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Welcome to Boss Review! I created this space to share my viewpoints on everything pop culture related.  From the President to the latest hip-hop album, I’ll post about whatever catches my eye, ear or whatever sense gets stimulated.  I would love to start a discourse, so feel free to comment.  Or, just stick around to take it all in.  Either way, thanks for visiting!

-DJ Boss Player

G.O.A.T.

With his thirteenth studio album, once again, Jay-Z changed the game.  As he did with his previous LP, Magna Carta Holy Grail, Hov set new rules.

“4:44” is what grown man hip-hop sounds like.  To hell with ignorance and debauchery.  Jay-Z had an intimate conversation with his listeners.

The most amazing accomplishment of the album was on “The Story of O.J.” which is a critique of the hip-hop community’s fiscal responsibility and an instruction manual for accumulating wealth.  My highlight of the record is “You know what’s more important than throwing money away in the strip club?  Credit.”

This preaching is necessary for our hip-hop community which currently tends to value the appearance of having money over actually having money, which is backwards and ludicrous.  My father is a banker and taught me the value of money at an early age.  Yet, I still couldn’t resist the urge to pop bottles in the club during my youth due to the hip-hop narrative.  Somehow, blowing money equates to balling instead of saving it.  It doesn’t make sense.  I’ve been saying this for years and I’m ecstactic that our rap god, almight Hov, proclaimed it from his mountain top.

Maybe now Blacks in the hip-hop community will think twice about blowing money and more about making their money grow, which will ultimately increase our stake in the marketplace and the power schematics.  That conversation and that narrative switch was so necessary.  And, it had long been overdue.

Aside from Jay-Z’s references to money and wealth, the most glaring content of the album is undoubtedly him admitting to cheating on Beyoncé on the title track “4:44.”  I don’t have much to say about it except that no matter how rich and powerful he is, as we’ve seen time and time again, a man is still a man.

Jay-Z is a mogul, but in his heart he is still a true artist, which is what made him successful in the first place and part of what sustains him.  My guess is, as an artist, he couldn’t resist the urge to bare his soul on the record.  For every true artist their work is their therapy.  It was probably cathartic for him confess his infidelity.  I’m not judging him for cheating or Beyoncé for staying with him.  Those issues are solely between them as a couple.

In terms of the production on the album, No I.D. totally hit the nail on the head.  His jazzy samples were so pleasing to the ear that they made Jay-Z’s baritone voice flow smoothly on the beat in a remarkably unified fashion.  I delighted in Jay-Z’s decision to forego singles in favor of a purely soulful concise presentation like a soundtrack to the educated and successful Black man’s life.  Jay-Z’s choice to use the legendary No I.D. as the only producer for the album proved to be an excellent decision.

With this album, Jay-Z earned my selection as Greatest Rapper Of All Time.  Really, the title should have already been his.  How is it fair to compare his actual body of work to Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.’s hypothetical albums had they been alive?  They’re not.  And the fact is Jay-Z has done it time and time again.  And, this will, no doubt, be another number one album.

Jay-Z’s ability to set trends and change the narrative and the conversation is unparalleled.  That’s power.  Guys out here quote Jigga lines like the Bible.  Forget hip-hop, who else do you know in any arena with that type of influence?  Not many.  Aside from all the categories of lyrics, flow, delivery, wordplay, hooks, content, beat selection and authenticity in all of which Jay-Z is ranked near the top, if not at the top, it’s that je ne sais quoi that something you can’t describe that makes Jay-Z the G.O.A.T.  Greatest Of All Time.  Like Jay-Z said a while back, “It’s just different.”

R.I.P. to a Legend

Somehow, he made hardcore gangsta rap into beautiful music that had mass appeal.  He made classic music in the golden age of hip-hop.  “Shook Ones Pt. II” will forever be considered one of the greatest contributions to the hip-hop Universe.  He will be so dearly missed.  R.I.P. Prodigy of Mobb Deep.  Tell Tupac and Biggie I said what up.

How Did this A**hole Win the Freaking Presidency?

President Trump seems to be following the tyrant’s playbook to a T.  I always thought it was interesting how people voted for him against their own self interests.  It’s mind boggling.  But, after reading up on it a lot and having many conversations about it, I think I understand why.  And the reasons might surprise you.

The reasons are multifaceted and multidimensional.  It comes down to his base, which constitutes a huge portion of the population of America.  And, his base exists far away from Hollywood, New York, Washington and big cities like them, which are highly represented in the media, who told us Hilary was going to win and Trump didn’t have a shot.

Outside of the big cities, in the rural areas in America’s heartland, people were suffering. People were losing jobs in their factories due to outsourcing and other factors. People were living in poverty and losing hope due to the recession.

Then, along came then Presidential candidate Trump, who gave them hope. He promised them he would get their jobs back and improve the economy. He capitalized on their racism and made them feel like they would regain their position of White supremacy. “Make America Great Again” was his slogan, which really meant restore White power. Trump’s supporters were angry and frustrated with their position in America’s apparent hierarchy and representation in the media. Trump gave a figurative middle finger to Washington and all its stuck up politicians.  His base was tired of the status quo and its bullshit and with his off the cuff simple remarks, Trump seemed like a breath of fresh air.

All of that would seem great to a Trump supporter except for a few things, the most glaring one being TRUMP IS A LIAR.  He didn’t plan on doing anything he promised, except maybe restoring White supremacy.  There will be no jobs.  There will be no wall between the USA and Mexico.  In fact, he is currently trying to take away healthcare that a lot of his supporters need.  He’s going to take away some of their social services too and give tax breaks to the rich.  He doesn’t even care about the very people who got him into the highest office in the World.  He didn’t outline any of these policies on his campaign.  In fact he didn’t outline any policies at all.  Yet, he still won.

The majority of Trump’s voters didn’t use logic in their decision making process for voting for him.  They responded to him on a visceral level.  And, that is a sad commentary on a lot of America’s citizens.  And, even worse, a sobering reminder of humanity’s level of ignorance.

Land of the Free?

My Aunt Loretta posted on her Facebook Robert Reich’s “15 Warning Signs of Impending Tyranny.”  Here they are:

As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:

1. Exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote.

2. Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.

3. Call anyone who opposes them “enemies.”

4. Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.”

5. Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements.

6. Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.

7. Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them.

8. Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.

9. Threaten mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

10. Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties.

11. Appoint family members to high positions of authority

12. Surround themselves with their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public.

13. Put generals into top civilian posts

14. Make personal alliances with foreign dictators.

15. Draw no distinction between personal property and public property, profiteering from their public office.

Consider yourself warned.

 

President Trump is sticking to the tyrant’s script.  I like freedom and democracy.  We need to get this guy out of office before we become the UST– United States of Trump.