On ‘4:44’, maleness, and the performance of the public apology

This article was originally posted at WaterCoolerConvos and has been republished with permission

Recently, rapper Jay-Z released his thirteenth solo album 4:44. The album details his infidelity to his wife, mother of his three children, and perhaps the biggest superstar in the world, Beyoncé. He also covers his struggle with American capitalism and his reluctant growth beyond a young hustler to a mannish mogul.

Most people have fixated and heaped copious amounts of praise on Jay for his acknowledgement of his past wrongdoings. So grateful that he apologizes for being at various states of trash during parts of his marriage, many have been cheering on his “maturity” and vulnerability.

I’m not one of those people.

Jay-Z pens column asking artists to use their platform for social justice

As one of the most well-known rappers in the world who’s taken a deep dive into social justice, Jay-Z is more than qualified to make a call to action. The Brooklyn rapper and business mogul recently penned a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter calling on his fellow artists to use their platforms for the greater good. 

Chance the Rapper wins BET’s Humanitarian Award at just 24

The wins just keep coming for Chance the Rapper. The Chicago artist’s career continues to grow, he’s earning more clout as a moving force in a changing musical landscape and his work in social justice is continuing to flourish.

On Sunday, Chance was the recipient of BET’s Humanitarian Award, as well as a couple of other surprises. One of which was a video recorded by former First Lady Michelle Obama, congratulating him on all of his success. 

Harvard student Obasi Shaw turns rap album in for thesis project

No more are the days of handing out mixtapes from the trunk of your car. Welcome are the days of finessing Ivy league faculty members into listening to your rap album for a grade. Obasi Shaw has done the unthinkable – unless you’re him. He turned in a 10-track rap album entitled “Liminal Minds” for his thesis at Harvard University. Shaw, an English major, used his love of the art form to merge classic literature and poetry with influences from Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. 

Diddy’s Revolt TV Sued For Firing Old White Men

Douglas Goodstein and four other Caucasian producers are firing back at Sean “Diddy” Combs and his company Revolt TV because they feel they were treated unfairly and fired because they were white. And over 39 years old.

The team of producers filed a Manhattan Supreme Court suit and claim that they were regularly treated “worse than other employees who were younger and African-American,” according to Page Six.

Chance the Rapper Hopes Trump Doesn’t Mean What We All Think He Does About Chicago

Chance the Rapper recently sat down with ESPN’s The Undefeated for a joint interview with Chicago Bulls player Jimmy Butler. The two talked about the city and how they’re each leaving their own legacies, one being a hometown kid who just won three Grammys, the other being the centerpiece of an historic basketball franchise.

During part of the discussion, Chance responded to President Donald Trump’s vague threats to “send in the feds” if Chicago’s gun violence wasn’t curbed. As a native of the city’s South Side, the rapper had some interesting insight. 

Taylor Bennett Comes Out As Bisexual, Gets Support From Big Brother Chance the Rapper

Hip-hop culture isn’t necessarily known for being the most welcoming community when it comes to a number of issues. Non-heterosexuality is, perhaps, at the top of the list behind women’s rights.

This history is exactly why it was inspiring when Taylor Bennett took the time to come out and tell the world he identifies as bisexual the day before his 21st birthday.