Jay Z on 40 Year old Rappers
Never tell this man when he should drop the mic.
By now it’s safe to say Jay-Z is the Brett Favre of rap.
And lately, the formerly Young Hov has said that as long as an MC’s heart is in it, he or she should continue, regardless of age. He’s about 40, and that’s about all these dissing young rappers could ever say about him that holds any weight as far as his rap career goes. But with the newest effort by Jay, The Blueprint 3, he’s showing young rappers how to do it.
Here’s a recent comment by Jigga to XXL Magazine, as quoted in their October issue:
“No matter what I do, any person that gets to this stage of their life is going to do whatever is in their heart. I think people should make music as long as their heart is in it. As long as they’re pushing past the deadline four times and they’re still making more records. Like, there are thousands of boxers that could have retired before they had that fight, Muhammad Ali for one. But you never stop — because of one, your passion or greed, your financial situation, there may be a need, you know? The thing that I can do is stretch the subject matter. Whether Kingdom Come was your favorite album or not, ’30 Something,’ you have to deal with that subject matter [in that song]. If [the target audience is] 15 to 25, that’s too narrow. What am I going to listen to at 26 and beyond? That’s a quarter of my life. That’s such a small slice of the pie. We have to expand the genre. I would love to listen to hip-hop all day. Of course, now there are other things making their way into my CD changer or iPod, because of the lack of material. It doesn’t speak to me. Everyone is speaking to the kids, thinking that’s the key to success. The sad part of it is that all these [rappers] saying it are 30 years old, at least. Sometimes 35. It’s misleading. It’s that lack of growth that will keep us in a certain place.”
Lack of growth in hip-hop will no doubt kill it. The newcomers needed a blueprint for a true hip-hop album, and Jay gave them three – one in 2001, one in 2002, and this most recent LP. If Soulja Boy did the same type of songs today and he was 40, would any of you children listen to him ?
These are the questions I pose to the youth: is music what it is, or does age dictate what you listen to? My point is this: is rap really for kids, or can you love what you want without caring about what your friends or peers think? Is Drake a rapper or a disney show actor for the kids. Is Lil Wayne Lil anymore? Is Young Buck still Young ?
Jay-Z should rhyme for as long as he wants. Whether he relates to you is up to you, not your friends or the mainstream.
Keep it movin.