We did it again, Brooklyn

The TIs who enlisted Jay-Z as the black cosigner on the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn may have overestimated the political opposition to such a project, and hence the need for a black cosigner in the first place.

It’s a good thing his stake in the New Jersey Nets is less than 1%, which I read just now over on Sandra Rose. If he draws an income from that at all, it can’t be very much money, especially compared to what the real owners of the New Jersey Nets make. If I were Jay-Z, I’m not sure if I’d feel right, knowing my cut is such a tiny fraction of what those other guys make.

At least as a hip-hop journalist you can take a certain comfort in knowing that even the most well paid person in your field would take a job in what essentially amounts to data entry, when the checks stop coming in. The concept of pride is quite literally above our pay scale. The only journalist who has a shedload of money is Thomas Friedman, and that’s just because his wife owns a lot of the shopping malls you find in ghetto areas. When a black kid with self-esteem issues due to fatherlessness spends a month’s worth of section eight rent on a pair of Nikes, it contributes to globalization in more ways than you’d think.

I’m not saying I would scoff at however much money less than 1% of the New Jersey Nets is worth, if someone wanted to pay me that as compensation for running PR interference for a plan to build a Wal-Mart right here in my shanty town. I don’t trust the people in this neighborhood enough to care if they ended up displaced. I’m just saying. I could take my next check from XXL, if there is one, and use it to buy .000000001% of the Nets, or however much it would afford me, and technically I’d own less than 1% of the Nets just like Jay-Z.

Then I could cruise the local high school here for a chick whose ass would require her to fly business class, if she ever went anywhere, and I’d really be like Jay-Z. Roffle.

I guess for what it’s worth that’s still a pretty sweet paycheck just for having to show up to a press conference on a random Thursday afternoon in March and listen to some old Jew joke about how he wants to fuck your wife. Jay-Z may not have even minded the bit about his wife. I watched the video of the press conference a couple of times, and it was hard for me to get a read on whether Jay-Z had any concept of the vile nature of that joke. You’d think someone with a proper frame of reference would have at least given a side eye like the one Samuel L Jackson gave Mo’nique at the Oscars, as if to suggest that they realize how wrong this all is, they’re just there for the money.

To think, the same bank behind this Atlantic Yards project used to own slaves. A few hundred years ago, another of its employees probably stood on a stage not unlike the one Jay-Z stood on the other day and touted the attributes of some ridonkulously well endowed black woman. You know good and well the guy from the plantation whose job it was to bid on women at auction chose them primarily on the basis of their looks – both for breeding purposes, and for their own personal amusement. In many cases, both. That’s probably why they were auctioned off naked. It’s not like it would have cost that much to get them some clothes. The god damn plantation grew cotton, fer chrissakes. Maybe they did bring shirts, for the women with fucked up bodies. Or did they just toss them overboard during the middle passage? Keep in mind I don’t mean that as a joke. Slavery is no laughing matter. It’s arguably worse than the Holocaust. No Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Beyonce is mad light skinted herself. This is gonna sound far-fetched, but what if that’s because one of Beyonce’s ancestors was one of the better-looking women at an auction held by the same bank behind the Atlantic Yards project. It’s not inconceivable, when you think that there couldn’t have been very many banks involved in the slave trade, especially given how difficult it is to find a white person, or a white company, who will admit to having descended from slave owners. Barclays Bank is the only one I can think of off the top of my head. And you know slavery was one big fuckfest. A while back, there was a study released that said that pretty much all black people except white people. That seems like way more miscegenation than you’d think, until you consider what you’d do, if you were in that situation. Remember that El-P song where he and Cage pretended to be guards on a prison ship? It’s probably impossible to hold an attractive woman captive and not take advantage of her at least a little bit. And the women may have even gone along with it. Beyonce’s ancestors may have been “sexual heroes,” per the theory put forth by Toure’s cousin and/or the song “Brown Sugar” by the Rolling Stones.

The thing is, how many people even sit around and think about shit like that? Probably just me and Toure. And Toure is friends with Jay-Z, and I don’t even live in Brooklyn. When video of the press conference hit the Internets yesterday, people didn’t seem to be at all concerned with the historical connotation of, or the political fuckery involved with the Atlantic Yards project. It was like the ’08 presidential election all over again: it’s probably not gonna work out well for black people in the long run, but it was soothing to the ego. There were a shedload of people there protesting, but I heard they were all white. They at least had the sense to realize that the Atlantic Yards project is an epic fail for Brooklyn, but even they didn’t have the political clout to do much about it. They managed to tie it up in court for a couple of years before they could finally break ground on it, during which it became increasingly obvious that the tax revenue it would generate wouldn’t be anything like what they promised, and hence the public money used to build it (you get to pay for it, but only Jay-Z gets to own it), not to mention the eminent domain landgrab, was even less justifiable than initially thought, but the TIs still managed to ram it through. They seem to have a knack for ramming it through.

