It could have been the headline of 2013; Jay Z is dead…not. In what appears to be a parody news report, the 43 year-old rapper Jay Z was reported dead inside. The dangling structure of the sentence that announced the award winning multi-millionaire’s death was not actually a report of his demise.
It was a very tongue-in-cheek report on the status of the performer’s career. Jay Z, who is married to singer, songwriter and actress Beyoncé Knowles, (real name Shawn Corey Carter) is alive and, presumably well. He is married to Knowles and they had a baby this year.
On his own the rapper has a net worth of $500 million and his “other-half” is worth a cool $300 million; so news of Jay Z’s shuffling off this mortal coil would be big news financially. It would also upset his many fans, although, according to the parody news report, those numbers could have dwindled.
The casual reader could be forgiven for believing the report was real. However, if one reads closely, it becomes apparent in the first sentence that something is amiss. This obit is not for the rapper, it is for his career, or perhaps his artistic integrity. The article opens with the news that Jay Z was found dead “inside.”
The “inside,” means his creative core, or for those who are of a more spiritual persuasion, his soul. According to the article “Rap Genius” editors and those who specialize in “urban studies,” are looking into the news that Jay Z “killed himself.” Again, it is claimed that he did this internally, aka inside.
The next paragraph spells it out a little better. Attributing a quote to Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G. the article surmises that one moment Jay Z was doing “great.” The next he was “an empty suit.” Quite remarkable for B.I.G. to notice since he really died in 1997 but, says the article, his soul remains alive despite this.
The rest of the obituary parody gives the rappers date of birth, December 4, 1969, and the place of his birth as Brooklyn. The same paragraph somberly explains that since Jay Z’s death, the city has also lost its own soul.
Finishing off the obit, the article lists survivors as being Beyoncé Knowles and Blue Ivy their daughter. Blue, it is opined will never grow up to fulfill her “invigorating life” of crack dealing and will most likely become an English major at NYU before expiring at the age of 21.
The final “tip-off” that the rapper is not really dead at all comes in the last paragraph where it is proclaimed that Jay Z will perform at his own funeral from his “open casket.” The funeral itself will be held at the Barclay’s Center and will be sponsored by Samsung.
In all, it is a highly amusing, yet damning, look at Jay Z’s career and what the writers see as a slump in his creativity and integrity. In essence, they claim that the rapper has “sold out” and in so doing, he has killed his soul, or as they put it, his “inside.”
So according to The Rap Insider, the rapper Jay Z is dead, not literally, but figuratively and creatively. His lethal action on his inner man, has killed his soul. At least according to the publication.
By Michael Smith
The Rap Insider