Jay Z, The Insider

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL –When we see someone like Barack Obama, Steve Harvey, and even Whitney Houston having success, we question the way this person obtained that success. We automatically assume they have had to sell their soul to achieve that position.

Please, if you don’t believe me about Whitney Houston, you can do a little research on Google by taping the 1989 Soul Train Award.

Whitney Houston

You may have heard that a large portion of the human population is really angry with Shawn ”Jay-Z” Carter right now because of the new partnership between the NFL and Roc Nation.

I think you have probably heard about it since it’s the talk of the moment.

First of all, the NFL is there to make money. The owners of the NFL teams are businessmen. Jay-Z is also a businessman. What do they all have in common? It’s all about the Benjamins (the money)!

It's all about the benjamins

They may have another goal to achieve after seeing all the Benjamins. Sometimes, they want to bring smiles and joy to peoples faces. Other times, they want to build a new legacy and maybe use this new platform to shine a more positive light on a cause. In Jay-Z’s case, he wants to bring the music community closer to the NFL.

I will admit that I was a little surprised with this new collaboration between Roc Nation and the NFL. Last year, Jay-Z wasn’t feeling the love for the NFL at all. He was really pissed off at them, If you remember, Colin Kaepernick was protesting (and still is) against the atrocities and the racists that black people are facing in the United States. His way of protesting was by kneeling down during the national anthem. Until now, Colin is not playing for any  NFL teams football. Why he is still unemployed?

Colin Kaepernick and Nessa Diab

That will be on another post.

San Francisco 49ers v Buffalo Bills

Before the Super Bowl, Jay Z did not encourage black artists to participate in the SuperBowl. He even rapped about it in a song with Beyoncé! Something changed during the last few months though. Jay-Z seemed to have a change of heart, or maybe he had an « ah-ha » moment and he realized he could make money changing the philosophy of the NFL through his involvement somehow.

Sometimes in life, our opinions change and we see things differently. Certain matters can lead us to have second thoughts. If it’s something we can make money out of it, let’s be honest, we do give it a second thought.

The thing with Jay-Z is that he was very upfront with his disappointment in the NFL regarding Colin Kaepernick. How did he change his tune? While he met some big shot at the NFL, did he get another version of the story? Did he realize he could bring something to the table making everyone happy?

Those are good questions. We all know there are always two sides to a story. When you hear both sides, you can make your own opinion about it. Could this be the case for Mister Carter?


For the last 21 years of my life, Jay-Z has been the guy that the black community has praised as their Messiah. He was an example of success. He was a well-known hustler and everyone was very proud of him. He was selling crack back in the days and he was praised for that. That is such a problem in our community. We worship his hustling way, his business sassiness, and his street-smart brain.

As he grew older like the rest of us, Jay-Z evolved from hustler to a mogul and still, he was praised by everyone.

Why this hate about the guy right now?

Come on, guys.

This is ridiculous.

If we want to be seen as a united community, for instance, we need to be supportive of one another. My problem is that Jay-Z was praised for his hustling way back in the nineties. He was then praised for his business skills over the next 20 years. He is still the same man, but he got more mature with time. Now he is collaborating with the NFL and he is being called Uncle Tom.

Uncle Ruckus

What the f#@$#@@?


Jay-Z has done a lot of things for the black community. He was involved since day one in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin. He was even there financially for the Martin family (where was Colin Kaepernick during that time by the way?).

I’m the first one to say that I do get confused by the way Jay-Z conducts business. I don’t always agree, but I always see him as a businessman. Sometimes, we don’t agree about the way someone goes about getting what they want, but we can still show some respect toward this person.

It took me a whole week to write this post. At first, I was scared to write my opinion about the NFL-Roc Nation collaboration since I know it won’t be a popular one. Let’s give this situation the benefit of the doubt. Let’s all be behind Roc Nation so they can succeed in this new venture. Maybe a lot of positive things will come out of it.

By the way, if Colin Kaepernick really wanted to play some football, why didn’t he go play football for a Canadian team, or why be so demanding as a replacement quarterback? I’m just saying… Back to the topic at hand.

Let’s be successful and smart like Jay-Z. He speaks the same language as the NFL owners, but he wants to create a new bridge between the real world and the NFL. If we are all behind him, he may succeed and he won’t have any choice but to stay true to his second hope for this collaboration: the hope of bringing two communities together. Yes, the first hope is all about the Benjamins.

Homer Simpson money

Let’s not forget, he is a businessman. Right?

Protesting is good, but I think it is time to think like pragmatic leaders. It is time to go forward and be at the table with stakeholders. We need to make them see that it’s time for a change.

Can Jay-Z and others be those game-changers?

I hope so, and this is coming from a Nas fan (in the 90s and early 00s, in Hip Hop, you were a Jay-Z fan or a Nas fan). I truly believe that Jay Z could bring something positive with this association.

Sometimes, we do change.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and Jay-Z appear at a news conference at ROC Nation on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in New York. A day after Jay-Z announced that his Roc Nation company was partnering with the NFL, the rap icon explained that he still supports protesting, kneeling and NFL player Colin Kaepernick, but he’s also interested in working with the league to make substantial changes. (Ben Hider/AP Images for NFL) ORG XMIT: NYBH701


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