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  • rags2bitches

    I’m betting this post doesn’t last two hours.

  • these posts are racist


    • geico lizard

      Bol,the nets are now owned by a russian mafia billionaire. So he is probably hooking jay z up with russian prostitutes and money under the table. You should have done a post on what beyonce wore to that event. She looked like a streetwalker in a bad Lifetime movie.

  • http://www.mikestreezy.com Mike Streezy

    Wow! Awesome post Byron! I enjoyed you taking a very real stance on an issue that is overlooked. Your blogs are usually enjoyable but when something irks you (as I suspect this rightfully did) you do an awesome job of showing your intelligence. I appreciated this post and it gives me something to look further into I might not have even cared to think of.

    • General

      Couldn’t have said it better Mike…

      I think your post here Bol will get a lot of people thinking and looking into this shit…

      We all know by now that Jay has sold out everything he once was or was a part of in the Brooklyn community

      • valdez

        co-sign mike and general.

        and this..?

        “We all know by now that Jay has sold out everything he once was or was a part of in the Brooklyn community”

        wow!! so much truth. when will the sheep see jayz for the mass mind-controlling, culture-creating, illuminati puupet that is is?

        • Genral

          mind-controlling, culture-creating, illuminati puupet….

          ?? LMAO

          You went too far. Good blog. Sensible points. But c’mon bro with that illuminati ssshh.

          People like you will stay poor all your life – you just don’t understand business.

  • Cinnastarr

    I read your blog everyday, and I am a black woman.. I do not find you offensive. I think that you are hilarious, even brilliant at times. Keep it up!

  • BigJon

    I think you drank yourself crazy Bol.

    • bigjon

      But that has nothing to do with the truism that Jigga is selling his soul

  • http://newtracksdaily.blogspot.com/ Noles506

    I had commented about this the other day elsewhere….everyone was blabbering on about it being some huge victory for Brooklyn and black people & blah blah & how Jay-Z was the man….I had to say, do you realize he owns like 1.47% percent? and is more than likely being used by rich white men almost as PR?

  • frow

    great post shit was funny and serious not an easy accomplishment

  • P-Matik

    Nice…proofread fail though. What does this mean?

    “A while back, there was a study released that said that pretty much all black people except white people.”

    I was all interested in where you were going with that paragraph and then that.

  • EMC

    Since the Nets LOSE about $60 million a year, Hova’s small slice means he’s LOSING less than the majority owners. He’s still pimpin’ for a landgrab, tho.

  • Anonymous

    “but the TIs still managed to ram it through. They seem to have a knack for ramming it through.”

    ^ roffleghetti

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

      I need to puff after I type, not during.

      “We all know by now that Jay has sold out everything he once was or was a part of in the Brooklyn community”

      ^ True that Gen.

      “He’s still pimpin’ for a landgrab, tho”

      ^ There’s plenty of undeveloped land around Marcy PJ’s. Just saying.

      Bol I thought you would squeeze in this the Complex blog about how NaS said Bey has super halitosis…


    Wow.guess who got his swagger back.keep it up bol

  • valdez

    went back to read that last paragraph again. good shit, bol.


    bol you killing it son you need to leave that yellow tail alone. start fucking with the manischewitz you owe it to yourself. i think this might ghost away as well. i finally got in on one though

  • Slymm

    Excellent post, Bol. Lately, you been on fire.

    “We all know by now that Jay has sold out everything he once was or was a part of in the Brooklyn community”

    ^^^^ Agreed.

    The Jay-Z from Reasonable Doubt was not the Jay-Z that was standing there and letting a Jew hit on his wife to the entire world.

    • Genral

      You kids make me laugh. J hasn’t sold out.

      he never “stood” for anything so how could he “sell” out??

      Nas doing Fila commericals is selling out.

      Flavor-Flav doing Flavor of Love. thta’s selling out.

      Jay-Z making business moves with Jews and pretty much anything that makes business sense….. Thats Jay staying true to himself.

      (btw I’m not a even a Jay fan – i just can’t stay all this “illumanti” rubbish I keep hearing”

      • Slymm

        Sorry, son, I never even touched on the Illumanati rumors. But the writings on the wall. Promoting yourself for a brand is one thing, using imminent domain to get people evicted from their homes all for profit is another and in my opinion much more vile.

