Is there really such a thing as selling out? In fact, what constitutes selling out, when the goal of just about anything in life is to be rewarded? Even in the bible, there’s a passage pertaining to not eating without work. So, theoretically, in the most primordial sense, everything a person does is to attain something else. For example, took a look at your job. At least every couple of years, you ask about, in some way or another, an increase in pay. For the most part, this is indicative of you surmising that you’re worth more than previously agreed upon, & therefore deserve more money. Fact. This is no different than what a rapper does when he decides that he’s his own commodity, and pushes himself as a “brand,” rather than just an artist. [Sidenote: Bear in mind that "entertainment" isn't a traditional line of employment, therefore the applied rules must be bent slightly.] Ultimately, it’s about his personal assessment, & the decision to get more pay. Now, does that mean he’s chasing the chips, or getting what he thinks he deserves?
On the Tweet box yesterday, some of the few cats whose opinions still mean something in Hip Hop, were all going in on Jay-Z, for whatever reasons. Not attacking with the usual ‘Net bullying that makes insecure teenagers murder themselves, but of a more grown man nature, giving their opinions on how/why Jay-Z is
still Jay-Z. The common demoninator I noticed was that Jay-Z is considered a sell out. & this may or may not be directly connected to all the Illumniati propaganda, but the fact remains. Shawn Carter decided long ago that he was going to get rich off of rap music, making it obvious regularly. & that’s exactly what he did. Wishful thinking brought to fruition, so to speak. Not for nothing, but one can clearly research Jay-Z’s catalog & see that his intentions in Hip Hop, among other things, were to acquire wealth. America is a capitalist nation. How did he sell out? (Rhetorical question.) From what I see, he, & others like him, are doing just what this country trains us to do; Get money.
Perhaps I’d agree if Jigga Man had an actual Jigga Man doll, like that stunt MC Hammer pulled in the 80′s to compliment his cartoon. & even then, the stone I toss can’t be too big, because I totally overstand that work without reward is slavery (word to my great great grandmother), & contentment generally pacifies success.
I’m not even sure selling out is still an option. America’s obsession with the “celebrity” makes any opportunity an opportunity, if you will. That notion doesn’t dissipate with popularity gained. For illustrative purposes, in 34 years of observing other people, I’ve never heard a successful person say they’ve achieved their goal. That’s a main reason why drug dealers, high & low level, stay populating our jails. Grass roots capitalism with a twist of real life & blind greed. &, it appears that if you don’t have those qualities, you’re not going to survive, anyway, so might was well get in where you fit in. [Sidenote: Sorry about that duck sauce cliché, but it fit so perfectly.] Speaking of which, I wasn’t surprised to hear that Method Man is acting on television, on the same network as LL Cool J. Smart move, if you ask me.
If Jay-Z is a sell out, so was Redd Foxx, Billy D, Rakim, & a host of others who shilled for corporations with a less than reputable relationship with the targeted demographic, if you smell my cologne. Jay-Z doesn’t even have a brand of liquor. He’s endorsed several in his career, & who knows what type of kickback he receive under the table, but that’s beside the point of people marketing themselves to the extreme since the beginning of prostitution.
In theory, only the individual can truly make that call if they’re “selling out,” or not. & realistically, the only responsibility one has is to themselves (sad, but true.) It’s the Cash Register theory, meaning one only feels as valuable as their obvious worth. Whether that’s good or bad depends on the individual, like most things in life. Selling out, if there’s is such a thing, is less about the public’s opinion, & more about how far one is willing to go before they risk disconnect with what & who got them there in the first place. (The “who” is them, if that makes a difference.) As long as they feel good about it, s’all good with me, also. But what do I know? I don’t subscribe to “Crabs-In-A-Barrel Gazette.” Perhaps I should start, though, for educational purposes, if nothing else.