There is a beautiful yet undeniable intersection between age, wisdom and culture. That point in your life where you become consciously conscious about your actions and their implications and the inevitability of growth trumps (did I just use that) whatever momentary satisfaction you may incur. That point where no becomes yes and yes becomes no for no other reason than it’s the right thing do.
That being said over the weekend I had the opportunity to listen to Jay Z’s new CD. What I came away with was an artist whose artistic contribution has evolved through thought, deeds and arguably through his experiences. What this album did for me and many of you is put being grown in the context of having been born and raised with hip-hop as your soundtrack.
Parenting are all issues that we as part of the hip-hop generation grapple with NOW and somehow when you juxtapose your reality against all of the aforementioned rolling to a tune that celebrates bitches and hoes, death and destruction and all day drug usage just don’t fit. See QUALITY OF LIFE at this stage of the game really does matter and the inability to pass on a little something to ensure a bit of a jump off for your children can have consequences that perpetuate generational poverty. The beauty about wisdom and time at this intersection is you can’t un-know what you know.
What this CD further did for me is gave me another tool in my generational tool kit, much like What’s Going on did for my mother and father. For me and for many of my peers who grew up in hip-hop we never saw this point coming because for many of us big swabs of our peers just vanished through the hell hole of the criminal justice system or died tragically to the grips of the streets. We never saw ourselves as the OG’s or old school or the keepers of the sage wisdom because there was never a true transfer of power or information for that matter that said at this point you do this. Our parents and their parents are still trying to make sense of America and discern was their cause all worth it. Thus we sort of learned on the fly and now we are here in a place and space where real things matter and being an adult is not an option.
I as well as many of you understand the unique power someone of Jay Z’s magnitude has. Hell look at how many people now have contracts with Sprint and TidaI because of him. Lord knows Tom Ford has found its way in my collection of things because of his influence. However, I am not looking for Jay Z, OJ, Lil Wayne, Colin Kaepernick or Lil Baby Jesus (I mean Barack Obama) or any other icon to come and do the grimy work of cultural and community change for me. I understand that falls on me. I am simply looking for them to help when and where they can and not make the road any more laborious than it already is.
Therefore, thank you Jay for giving a grown man a grown man hip-hop album that not only he can listen to but, most of all teach these young cats out here in the streets too.
Dr. Irvin PeDro Cohen
Hip Hop Listener since 1979
And this is my truth and I AM sticking to it…