In his latest DJ Khaled collaboration, JAY-Z addresses difficult subjects.
Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, John Legend, Fridayy, and a much-discussed verse from JAY-Z appear on the track with the same name from DJ Khaled’s new album God Did, which was released on Friday. JAY-Z draws on his own experience selling drugs both legally and illegally throughout his life to address the “draconian” drug laws in the United States.
The 52-year-old rap legend starts his track by referencing his notorious history as a Brooklyn drug dealer and pleading with God to pardon him for using a cooktop to create drugs before he became well-known. JAY-Z also makes mention of how far he’s come since then, praising Rihanna, Kanye West, and himself as three wealthy musicians he helped create.
Hov continues, “I left the dope game with my record clean / I transformed the coca cola into champagne,” alluding to his nonexistent criminal record for drug-related offences and how he subsequently founded the champagne brand Ace of Spades before selling half of it to the clothing company LMVH.
The discussion of marijuana legalisation is followed by JAY-Z describing how he now sells the drug via his Monogram business, which has been highlighted by Forbes. He shoots back at any detractors, “Judge it how you judge it, say we going corporate.”
The rap legend refers at his transformation from a drug dealer to collaborating with Roc Nation signee Rihanna, 34, and her manager Jay Brown (also known as Breezy), on products like Fenty Beauty, as more evidence of how far he has come in life. We are “pushing” Fenty like fentanyl, according to Breezy, and everything is legal.
He also discusses giving his boyhood friend Emory Jones a job at JAY-Rocawear Z’s brand so that he could change his life after spending ten years in prison for drug dealing in “God Did.”
Later in the poem, Hov acknowledges Monogram’s accomplishment once more and talks about his own surprise at watching pals go from living on the streets to legally using marijuana. Odds weren’t great, but we might still be alive, as the song goes. “Gotta be crazy to all y’all n——s, we surprised,” it continues.
JAY-Z mentions the US drug laws and the lawmakers who enact them near the end of his verses on the DJ Khaled duet before mentioning that he has lawyers who can assist him and his buddies in times of need. “I’ma always have smoke for those who draught the laws / I got lawyers like shooters / Workin’ pro gratis for him as a favour.”
JAY-line Z’s from the song was used by MSNBC journalist Ari Melber to discuss unfair drug policing in the US during a reported programme on Tuesday after the single’s release. He brought up the line “cocaine into champagne,” highlighted its allusion to Jesus turning water into wine, and discussed how it related to the rapper’s life.
The 42-year-old Melber said, “There’s nothing about wine or champagne that makes it instantly genuine. Because both parties agreed that Prohibition was a disastrous policy that ultimately encouraged gangs and violence, it was criminally penalised during that time and was the only constitutional amendment ever to be overturned.
The journalist also mentioned “Fenty/fentanyl” bars and stated that lawmakers do not prosecute fentanyl-related deaths “the same way they fight the drugs that Jay and others once sold,” in part because the pharmaceutical business makes so much money from the drug.
Then he talked about Jones’ drug-related jail term and how “hundreds of thousands” of Americans might relate to it. According to Melber, “the data demonstrate that the drug war is discriminatory and that entire drug categories can be arbitrarily banned or permitted, frequently depending on who is actually using them.”
The MSNBC reporter said, “That varies from Prohibition, as I stated, to opioid usage, which does not involve the same sentences imposed to Black and Brown Americans, or marijuana, which has long been categorised at the most serious federal category, Schedule 1.
Melber continued, “But as you probably well know, voters and lawmakers have decided to make marijuana legal in 19 states so far. But even when you consider race, the fact that so many people are being held captive for substances that are now prohibited everywhere in the country is insane from a legislative standpoint. It has also been proven to be racist.”
James tweeted the tape after the news aired. “Listen! Then, give it another listen to be sure you understood. HO V DID! The reporter did the same. Talk [G.O.A.T. ], “the basketball player, 37, wrote.
JAY-Z made a rare public appearance on Twitter, writing, “My only purpose is to make the true “ones” feel seen, excuse me that’s my passion talking….. haa.”
Later, Melber tweeted to praise James for telling the tale and to quote Hov on the Lakers star’s billionaire status: “Bron’s a Roc boy, so four, technically.”
In a subsequent tweet, Melber noted that many lawmakers she had spoken to “don’t come close to this level of depth about drug policy,” referring to JAY-“God Z’s Did” verse.