        • Genral

          Yo! c’mon fam – do really believe that… evicting people from there homes??

          (plays a vilion)

          These people will either be relocated because it’s social housing in the first place!!! And/or be offered new accodation in the new buildings.

          This is a good look for Brooklyn – and with Jay Co-signing – and making sure people don’t just get recklessly “evicted” from they homes -it probably wouldn’t be happening.

          Nuff said.

  • SweetZ

    Platinum selling producer Groove Chambers has come out the lab into the limelight. His new single is FIRE!!!

    Groove Chambers-In the Bag


    <3 SweetZ

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    YO! Peep this out…

    Texas Bans Hip-Hop. How’s That for Enlightenment?


    Banning any rap curriculum in the schools and replacing it with country. The whole state.

    Where the people @???

    • magc

      I just read that motherjones article. Of course the title is needlessly alarmist.

      Who can blame them for banning cRap. Why the heck would a kid need to know anything about rap to be a functional adult. Classical music and Jazz at least require you to have skills in something. And they are calming influences.

      cRap did this to itself by putting out that thug and hoe image, all for a dollar. Even the white people who bought most of this stuff in the 80s and 90s have moved on.

  • DV8

    Tiger= Tool
    Jay-Z= Puppet
    Obama= TBD Both maybe?

    Seems Hov wasnt as smart as he thought he was, he being played like a piano

    crazy shit going on. heads better wake the fux up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • PHD

    glab to see Bol back to basics…

    keep it up

  • KM

    Ayo rags2b****es, put your money where your mouth is, Dumbshit! Bro shed some light on something important.

  • nicholasdelorejo

    Really you can’t get mad Jay-z for selling out like this. Jay wouldn’t be such a tool for the TIs if too many dudes wouldn’t come into hip-hop with the desire to play the role of a CEO instead of becomming one. How many rappers claim to be heads of labels that are distributed by one of the major, jewish owned labels.

    Pleanty of dudes could’ve gone independent and truely have ownership but instead would rather than play make believe like Jay and say that their an executive. So Jay selling out is only a large acheivement only to the folks that are interested in the hustleing rap. This explains why there’s no staying power in rap. Too many dudes aren’t trying to understand the bussiness themselves and distribute the music themselves but would rather claim to own am empire that they don’t know or have control over. I don’t look to Jay for success mainly because I don’t think he’s that bright.

    @Syk, As much as I dislike the ban on rap in school, I gotta I would have done this personally to my kid if I had one. At least ban the shit that’s playing on the radio. I’d rather my kid listen to jazz, funk, or 90s rap and R&B. Otherwise your kid might fuck around and be the nexy Wacka Flocka.

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      @ magc also

      Although we complain about today’s quality of music, we cannot forget that rap created a business structure for urban youth to thrive off of. They will not be taught this, it won’t even be mentioned. Now the new kids will realistically never know the PE’s, KRS’, Queen Latifah’s, ‘The Message’ song, the songs that were made for uplifting the minds will not be taught to the youth, now they have even a better reason to just ONLY listen to what is being played on radio and in the streets and be even more disconnected with black music culture.

      Although it is only Texas, I bet you this was the only way they even knew about a Melly Mel, or A PE besides ‘Flavor Of Love’. Remember we just had a blog about regional music, people realistically only know and deal with their surroundings.

      Once one state passes a law, others will follow.

      • nicholasdelorejo

        It’s not so much the content of the music now. It’s the simple fact that a lot of rappers are coming into the game clearly for the hustle and not to become artists. I don’t have anything against Gucci or Wacka Flocka in terms of their content. It’s that these guys are rapping in the way that’s clearly meant to sell and not because they truly believe in expressing that type of music. Not every rapper has to be lyrical. Pac wasn’t lyrical but his music possessed an honesty people can appreciate. Now rappers are selling an image more than their music. Ross was more concerned about what people thought about his past as opposed focusing on his music so that shit wouldn’t matter. Does anyone know what Andre and Big Boi did in their past?

        But what disturbs me the most is that in this digital age, rappers have access to early black music and hip-hop through the internet. Shit Soulja Boy made an album and released through the internet. He didn’t bother to listen to the early hip-hop in his region like Outkast, Dungeon family, or learn from Jermain Dupri or Cee-Lo to be a better producer. It’s not so much that the young generation isn’t AWARE of the uplifting music from early rap. It’s that they DON’T CARE about it. At least not enough to see a profit in it. It’s why musicianship isn’t present in hip-hop. Young dudes watch BET or MTV thinking that groups like the Roots of even NERD don’t make enough money when the truth is they tour consistently. But seeing a dude with a video of a silly dance or some club scene will inspire them to make that kind of music because that shit is believed to be successful even when its short lived.

