Rapper’s careers don’t get better with time; it’s just how the game goes. JAY-Z, as he has his whole life, defies those odds. “Family Feud” is one of my favorite songs from the Hip Hop god. The song is multi-layered, below are the most poignant points.
"Nah, we did that, Black-owned things
Hundred percent Black-owned champagne
And we merrily merrily eatin’ off these streams
Y’all still drinkin’ Perrier-Jouët, hah
But we ain’t get through to you yet, uh”
Hip Hop supported Cristal champagne in the 90s and 00s, mostly with free promotion through their songs and videos. The managing director, Frédéric Rouzaud, made racist remarks about the genre’s free sponsorship. So what did JAY-Z do, buy his own luxury champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, known as “Ace of Spades.”
The point is many times people demand racist companies not to be racist; the alternative is taking your business elsewhere or even better creating your own business for people who don’t want to support bigotry but want quality champagne.
“A man that don’t take care his family can’t be rich
I’ll watch Godfather, I miss that whole shit
My consciousness was Michael’s common sense
I missed the karma that came as a consequence
Niggas bustin’ off through the curtains ’cause she hurtin’
Kay losin’ the babies ’cause their future’s uncertain”
Next, JAY-Z points out the definition of wealth by equating it to family. He skillfully compared Beyoncé’s miscarriages to Kay’s abortion, from the cinematic masterpiece, The Godfather.
“Al Sharpton in the mirror takin’ selfies
How is him or Pill Cosby s’posed to help me?
Old niggas never accepted me
New niggas is the reason I stopped drinkin’ Dos Equis
We all lose when the family feuds
What’s better than one billionaire? Two”
Lastly, Hov points out the ongoing battle between old and new generations within the culture. When he was young in Hip Hop the older generation didn’t accept him, and now history is repeating itself with the elder Hip Hop statesmen. In the end, nobody wins when the family feuds.
Hip Hop culture gives voices to the voiceless and hope for the hopeless. There are enough systematic oppressions in our way we shouldn’t add to it.
Check out JAY-Z's compelling autobiography above.