You know I don’t normally do this, but… props to Jay-Z for dissing Jesus.
For the past few weeks now, mouth breathers have been up in arms over a line in “Empire State of Mind” where he says, “Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church ends.” I think I saw a post on it on Sandra Rose a few weeks ago, but I didn’t bother to have a look, because it seemed like a non-issue. Sandra Rose has a vendetta against Beyonce, probably because Beyonce is light skinted and has such a full, luxuriant head of hair – even though I’d be willing to bet that, underneath all that weave, Beyonce’s real hair is just as pathetic as some of the girls I used to work with at Hardees. Sandra Rose probably has more in common with Beyonce than she thinks. Otherwise, why haven’t we seen Beyonce rocking a more natural look at least once? You guys know my theory on weaves, as put forth in my post on Chris Rock’s Good Hair, a few weeks ago: Even the very best one possible still looks kinda fake and retarded. Beyonce might actually have the very best weave possible. I know part of Good Hair (which I of course didn’t bother to see) had to do with just how much some black women spend on fake hair. I wonder how much Beyonce spends. I wonder if Jay-Z even knows. If the two of us ever meet, maybe I could ply him with a bottle of Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir, the good stuff (the day before Thanksgiving, I found a bottle on sale for $9, down from $15), and find out how the cost of Beyonce’s fake hair compares to the price of my house in a shanty town, as declared by Peter Rosenberg.
If I had a stronger connection to people who still go to church, perhaps I would have realized that the outrage re: Jay-Z dissing Jesus would only continue to spread. I’ve been to church on a number of occasions, but they were all a long, long time ago. Not counting funerals and shit, the last time I went may have been Easter Sunday 1992. When I was a kid, my grandfather was the pastor of a church. My father actually grew up in a church. Literally. Like, in a store front church/apartment. As an adult, he avoided going to church at all costs, which makes me wonder just how awful that must have been. In my experience, it was more sad than anything else. This was the late ’80s and early ’90s. The crack era. Back in those days, the only people who went to church were senior citizens, down low teh ghey guys, and single mothers with their umpteen bastard children. Every now and again a crackhead would wander in off of the street and fall asleep in a back pew. No, really. But you never saw anyone who looked like they might have anything going on with their lives at church. Is it any wonder I never bought into the whole Jesus thing? Even if I never developed the intellectual ability to read up on how religion is some ol’ bullshit, that may have been the case.
Just now, I stumbled upon a video of some poor kid going in on Jay-Z for “Empire State of Mind.” I only watched about a minute and a half of the roughly 10 minute-long video, but it looks like the gist of this kid’s case is that Jay-Z had the sheer balls to say that Jesus can’t save people, but if you look right here in the Bible, it says Jesus is our lord and savior, and if you don’t accept him as such, you’ll burn in a lake of fire for all of eternity. We won’t see you again until the 4th of July. The sad thing about this video is, you can tell this kid is a hardened Jay-Z stan, who’s genuinely butthurt over the fact that Jay-Z is probably an atheist. (Again with the borrowing my “swag.”) He’s got on a smedium button down shirt, which he almost certainly refers to as a “button up,” and a baseball cap. The latter is turned sideways, so it’s hard to tell, but it’s probably a Yankees cap, even though, based on his grating accent, he’s probably from California. He’s definitely not from New York. #youmighthaveaidsif you’re not from New York, but you wear a Yankees cap.
“Empire State of Mind” is currently the number one song in the country. Jay-Z has had more #1 albums than the Beatles and Elvis combined, if not Buhweet, but this is his first time alone (albeit with Alicia Keys) atop the Billboard Hot 100. The other times he hit the number one spot were R&B songs where he just spit a verse, like “Umbarella.” The other one may have been “Crazy in Love,” but don’t start me to lying. I’m like Miley Cyrus – I don’t listen to pop music. Also, I’m a big fan of pole dancing. Anyway, maybe the popularity of “Empire State of Mind” will lead Jay-Z to have to address this issue. He’s already performed the song at a 9/11 tribute concert, a Yankees World Series game, and the American Music Awards. Remember the minor stink over the line about how he made the Yankees fitted more popular than the Yankees themselves could? Remember when he donated some money to the police, so they wouldn’t bitch about him hijacking the anniversary of 9/11. People who believe in Jesus love to write angry letters. Look at all of those people who wrote angry letters to ABC, just because Adam Lambert feigned fellatio with another guy, onstage at the AMAs. (No homo.) Imagine if they’d realized Jay-Z was singing a dis song to Jesus. If only rap lyrics weren’t so hard to understand.
If Jay-Z had any balls, he’d preempt such a controversy by announcing that yes, he is an atheist, and what he meant by that line in “Empire State of Mind” is that going to church is a waste of time, because there is no such thing as Jesus (there wasn’t even an historical Jesus), so obviously he can’t save you. H wouldn’t be alone in his belief, so to speak. An article in the Times the other day about atheist groups’ hilarious anti-Christmas marketing campaigns reported that, in some poll, 15% of Americans listed themselves as not having any religion, up from less than half that 20 years ago. And as Christopher Hitchens broke down in God Is Not Great, the real number is probably way higher, since people feel social pressure to pretend as if they believe in God. I’ve long suspected that most black Christians don’t really believe in that shit. For example, there’s that old black saying that, when you pray to god, move your feet. Then there was that public debate Al Sharpton did with the aforementioned Chris Hitchens, in which he all but admitted that he doesn’t actually believe in God, that’s just part of his shtick. He probably thinks it’s good for the black community, but it’s not. It’s just one more aspect of slavery we need to drop like a bad habit. And Jay-Z might be just the guy to spearhead this movement. You see what he’s done for black male fashion.