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Posted by Jason Fonceca on May 5, 2010 in Abundance, Appreciation, Art Makes Money, Art Shows, Artistic Inspiration, Artists, Awareness, Confidence, Featured, Inspirational, Inspirations, Life Coaching, Life Purpose, Music, Personal Growth, Pop Culture, Press, Purposeful Art, Success, Thought-Management, Toronto Hip-Hop, Video Clips | 1 comment
What? This flush-with-cash rapper with a cocaine-dealer’s history is a spiritual guru?
He really is, and his powerful spirit, faith, and thought-management has led him to massive success.
I really, really love celebrities and entertainers. I love media. I love music. Love it. I love creation & creativity, inspiration, art and culture. I especially love things that I connect with on multiple levels, and Jay does all these things exceptionally well, on a massive scale.
Now, I`ll say that I believe we`re all human, and we can all accomplish what the least or greatest of us have accomplished (and more). I don`t really believe Jay is a guru, or better than anyone, but I do see him as a leader, and someone who`s on a pretty awesome path for himself.
A huge chunk of the population, whenever they talk about famous people, spend their whole conversation judging, evaluating, and labeling these entertainers (favourably or not.)
And now I’m going to label too (Well, sort of.)
There is a great deal of wisdom and spirituality coming from people who are often considered the complete opposite. From the mouths of babes. Wisdom of the jester. And now, spirituality from the rapper. Jay-Z can be seen as a gangster-turned-’materialistic’-rap-mogul. Christina Aguilera can be viewed easily as a good singer who relies on sex and her body to sell records out of ‘greed‘. Kanye West is often seen as an ungrateful, idiotic sell-out who misused auto-tune (but if you listen, really listen to the life stories and deep understandings many of these people share, as articulately as they’re able, you’ll be surprised.)
These views are not uncommon, but they are all directly un-supportive, ‘negative’ views that offer no respect for the entertainer’s history, life’s work, hearts that they’ve touched or their own personal beliefs about life. They are simply knee-jerk reactive judgments, which is fine of course, everyone has their own way, and I feel Jay-Z would be the first to tell you that he loves the ‘haters.’
The point is, these celebrities have wisdom and may perhaps be more consciously spiritual than people generally give them credit for, and were you to sit down and share an honest, off-air, agenda-less, human-to-human conversation with them, you may be shocked at what you`d hear and how much you`d learn.
When I was young I listened to and love whatever Mom and Dad played: The Beatles, Four Seasons, Abba, etc., I was totally into the music with no judgment. Then, as I grew I started hating on pop musicians because I was too `smart`, labeling them as ‘fluff’ and I played 90s Canadian stuff, Our Lady Peace, Rascalz, and Tea Party. I judged everything. As I matured and so did my tastes, it became artsy progressive bands with a spiritual element, Tool, Common, and BT.
Now I’m long past judging anything and my media collection is massive, and continually growing, with my tastes falling all across the board, depending on my mood.
I’ve been viewing pop musicians in an entirely new light as opposed to when I was a teenager. These people achieve great success, and if we pay close attention, we can discern some amazing things from their examples.
My favourite example is the ‘CEO of Hip-Hop’, Jay-Z. The man is a giant; just phenomenal. I’d be thrilled to meet him, or collaborate with him, and the way SpiritSentient’s rolling along, it doesn’t seem out of the question
Traditionally hip-hop has had some serious negative connotations: gang violence associations, rappers weren’t invited to appear on Oprah for over a decade (*Jay-Z broke this trend recently, becoming the first rapper on Oprah… ever.), and making use of words traditionally viewed as ‘negative words.’ (In fact, many in the rap-community felt that if you’re not cussing and lauding the [drug/rap/gang] ‘game, then you have no credibility as a ‘real rapper’ and you will not be greeted with success of any kind. You’d be a sell-out, toning down the ‘message.’)
Jay-Z demonstrates otherwise, in a powerful, persuasive, extremely successful way.
A good portion of people in the ‘spiritual community’ seem to be the haters of hip-hop referred to above — in my experience, the vast majority of self-proclaimed ‘spiritually-oriented’ people "don’t like that [hip-hop] stuff", which is an interesting trend to note, not that I have any statistics to back it up, but maybe you’ve noticed the trend in your own experience.
Is there any way to change this lack of appreciation into sublime-gratefulness for hip-hop?
