Black Public Scholars

October 14, 2010

The Jay-Z Business Model Is Not the Only Way To Get Rich

Filed under: Uncategorized — Staff @ 4:18 pm

"Boyce Watkins"

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Jay-Z is an amazing rapper.  Some think that he’s been in the game for a bit too long, but I don’t agree.  Personally, I think “Jigga” simply reflects the fact that hip-hop itself is aging.  Jazz was once solely the domain of rebellious teenagers, but now you’re sure to hear it playing in every old folk’s home across America.  The same is going to be true for hip-hop.

Jay-Z has said repeatedly that he will stop making music, and I’m sure that one day he will.  However, there is one area in which we need to retire Jay-Z: In his role as the pre-eminent black businessman in America.  It’s not that Jay-Z is a bad role model, it’s just that he’s been exhausted.

Don’t get me wrong, Jigga has made significant amounts of money by busting rhymes on his left and selling clothes on his right.  Good for him.  But is he really the best business role model for young black males, who are already consumed with a culture that teaches them that all they can be are rappers or athletes?  No, he is not.  Young black women also find that their leading role models in business are women like Oprah and Beyonce, both of whom keep us hyper-fixated on the entertainment industry.   It’s time to make a change.

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