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Halloo! When I found out I could go to med school with a Humanities degree with an Ethnomusicology emphasis, I almost peed myself. Here's to me holding it in.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Annotated Source

Jay-Z interview on Charlie Rose, 9 November 2007


This is the second interview Charlie Rose did with Jay-Z.

Some notes:

Jay-Z talks over and over again about how rap saved his life. He was a crack dealer, making good money and driving nice cars, when he decided to go with a friend named Jazz to London to do some shows. His partner in the hustle was stung and went away for twelve years. He decided, based on that experience and some other close calls, to pursue rap as a career. No one would sign him, so him and some friends started their own record company and used skills gained from the hustle to promote themselves. They became successful independently, and then the record label noticed them. 

Rap artists are typically 17-18 years old when they first get signed. 

Russell Simmons is the Godfather of hip-hop entrepreneurship. That's a good place to do more research.
Good ol' Russ

Talking about the problems in the entertainment industry, don't just take the rap industry to task - take the video games industry, the movie industry, on and on.

People give words power - take the N word away and the racist will use another word. The word isn't the issue, it's the feeling behind it.

"Chasin' History" - this will probably be the name of the biography someone will write when Jay-Z dies. He describes the reasons he stays in hip-hop, now that money is no longer a problem, and the biggest reason is what he calls chasin' history. The rap game became a tool for changing history and influencing a whole culture, especially as it could be inspirational for young kids who think the ghetto is all there is. This black crack-dealer from Marcy project became a $450 billion dollar net-worth CEO with 14 Grammy awards - what else is in store? What is possible?
The Assimilated Negro: Chasing History: Jay-Z & Charlie Rose
Urban Dictionary: chasing history

"Rap is a competitive sport"- taking shots is part of the game, and it usually isn't personal at all. People who want to go somewhere have to grow a thick skin, and the more jabs taken the more successful the jabbee probably is.

Jay-Z took the CEO position at Def Jam Recordings as a way to 1) be creative in another outlet, and 2) be an example to the artist community, proving that it doesn't always have to be some old dude who never touched a mic running the show, and that young black kids can and should aspire to greatness in any field, including the white dominated business field.

I've been thinking about the worthwhileness of these interviews as annotated sources, and I stand by the decision. Not much of this will make its way into the project proposal, but it will serve the purpose of true research - it has made me more conversant in a topic that will be important to me personally and to the people I live with in my study location, and will link directly with the project in a major way. I can't go into a community without a background in the important topics and expect to have any credence or respectability. So, here I am, annotating interviews with the King of America. I have the coolest major.

And, just so you don't think I'm making shiz up:

Rolling Stone said it. I agree.

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