Well, I’ve been listening and re-listening to Jay-Z’s 2009 album Blueprint III (over and over and OVER,) and the entire thing is absolutely exceptional in my opinion: beats-wise, instrumentally and as expected, lyrically. Jay-Z spits some of the most inspired, powerful words I’ve ever heard. They are very similar to the spiritual affirmations and positive ideas that the spiritual community loves so much, but far catchier, far wittier, and far more topical, in my humble opinion.
In an interview I did with Tim White recently, he pointed out that "many of our best affirmations have become dismissed as platitudes," and this is where lyrics like Jay-Z’s deliver an emotional punch that works wonders, as they are far from common little cliches. They are new poetry for a new generation, spiritual wisdom with rhyme and rhythm.
To promote the art of hip-hop, I`m releasing a multi-part series that analyzes in detail The Blueprint III album from start to finish, in a spiritual light, illustrating how Jay-Z is a Spiritual Guru of the highest level for our time.*
*Spiritual Guru’ is a label of convenience denoting someone with a comparitively present, aware, conscious, outward expression of the evolution of humanity – SpiritSentient believes everyone is their own unique expression of creativity, spirit, and love. It’s also a term used for shock-value because it is highly likely that this is the first time the terms Jay-Z and Spiritual Guru have been used in the same sentence, and we are 100% sincere in this.
I do this with the intention of shedding some light on an area of our culture that is often shadowed by gossip and disdain. Hopefully this opens people’s minds to a tremendous industry of inspiration and growth they may not previously have had access to.
Note: Thanks so much to RapGenius.com who cleared up a few cultural references and increased my personal understanding of Jay-Z’s songs quite a bit.
Thanks also to CorporateTakeoverMag.com who wrote an insanely awesome article on Jay-Z’s business acumen.
Thanks to the internet, where I snagged a picture or two (giving credit where I was able, if you know who any of the images used in this article belong to, please let me know.)
Thanks to Kanye West, who’s been ca lled Jay-Z’s little brother (by himself), and is a passionate soul beyond passionate souls (I’ve listened to his last two albums on repeat as well.)
Thanks as well my brother who put me up on Jay-Z in the late 90′s, and then brought me back to him recently.
HOVER OVER THE BLUE LYRICS TO SEE THE UNIVERSAL LAWS AT WORK.
01. What We Talkin’ Bout?
Summary of Principles:
This is a powerful song that addresses all the critics, the masses, the tabloids, and many people in Jay-Z’s personal sphere who choose to talk/gossip/criticize and bitch about his actions, his success, his art.
It’s a call to everyone to focus their thoughts and words on powerful, productive things instead of petty, immature things.
Jay-Z knows that we’re all capable of these things and exhorts us to step up.
A brilliant artist/musician suggesting we put down hurtful, greedy words and embrace life-supporting ideas and focus on ourselves and our own personal growth and the current moment is a beautiful thing, no?
What we talking 'bout real shit
Or we talking 'bout rhymes?
You talking 'bout millions
Or you talking 'bout mine?
These four lines are a call to all of us who focus our thoughts and words on things that are less-productive, negative, or not our business.
What we talking ’bout
Cause I ain't got time
For what people be talking 'bout all the timeJay-Z explains how his choice in life is to not encourage or engage in gossip, labeling, and thoughts + words that don't feel productive.
What we talking ’bout fiction
Or we talking ’bout fact?
You talking ’bout fiction? Hold up, pardon my back
I'm talking 'bout life
And all I hear is:
'Oh yeah he keeps talking 'bout crack';
This is a reference to the way that many people are unable to see past Jay-Z's past. Everyone has their own early beginnings, and Jay-Z's happened to be in the drug scene. He's clearly grown and come so far since then -- his success (11 number one albums) and passion speaks (he once performed 7 shows in 7 cities in 24 hours) for itself -- and now he's rapping and singing about deeper things. Still people infer that he is singing about pushing drugs.
I ain’t talking ’bout profit, I’m talking ’bout pain
I’m talking ’bout despair, I’m talking ’bout shame
I ain’t talking ’bout gossip, I ain’t talking ’bout GameA rapper Jay-Z briefly shared a 'beef' with (disagreeing views with.)
