Today we celebrate Shawn Carter, one of the most influential figures of our time. From running the streets of Brooklyn, living in the notorious Marcy housing projects, to becoming one of the first billionaires in hip-hop. A man who has opened many doors in hip-hop culture for the generation of today, and has shown black people especially, that everything they ever want to achieve can happen.
From his business ventures to his philanthropy, he’s put his best foot forward and has set an example for many to do the same. When we think of Jay-Z, not only do we think of just hip hop, but we think about what it means to have patience, focus, perseverance, and knowledge to accomplish the things you want.
Here are four ways that Jay-Z has impacted hip-hop Culture:
1. “I’m Not A Businessman, I’m A Business, Man … “
There used to be a point in time when people believed hip-hop had a negative influence on our young ones. It’s safe to say that is no longer the case. Many youths have watched one of the biggest artists of our time show the diversity in his knowledge. Yeah, he can spit bars, but he can also close a great deal. In 2010 Warren Buffett told Forbes “Jay is teaching in a lot bigger classrooms than I’ll ever teach in. For a young person growing up, he’s the guy to learn from.” Jay-Z believes in long term fortune and doesn’t just focus on the now. These are the reasons why his family and a close circle will always be in good hands.
2. The Roc-A-Fella Era
One of his first business ventures in the game. Jay was on the notion of “You don’t want to sign me? Ok, I’ll sign myself. I’ll create a platform for myself.” That’s exactly what he did. He created a platform for himself and many others. He was one of the first people to believe in Kanye and give him a chance at this rap thing because most people just wanted Kanye to stay a producer. So yes, Jay-Z is partially responsible for one of the most known artists of today, Kanye West. Check out the track “Last Call” on Kanye’s debut album to hear the full details in-depth on how he got his break. Obviously Roc-A-Fella transformed into what is now Roc Nation. The company now holds some of the most notable artists such as J.Cole, Rihanna, Big Sean, Shakira, and several others.
3. His Philanthropy
Jay-Z has supported many charities like Artist for Peace And Justice, Boys And Girls Club of America, Broadway Cares/Equality Fights Aids, Keep A Child Alive, Robin Hood and United Way. Giving back to the communities is something that he’s always believed in. In order for everyone to get ahead, it must start with someone that is willing to give back what they have earned in order to see the place from which they come from grow.
Earlier this year, there was big news that 21 Savage was held in Ice custody for unforeseeable reasons, and Jay took matters into his own hands and hired a lawyer to represent 21 Savage in his fight against his deportation. They fight became a victory on Jay’s end, and 21 Savage was ultimately free.
“In addition to being a successful recording artist, 21 deserves to be reunited with his children immediately,” Jay-Z said in a statement. This is another instance where JAy is thinking about the future of this world. The fact that he kept 21’s children as the first priority for reasonings for him to be free is an immaculate state of mine. Children are our future and need their fathers to lead them.
4. REFORM Alliance
Jay teamed up with Meek Mill to create REFORM Alliance. This organization’s goal is to reduce the number of people serving unjust parole and probation sentences. This all came about when Meek Mill received a 2-to-4 year sentence for violating his probation by popping a wheely on a dirt bike. The #FreeMeekMill movement was so strong that it ended with him only serving 5 months in prison.
“I saw this up close when I was growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s,” he wrote. “Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime. A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew,” Jay said in a New York Times opinion piece.
Jay-Z made it his mission to bring justice to people serving time for things that are close to obsolete. Bringing people back home to their families always pays off in the long run. It offers people a section chance at this thing called life.
— Spotify (@Spotify) December 4, 2019
By Tre’Oshula McCullough & DeMario Easley
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