        So Syk I don’t really buy the “it’s all they know,” excuse because if folks can make mixtapes and release them in the web with their young fans searching and downloading them, then they can look up and listen to Billie Holiday and the like. But they won’t because rappers don’t even see themselves as artists or hip hop as art even a business. Just a get rich scheme. Only those of us that treat hip hop more seriously are left to suffer.

        • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

          I can see your stance nic. But if there is no reference point (name drop) what would create the curiosity to search? Even I can’t just search for Hip Hop, I have to narrow it down before I can really begin to find what I’m looking for.

          SOME, not all of the kids don’t want to learn. Part of the problem is there is no mentioning of the rap culture, only the promotion of current rap music, like you said.

          If no one (including Hip Hop websites) will mention Queen Latifah, that she made a uplifting women’s anthem ‘Unity’, there will be no interest in seeking out her catalog.

          If there’s no mention of the situation behind Public Enemy’s ‘By The Time I Get To Arizona’, there will be no interest for the youngin’s to search them.

          They don’t care to check for jazz because the current format doesn’t tie that culture into it. It is a clever plan that has been implemented and it’s working beautifully. We can’t say ‘it’s the parents fault’ all of the time because a lot of parents work and don’t even have time to play music (I don’t mean radio, the personal collection) at home these days. The kids are in school, after school programs, baby sitters, etc. They will only search what is considered interesting according to what’s/who’s around their environment.

          More kids know about ‘Hit ‘Em Up’ by Tupac than ‘Brenda Had A Baby’ because of the ‘Thug Life’ hysteria that surrounded him and that’s what the people connected to. Most people don’t even know Pac has poems out or even wrote them.

          They will not even realize that Country/Western has more alcoholism, suicidal thoughts/depression, racism and spouse bashing in it than rap has ever had.

          And to be HONEST, this search conversation is moot. The labels and the gov’t had a convo like a month ago about music downloading. The companies are sending out cease-n-desists to normal people and websites, who have embedded music playlists up on their MySpaces’ & YouTubes, or newly released music streams already posted publicly, saying they are infringing on copyrighted music and are in danger of being sued. If I wanted to put up a Public Enemy song I would have to ask Def Jam for permission, which you know damn well they will say no to me, a fan/nobody. Even if I uploaded it from a CD/album/tape I already bought!

          This is why you see the hyperlinks for music lately, and those links are heavily moderated. In a minute WE WON’T BE ABLE TO SEARCH FOR/HAVE ACCESS TO THAT MUSIC. NOT JUST ONLY RAP MUSIC EITHER.

          Do you still think this is OK to do in Texas?

        • nicholasdelorejo

          I never said it was right for Texas to ban hip-hop. But like Chris Rock said, its harder to defend hip-hop now. We can’t say that hip hop is a voice for the oppress when more kids would rather listen to Wayne. It’s not that I have a problem with violence, sexism, or whatever in rap. I’m just against the senselessness that rap now continues to support. One of my favorite albums was “Reasonable Doubt” that album is full of drug and violent references. Tupac’s Video “Get Around” possessed sexual images (the chick shaking her ass and the guy pulling her top off). But they were in references to a reality that exist. Jay wasn’t making up the highs and lows of the drug game and Pac only showed just how crazy and fun a simple house party can be.

          However shit changed when rappers forgot to depict reality and now promote fantasy. Almost every rapper has to come from a drug past (on a kingpin level of dealing) and they have to have a party within their lives. AND what irks me is that today’s rappers have used the excuses that were used to defend the music with a message. Dudes will say that they are “peots of the street” or “are presenting a reality”. When if they were a lot of mainstream acts would be writting songs about the high unemployment rate amoung blacks, Haiti, the war, and so forth. I don’t think dudes need to actually hear Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” to put sonmething like that out. It doesn’t have to be a good song but something to show that you connect with reality. It’s why there a Drake hate. People don’t see what’s the big deal about a guy that simply throws metaphors around in mostly meaningless songs.

