What does Jay-Z and Aaron Hernandez have in common? Nothing, but that did not stop a Fox news sports writer from comparing the two saying the hip hop icon was somehow “involved” with Aaron Hernandez and the killing of his friend Olin Lloyd.
In an article titled “Hernandez Case Was A Matter Of Time,” Fox news sports writer Jason Whitlock came to his own conclusion about Aaron Hernandez and the path he took.
Whitlock, in the article, said that Jay Z’s music led Hernandez down a path of destruction.
Whitlock, in his article, wrote that, “Jay Z, a rapper who glorifies his former life as a drug dealer, has far more culture influence than Lebron James. Jay Z is the generations Joe D [DiMaggio] and Beyonce is Marilyn Monroe.”
Whitlock also wrote that Hernandez is a “reflection of where we are as a society because he stayed true to his boys from the hood.”
Whitlock’s theory of why Hernandez murdered his friend doesn’t put blame on Hernandez. He wrote that Aaron Hernandez was a 23-year old athlete who tried to follow the Tony Soprano-esque footsteps of his peers.
Well Whitlock, here is where you are wrong. Myself and many other fans listen to Jay Z’s music and the majority of us are not out murdering or dealing drugs, nor do we all find that lifestyle appealing. Just as the NRA does’t want to be blamed for crazed gun owners, hip hop artists should not be blamed for the few who lead destructive lives. Hip hop should not be blamed, but the individuals themselves, who should know better. There are many factors on why an individual leads a certain life, as one size doesn’t fit all.
In the end, an individual’s actions are their own. However, the way a person is brought up and pressure from peer groups associate with, are key factors as well.
Music is an artist’s self expression, their interpretation of the life they live or once lived. For the most part, they are not glorifying thug life, but telling the world through song what they have been through.
That is what hip hop is, it tells the story of where that rapper came from. Rappers tell the story of their neighborhood and the life they once lived or still live. In many cases, they are not glorifying that lifestyle, but telling their story. A story many who grew up in similar situations can relate too.
In today’s society we glorify sex and violence, just look at the latest blockbuster movie or look up the top selling DVD’s. Yet, there are no outcries, unless the message reaches middle America.
Some will say, well that sells, or that they are enjoying freedom of speech. However, rappers have the same rights; and just as you can not blame a movie for someone murdering another, you can’t blame rap.
Take the murder massacre in Colorado, who do we blame? Psychologist say that crazy people do crazy things. Hence, one can not blame hip hop for what one person does.
Jay Z has millions of fans who listen to his music daily; not all of them are doing drugs, selling drugs or killing people. It is the responsibility of the individual alone, not what their musical or movie taste happens to be.
There comes a time when a person has to take responsibility for his/her own actions. Jay Z did not tell Aaron to pull the trigger, he did that on his own, just as the murderer in the Colorado movie theater massacre and the Columbine shooters pulled the trigger.
Movies and music were created for entertainment purposes. They all tell stories in some way, movies have ratings for a reason, just as music today has both the clean and explicit versions.
As a society, we can not blame anyone but ourselves for glorifying violence and sex in movies, while at the same time placing athletes, actors, musicians etc on pedestals.
We forget about the real role models, like the teachers that teach our kids, or doctors and nurses who save lives, and America’s soldiers, along with many other leaders/heroes who work tirelessly and go unnoticed.
We are quick to forgive the Charlie Sheens, but hold a grudge against Michael Vick, while allowing child molesters walk free.
Today’s society needs a serious reality check. For we can’t expect our children to grow up to be respectful and well-rounded citizens if as a society we are debating laws that take away women’s rights, striking down the 1964 voting rights act, while at the same time glorifying sex and violence in video-games and movies.
For some kids, they do have their parents to tell them right from wrong. So with Whitlock, raising the topic of fatherless kids today is not completely true. Their are many who grow up in one parent homes and have gone on to graduate not only from high school, but also from college, receiving Bachelor and Master’s degrees. It is not easy but many are able to achieve and overcome.
A child’s environment does play some part in the person they will become as an adult. Not all who listen to hip hop are gun toting, drug dealing gang bangers.
I for one, love hip hop and there are some artists I will never listen too, but Jay Z is one I do listen too and never have I been encouraged to want to sell or do drugs or kill someone. I have been inspired by Jay Z, but on a positive note.
Jay Z has come a long way from the streets of Brooklyn. Mr Carter or Hov as many know him has created an empire that will live on for generations. Jay Z has created new rules and raised the bar for those coming up in Hip Hop and want to cross over into business. No longer just wearing what corporate America says is cool but branding himself and making corporate America come to him for deals.
Jay Z has not only turned his musical life into a positive but his personal as well. Jay Z has displayed himself in the public as a doting father to his daughter Blue. Jay Z has also shown his love for his wife Beyonce who he recently surprised on stage by running out to hug and kiss her much to Beyonce’s surprise.
Jay Z barely knew his father and he grew up in the mean streets of Brooklyn. Still, Jay Z, TI., and Eminem who are all loving fathers to their kids, are all proof that no matter where or how you grew up you can grow up to be better. That your situation does not have to be permanent.
-Kelly J Newson
Tweet me: @Kelz_writestuff