ear.
Even as more news about the Inspire Change Initiative hits the internet, people still show faith in Jay Z. I’ve heard enough people bring up the game Chess when it comes to Jay Z’s business plans to know that most of these people don’t know how to play the game. Besides, Chess isn’t the game they want Jay Z to be playing anyway, especially when dealing with hungry billionaires.
Chess is a game that is centered around sacrifices. The only piece on a chess board that matters is the king. So who plays as the pawns? I’m assuming if you’re siding with Jay Z, you’re going to say the NFL, right? Because, if it’s not the NFL, then the only other player that has a place on the chessboard would be Kaepernick and all the organizations he works with. As woke as Jay Z appears, he couldn’t possibly think Kaepernick is simply a pawn on the chessboard.
So if Kaepernick isn’t the pawn, what piece would you assign him? Obviously, Jay Z is the king. By default, Beyonce is queen, so let’s go ahead and get rid of that piece as well. You know what, maybe you think Jay Z doesn’t think himself that high and mighty, and positioned himself as a knight. But like I said above, the king is the only piece on the board that matters. You have the sacrificial lambs that are the pawns, and then you have all the other pieces, which are just as meaningless as pawns but with more freedom.
You want to know what’s stupid about this chess analogy being used to justify this Jay Z/NFL bullshit? The game of chess is played by two opposing players. So, I ask this, if Jay Z is one player then who’d be the other? If you say the NFL, then congrats! Sounds like logical thinking. However, what isn’t logical is thinking the NFL is sitting idly by watching as Jay Z make all these chess moves.
No, the NFL is using Jay Z the same way people think Jay Z is using the NFL. What better way for the NFL to win over black Americans after the Kaepernick fiasco than by having Hip Hop’s savior Jay Z as the leader of some “Inspiring of some kind of change” initiative. Already, the NFL has taken everything that Kaepernick has built in the last three years and has commodified his movement in a way that makes them (and Jay Z) more money.
You don’t need to have read the biography of Malcolm X or studied the radical politics of the Black Panthers to see the bullshit on the wall or on the document that Jay Z signed his name on, to know the Inspire Change Initiative is an NFL scam.
One of the first programs announced with the Inspire Change Initiative is a season long showcase where artists (like Meek Mill and Rapsody) perform during an in-game broadcast. First question that popped in my head when I read that is what does a concert have to do with social justice? Second question I had is why is Meghan Trainer listed as a performing act?
Let me get this straight, an entire initiative that was created for social justice work for black people couldn’t get an all black line-up? Now, no shade to Meghan Trainer, but come on! Jay Z couldn’t get Meghan the Stallion for this line up? Also, Jay Z didn’t need the NFL for this. You mean to tell me if Jay Z and Kaepernick would’ve worked together and held a benefit concert somewhere with black artists, that black people wouldn’t support it?
Not only are we getting a concert, but Jay Z is going to sell apparel as well. Again, how does this help with social change? So with Jay Z’s help, the NFL is basically telling us that in order to inspire change in our communities, we must not only pay for it with our own money, but also, we must give our money to a bunch of billionaires and Jay Z (who again is also a billionaire). I don’t know about you, but something about this screams a con to me.
So when Jay Z said, we’re passed kneeling and now is the time for action, he was talking about a clothing line? The same black people that run around saying we waste all our money buying sneakers and chains is telling us that we should waste all our money on NFL inspired apparel. Great marketing, I must say. Now, hold on, I bet you’re going to say that the money will go to charity as a counter argument.
And you’d be right! Another piece of information released about the Inspire Change Initiative is that “proceeds will be given to organizations committed to the values of Inspire Change, including education, police and community relations and criminal justice reform.” Just to be clear, Kaepernick knelt protesting against police brutality just for Jay Z to make thousand dollar donations to police organizations using our money?
Can it get any worse? Of course it can! Hell, it already has gotten worst. Another piece of information released regarding the Inspire Change Initiative is that Roc Nation and the NFL are giving a $4,000 donation to the Crusher’s Club. Now, what’s the Crusher’s Club? It’s an anti-black all-lives-matter KKK pro-Trump organization.
Basically, the Crusher’s Club has nothing to do with Kaepernick or his “I know my rights” program he’s committed to. The “I know your rights” program would probably love and benefit tremendously from that Roc Nation donation, and the kids would have loved it!
The ironic part is that this news came out on Fred Hampton’s birthday. Yes, that Fred Hampton! The same Fred Hampton that Jay Z once gave a shout out to in the song “Murder to Excellence” with the lyrics, “I arrived on the day Fred Hampton died/Uh, real niggas just multiply.”
You remember that Fred Hampton? The black man that was murdered by the police for actually doing the action Jay Z claimed he was going to do. Instead, Jay Z wants to put more money into the hands of the police, which I’m sure will address police brutality eventually.
Imagine Fred Hampton arguing that the reason black people are disrespectful to the police is because of single parent households. No, Fred Hampton wouldn’t dare say that, but Jay Z would and, sadly, he did. Yes, that Jay Z! The same Jay Z that made documentaries about Trayvon Martin and Kalief Browder is arguing the parallels about police relations and black people raised in single parent households to explain his Inspire Change Initiative that sounded like bullshit as soon as the lie came out that Kaepernick was involved.
Now, I don’t want to say Jay Z is a sell-out like most people, but he is fitting the definition of what that word means. Even saying Jay Z is “cooning it up” sounds harsh but I don’t know how else to describe any of this. And again, I don’t blame Jay Z (at least, not entirely) for his business practices, as I do hold his apologists as partially responsible.
You cannot have all this faith in Jay Z to win this imaginary chess game when he has nothing to lose with this Inspire Change Initiative. Do you want to know who has something to lose? The man that made the biggest sacrifice, Colin Kaepernick. The man Jay Z shitted on by implying that Kaepernick hasn’t been about that action for the last three years.
If this hasn’t already been said a thousand times, then let’s repeat it. If the NFL wanted to do real change and take a stand against social injustices, then they could’ve started by offering Kaepernick his job back. They could stop attacking players who are still kneeling today. And most important of all, they could end this Inspire Change Initiative, or at the very least, donate money to organizations that Kaepernick is supporting.
It’s chess not checkers, right? The thing about chess that Jay Z apologists aren’t understanding is that the only way to win that game is through sacrifice. So again, what is Jay Z sacrificing here? The man is a billionaire and is one of the best rappers to ever live before he decided to sell his soul to the NFL.
Other than another million dollars to his billion, the only “change” I see when it comes to Jay Z and the Inspire Change Initiative is in the form of dollar signs and eight figure checks.
Checkmate, I guess.