          Also when I don’t think the ability for rappers to reference older music is absent. Outkast reached out to Patti Labelle, Snoop sought Charlie Wilson to bring some of the early R&B soul music in many of his songs. Shit even Drake wanted to collab with Sade. So it’s not like rappers don’t try to reach out to the older generation of music for inspiration and guidance. The problem comes from the fact that kids don’t possess a curiousity to give it a chance. What do you think would get more attention: a song by Drake featuring Sade or one featuring Gucci?

          But this problem only comes from the fact that we spend more trying to define hip-hop in a closed box and not welcome variation in it. I saw a video of 50 stating that he’s willing to expand to genres in his new album. This wouldn’t be an issue if 50 hadn’t made fun of any rising artist that was somehow different than him. Some people call rappers like Kanye, Cudi, and Wale “fags” for not being hard all the time. To many dudes dictated that thuggery was the standard for hip-hop because it came from the streets. The funny thing is those same streets once welcome variety in rap. If we were to welcome rappers like Talib Kweli, Mos Def, El-P the same way we welcome Ross, and TI we wouldn’t have to worry about the black music being absent because chances are almost every rapper would contain part of that influence. And kids would seek out the past artists that influenced that kind of rap.

          So was Texas wrong for banning rap. Yes. But can rap be defended as a case for keeping it. Yes but it sure as hell won’t be easy. It would’ve been 15 years ago or hell even 5 years ago. But right now based on the music that is played on the radio, featured on the 106 & park countdown, and the records that get the most exposure I say hip-hop doesn’t have much of a case because the fans don’t want it to have much of one. So I can understand you anger and you should be. But I think there should be anger towards how people didn’t keep the true foundations of rap alive. I’d rather for hip-hop to die now and restart again than to defend its former purpose for the generation that do not deserve it.

        • Swordz

          You make a good point about 50 – Cough – Faggot –

          they has always been plenty pof diversity in rap music. From the very beginiing.

          the issue is alot of pop (popular) music nowadays is made with “rap” – the beats are esstenital hiphop beats.

          So yes I agree for the most part – but not with the fact it’s hard to defend “hiphop”. I don’t think anyone should try.

          Music is an art form – hiphop is just another box we like to use to describe a particular brand or form of music.. which has now evolved.

          Hiphop producers are in n2009/20 effectly making dance music. Striaght dance. Euro Synthed Dance. but becase they rap on the track it’s called hiphop??

          I prefer to call it music.

          And some music should definately not be listened to or promoted in schools…. and yes, that includes SOME hiphop…. sadly most POPULAR hiphop music.

  • geico lizard

    “Keep in mind I don’t mean that as a joke. Slavery is no laughing matter. It’s arguably worse than the Holocaust. No Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.”

    We bring up slavery we are playing the race card and need to get over it. Jews bring up the Holocaust and we all need to stfu or lose our jobs.

  • traffic

    Two things, minority owners of sports teams get paid no matter what. Part of the Nets losses = Jay’s checks. They’re for publicity. THat’s why Usher has a piece of Cleveland and every single celeb owns a piece of the Miami Dolphins. You pay a few million, you’re listed as an owner, it builds interest with fans, you get paid every year, and if the team is ever sold you get a nice chunk of change.

    Secondly, I agree with the protestors but the truth is that they’ve managed to eff up a good thing. The old plan was ugly as sin but an architectual wonder designed by F Gehry. If they’d started building it years ago they’d be in some financial trouble but they’d be much better off. The new plan is just fugly. And they’re not going to start building all the apartments and stuff for another five years or so.

  • http://grindoutbeats.com Blackboy

    I’m going to save this one just in case… you are in rare form on this one…

    bravo sir, bravo.

  • Black

    1. Even if he only owns 1%, when the value of the team gets up to 1 billion dollars, thats a nice chunk of change. 2. I would bet my mortgage that he didnt pay a dime for that 1%. He leveraged his name/profile . Its a win/win for him. You have to be short sighted not to see that.

  • http://mattsmith04@gmail.com mgs

    You should really put out a book of your posts that got taken down from XXL. This will almost certainly be in there.

  • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

    mr. crawford has a worldview! i thought it was all about where you chill, Shitville, as you describe it.

    very insightful, very well done. but be careful. you’ve done this before. and we might start to think that the guy we follow everyday is really a cover for this dude. they say only a wise man can play the role of a fool. not that i’m callin you a fool or anything…

  • Tator

    And just like Jordan now does, Hov may someday be the principle owner(everything has a starting point)…Yall should be afraid of what he’s gon’ do next!

  • daym

    once in a while bol kills me. well done. you probably didn’t think it would work. but it did.

  • caino

    Damn Bol, you smashed this one out tha park!!

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