I ain’t talkin bout JimmyA rapper Jay-Z briefly shared a 'beef' with (disagreeing views with.), I ain’t talking ’bout DameDamon Dash, a very close friend/business partner who publicly talked about Jay-Z during/after their rather controversial separation - Jay-Z, in contrast, chose *not* discuss 'Dame' and the events despite being asked about it often.
I’m talking ’bout real shit, them people playin’
What is you talking ’bout? I don’t know what y’all sayin’
People keep talking 'bout 'Hov take it back';
I'm doin' better than before
Why would I do that?
Jay-Z changes his style significantly, transcending traditional collaboration and instrument choice. Many people suggest he should go back to his roots or his old style, and his response is that he also has grown from focusing strictly on rap, to focusing on Rocawear (his clothing line), Def Jam Records (He was CEO for a number of years), and RocaNation. He has become one of, if not the, most successful rappers of our time and points out that his success and growth speak for itself.
Ain't nothing cool about carrying a strap
Bout worrying your moms and burying your best cat
Talking 'bout revenge while carrying his casket
All teary-eyed, bout to take it to a mattress
Hip-hop has often been seen as a genre that focuses mainly on gangs, drugs, violence, etc. - this reputation is not unwarranted but Jay-Z takes the lead here saying how it's not really that cool to carry a weapon or worrying your family and burying friends caught up in the gangsta-rap scene.
I'm talking 'bout music, I ain't talking 'bout rapJay-z is of the view that music is a universal language that unites all of us, that there is no need to define or segregate, labeling one thing as 'rap' another as 'not rap'. Simply make music.
You talking ’bout who’s hot – I ain’t talking ’bout that
Talking 'bout what I wear, talking 'bout where I be
Celebrities like Jay-Z are often the obsessive focus of tabloids and media: their clothing choice, word choice, and relationship-choice are constantly under scrutiny and many of those who talk about celebs, are continually failing to focus on themselves and their own growth towards becoming better people, and so they remain stuck and seem to grow very little.
Check out my hair: these ain’t curls these is peas
‘Peasey head’ still get paid, I’m combin’ through G’s
Please, we ain’t focused on naps
Cause I don’t run rap no more, I run the map
A small part of the reason the President is black
I told him I got him when he hit me on the jack
Jay-Z was a massive supporter/investor in Barack Obama's presidency campaign, making use of his substantial money + influence resources to support him. Talking 'bout progress, I ain't lookin' back
You know I run track - try not to get lapped
Focus on progress and moving forward, living in the now, the current moment, and wasting little to no time on past events which are over and done with. People keep talking 'bout Hov left em flat
Try to re-write history, let's talk about facts
These two lines setup the next few, and address critics and 'haters' who claim Jay-Z didn't do right by them, that Jay-Z *owes* them. Dame made millions,Damon Dash made millions through his partnership with Jay-Z, and if Jay-Z felt in his heart that it was time to end it, for whatever reason, he did so sincerely, and Dame would be wise to be grateful for the phenomenal success, status, and experiences he came to have through his partnership with Jay-Z. even Jaz made some scraps
He could've made more but he ain't sign his contract
Jaz (a person who is known to have 'discovered' Jay-Z and been very close with him, but began feuding with him when Jay-Z signed on to Roc-A-Fella Records) also did reasonably well and could've made more had he taken the opportunities presented to him; again the implication is that each of these people and their supporters are not served by chasing what the interpret as OWED to them.
As far as street guys, we was dealing crack
That's just how the game goes, I don't owe nobody jack
Grown men want me to sit em on my lap
But I don't have a beard and Santa Claus ain't black
I repeat, you can't sit on my lap
I don't have a beard now get off my sack
Scream at meAs far as all his early-life gang and drug connections, some of whom now feel entitled to a share of Jay-Z's massive monetary success, because they were nice to him or tight with him back in the drug game, Jay-Z's response is that 'Hey, we were criminals...' and he's grown way past that, putting those modalities of thought, battle over credit and who to give how much to -- and perhaps they could all grow as well and achieve some kind of success that is *not* based on selling cocaine. Jay-Z feels he's not Santa Claus and that many people around him are expecting hand-outs.
That’s the first track off of Blueprint 3, broken down, analyzed and explained piece by piece in a spiritual light.
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 1
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 2
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 3
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 4
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 5
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 6
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 7
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 8
Jay-Z’s Spirit – Part 9
Continue on to part 2 and broaden your horizons.