Jay Z’s XXXTentacion Shoutout On Drake’s New Album Feels Misguided

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Drake’s new album, Scorpion, has been breaking records and speaking to those with broken hearts. One of the many guest stars to jump on is Jay Z, with his third feature on a Drake album, a verse on the track "Talk Up." In the song, Drake discusses his childhood and insinuates that he has earned his place in world of rap, no matter how many people hate on him. Jay Z raps about his experience on the streets and his own rap career.
In in verse, Jay also takes a stab at President Donald Trump, with whom he has had some Twitter beef.
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“I got you President tweetin’ / I won’t even meet with him,” he raps. He follows that line up with, “Y’all killed X and let Zimmerman live, shhh, s-streets is done.”
The “X” Jay Z mentions is the late rapper XXXTentacion, who was murdered at a motorsport shop in Deerfield Beach, Florida earlier this month.
XXXTentacion seemed to be an influential part of the new generation of rappers that have appeared in the last few years. But the 20-year-old rapper had a very troubling past, which brings to question why Jay Z rapped that particular line and if it was even necessary.
Jay Z previously referenced his hate for George Zimmerman on DJ Khaled's "Top Off." And okay, we get it, Jay is obviously voicing his anger with the system and the state of Florida for letting a young rapper die, but was unable or unwilling to lock up a man who murdered an unarmed black teen.
It was surprising that he somehow connected Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin to the young rapper’s death. Excuse us, but Jay, what the hell do they have to do with one another? Is it because they’re both from Florida? Because there is no other way that the two situations are in any way similar.
Up until his death, XXXTentacion (whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy) had been on trial for the abusing his ex girlfriend, who revealed gruesome details of how he treated her in a testimony, including threatening the life of her unborn child.
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People have been grieving the rapper, but he was not a man who should be seen as a role model based on his complete disregard with how he treated women.
The young rapper was successful and his fans have been saying he was attempting to reform his behavior, but that still doesn’t excuse what he did, and his music should not be separated from what he has done.
As our own Sesali Bowen pointed out: the second leading cause of death for Black women ages 15-24 is homicide, with over half of those deaths occurring at the hands of a current or former intimate partner, according to the Center for Disease Control. Jay Z’s time might be better spent looking out for the women of the world.
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