The popularity of Jay-Z, rap’s most ambitious artist, has skyrocketed in recent years. From his long run of platinum selling albums, his impressive accomplishments in business, to his marriage to pop superstar, Beyonce’, he continues to make news headlines for his movements on and off the stage.
News and gossip surrounding Jay-Z is always at a fever pitch but the strongest focus when it comes to the Brooklyn-born MC is on his song lyrics. Many fans believe that he is the greatest rapper of all time, and because of this, his most loyal supporters and harshest critics relentlessly scrutinize his song lyrics. Some of his song lyrics are strongly criticized and seen as offensive because they appear to advocate materialism, self-indulgence, violence and misogyny. However, many of the best Jay-Z song lyrics are profound and serve as inspiration for his listeners who have great ambitions of their own.
As Jay-Z’s career moves forward now that he’s in his 40’s, it’ll be interesting to see how his music matures lyrically. He continues to rhyme at a high level but rap music has such a fickle fan base, an artists’ popularity is largely determined by how well he or she is received by the youth demographic. What makes him have staying power in the here-today-gone-tomorrow music industry?
I think Jay-Z has staying power because he’s grown as an artist and his sound appeals across generations of rap music fans. One of his biggest hits is titled, “Forever Young”, which describes the secret of his success in the music industry. His music appeals to younger audiences yet the content of his lyrics reflect growth and maturity which connects with older fans who have followed his career since its beginning in the mid 1990’s. The rapper made a trilogy of albums titled ‘The Blueprint’. Well, it can be said that he has given young rap artists the blueprint on how to remain relevant in the music industry as they mature and get older.
In his lyrics Jay tackles several topics such as poverty, crime, violence, friendship and love. But the main theme of his lyrics is: the hustle of ambition. The best Jay-Z song lyrics resonate with fans that pursue success in their own lives. Some of the criticism of the content of his music has validity, but the rapper doesn’t get enough credit for the profound insight interwoven within his song lyrics. The rapper’s music makes fans dance but the best Jay-Z song lyrics makes fans think.