Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Associated Press Interviews Jay-Z

The Associated Press: Why did you decide on this kind of book rather than a traditional autobiography?

Jay-Z: I wanted to tell the story of a generation. Through my story, I'm telling the story of a generation of kids, and we grew up in one of the worst eras ever. ... Just to tell the story of my generation through music, and through that give a deeper understanding to rap lyrics and to make the case that rap is poetry. ... Maybe there is other layers and meanings and things to be decoded in songs.

AP: What were the challenges of putting "Decoded" together?

Jay-Z: The hardest problem was getting the lyrics right, 'cause I don't write them down, so, we had to find them somewhere, and a lot of those songs I forgot. So I had to listen to them again and then look at the lyrics and then say, "No, that's wrong." So the hardest part was really getting the lyrics right.

AP: What was it like going back through songs you hadn't visited in a while?

Jay-Z: That was fun. It was almost like looking at an old photo album, like going back through those emotions and feelings. Looking at this song was like looking at me with a high-top and the four-finger ring.

AP: You discuss the assault charge you faced early in your career (he received probation). What are your thoughts on stars like Lil Wayne and T.I. who have fallen into those situations?

Jay-Z: The same sort of thing almost happened to me, and I pride myself on being a disciplined person. I was looking out for that sort of thing. I was trying to avoid it, and it still happened to me, so it just goes to show how difficult it is. Once you become a so-called celebrity, your life or your decisions don't stop. You have to make smarter decisions, because you've grown up living your life a certain way. Most people grow up and just smoke weed. ... You just smoke weed and think, "OK, I'll keep weed in my pocket." Now that you're a celebrity it's a whole different sort of thing. ... Celebrities need to be conscious and know who they are, because the same choices they made as a civilian will cost them years as a celebrity.

AP: What do you make of President Obama's recent struggles?

Jay-Z: I believe the same thing about Barack that I believed at day one. What he represents is bigger than any political agenda that he can pass across the House, Senate or whatever. I think that right now he's going through a difficult period because people are putting the last eight years on his table and they're judging him by it. You can't expect a man to clean up eight years of mess in two years; it's just bad math. It's impossible.

AP: You talk in the book about how you agreed with what Kanye West had to say about President Bush, but Kanye recently apologized for saying Bush didn't care about black people during Hurricane Katrina. What are your thoughts on that?

Jay-Z: I think what Kanye went through was, he himself became that, over the Taylor Swift incident. People said he was racist. And he's not a racist person, so it made him reflect on the comments that he made. But I 100 percent agreed with the comments that he made, because again ... it felt like it was being done to black people. Like all you saw on the news was black people on the news with help signs and all this stuff, and then you have this picture of the commander in chief, who we all rely on, just flying by. It's like, What is that? ... If that had happened anywhere else besides New Orleans, would the response (have) been so slow? Would Bush (have) been on the ground? You have to ask these sort of questions. Just the fact that he thinks that the worst thing that happened to him is Kanye saying something about him. Like, what? That alone shows you where his mind is. Are you kidding me?

#BigUps AP.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

NYPL x Jay-Z x Cornel West

In conjunction with the release of his first book, Decoded, Jay-Z was the guest of honor at last night's edition of the Live at the NYPL series. Co-hosts Cornel West and NYPL director Paul Holdengräber were really excited, so they'd often gush and ramble, sometimes about the contents of Decoded but often about some other, tangentially related issue (at one point, West really went after Oprah). Seeing Holdengräber, who admittedly had not heard Jay-Z's music until three weeks ago, be that genuinely enthusiastic was particularly entertaining, especially because his Belgian accent seemed to amuse Jay. And in between all that, Jay-Z told some great stories.

Read The Stories HERE.

Watch the video, in it's entirety: HERE.


Mike. Vick.

So last night, November 15, 2010, The Washington Redskins hosted The Philadelphia Eagles.

After this summer's off season move, and this season's 1st bout between the two rival franchises...which left Eagles fans quiet and praying for a fast Michael Vick recovery...this week's Monday Night Football match up was "highly anticipated," to say the least.

With a high string offense led by Vick, and an overly assertive and aggressive defense, the Eagles jumped out to a quick 35 - zip lead on the Skins. As Washington fans spent more time at the concession stands and OFF of their Twitter accounts, the match shaped up to be one of the more disappointing MNF competitions of the "middle aged" season.

The Philadelphia Eagles broke record after record. And seemingly, as they trampled the likes of a "slower than DeSean" Laron Landry, an overweight, underachieving Albert Hainesworth, and a newly extended Donovan McNabb (5 years/$78 million...$40 million guaranteed), the ongoing Michael Vick chatter and doubt faded away...almost as quickly as he scrambled in and out of the pocket, connecting to Jason Avant after a 7 second "QB wait time," to extend the 3rd quarter lead, 52 - 21.

As a matter of fact, The Philadelphia Daily News plastered Mike on this morning's front cover and titled his article "VICKTIMIZATION." I find that ironic. These are the same media SLUNTS who, bashed and questioned Andy Reid for recommending the signing just two years ago. I guess, when you win...you win.