"Jay Z- Is Hova a Homophobe?
With the exception of a few laughably cheap shots at Celine Dion, Zane Lowe and The NME I rarely post negative reviews or slag people off. Why waste time telling people what NOT to listen to, when so much wonderful music gets overlooked?
In the months since Jay-Zâs âBrooklyn (Go Hard)â leaked itâs received almost universal praise, and musically I wouldnât argue much with that. Lyrically however one little line makes the track vaguely depressing to these ears.
America has a hugely symbolic first black president (upliftingly commemorated by Jay Z himself with âMy President is Blackâ) but is it really acceptable in 2009 for Americaâs No.1 rapper to quote lyrics advocating violence against gays? The answer to the postâs title âIs Hova a Homophobe?â is, probably not, but this line is at best unfortunate.
âBoom Bye Bye, like Buju Iâm crucialâ â Jay Z âBrooklyn (Go Hard)â
It may sound innocuous but lets look at exactly what Jay-Z is describing as crucial! Back in 1992 Boom Bye Byeâs violently homophobic lyrics led to Banton being dropped by his label and shunned from live performances in the UK (Brighton in particular didnt seem that keen). I have to hold my hands up and say as a student at the time I bought a copy on 12â³ before the true horror of the lyrics quite dawned on me. Amazing track though it is, there really is no place to listen to a chorus that goes âBoom bye bye Inna batty bwoy headâ.
When Bantonâs not advocating shooting homosexuals (Battyboys) in the head he goes on to suggest setting fire to them so their skin burns like an old tire wheelâ¦ is any of this sounding âCrucialâ yet?
I find it hard to believe Jay-Z doesnt realise the lyrical content of âBoom Bye Byeâ. If the line said âLike Buju Im crucialâ and didnt mention Boom Bye Bye, I wouldnt have such a problem with it. 1992 is a long time ago now, I love Bujuâs 1995 âTil Shilohâ album, and to some degree you have to move on.
Would it be acceptable to name check a song advocating murdering blacks, stringing them up and setting fire to themâ¦ âlike Skrewdriver, Iâm crucialâ? No, of course not, it would be abhorrent, obscene and indefensible â just as the line in âBrooklyn (Go Hard)â is."