Esquire X Jay-Z

I’m not trying to be conceded…well, yeah I guess I am; When I read something that I know I could have written better, it’s simultaneously hilarious and torturous. Esquire recently did a profile on Jay-Z . Not that the thing is written too horribly, she lands a few efficient metaphors, but considering that the magazine is, I assume, primarily enjoyed by wealthy WASPs, lines like the one below make me uncomfortable:

Jay-Z is black black. He is old-school double-dark-chocolate-chunk black. He is black the way Labatt is blue. He is not white black, Barack black, like our president. Or the kind of black that doesn’t curse and deplores the n-word, the genteel black, like Oprah. He is, arguably, the first black-black guy to cross over into Oprah-land and Bill Clintonworld without making the Oprah-sized no-look-back forward flip that means you’re selling not necessarily your soul but perhaps something fleshier, a little more external.

I have no qualms with a mainstream magazine like Esquire–a publication I typically enjoy–but this article falls victim to the same problem far too many mainstream outlets fall into when discussing Rap music: treating Rap like it’s an iguana in its own little aquarium and we’re just looking in. And, I think the writer’s white liberalism overcooks the emphasis on Jay-Z as the former-impoverished-drug-dealer-turned-white-media-darling. Nonetheless, Scope the profile on Jay-Z .


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