Listening to this song only once, one might mistake it to be just another “nice cool rap song” with rich bars and a beautiful flow. But the song is way more than this. It is more of a letter of advice than a song. Jay Z, using flowing lines and sick bars talks about black ownership, business acumen, and socioeconomics. I have highlighted some very important verses which would be of great benefit to every entrepreneur:
“I bought every V12 engine
Wish I could take it back to the beginnin'
I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo
For like 2 million
That same building today is worth 25 million
Guess how I’m feelin? Dumbo”
Jay Z speaks about the importance of spending your money on commodities that would appreciate and yield more returns in the future. He expresses his deep regret for spending his money on depreciative goods like cars when he could have invested it in a property. This is an important lesson here- Spend your money wisely. Why exhaust so much money on phones, cars, etc that would begin to depreciate the moment you pay for them? Instead, invest your money in property or bonds or even start-ups. Realize that it is so hard to become rich, but what is even harder is staying rich. Business owners must become
financially savvy in order to make money work for them instead of just working for money.
“You wanna know what’s more important than throwin away money at a strip club? Credit
You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it”
For years, it has been rumored that the Jews own everything in America. And even though Jay Z has strongly denied claims of being anti-Semitic, there is another important lesson here to be learned. Jay Z uses these lines to highlight the importance of black people supporting each other and black businesses too. It is said that Jews would always patronize each other till when there is no other choice before they can patronize a non-jew. Sadly, this isn’t the case for the black community as we would rather buy from everyone else but ourselves. This is evident from when you make “small money” you don’t think of
how you can finally buy hand-made sandals from that your neighbor that has been disturbing you to buy from him. No, you think of how you can finally afford Louis Viton or Gucci shoes. We can only move forward as a society when we blacks start supporting each other through patronage and providing credit.
“Fuck livin; rich and dyin; broke”
Reading this, you might automatically say “not my portion” But if you don’t manage your money and resources carefully this might just be your fate. We see it every day – celebrities who were so rich during their heydays, begging for financial aid at old age. We see it when a man who was the breadwinner of his family leaves nothing but debt in his wake when he passes on.
“I bought some artwork for 1 million
2 years later, that shit worth 2 million
Few years later, that shit worth 8 million
I can’t wait to give this shit to my children”
Here, Jay Z moves on to tell us how we can avoid dying broke; by not just saving, but investing. See how much the artwork appreciated and is still appreciating. Imagine if he wasted that money on alcohol or in strip clubs. My dear, open your eyes! Smell the morning coffee! Wise up!
“Me and my niggas takin real Chances, uh”
Don’t be scared to take business risks. You might lose money, but on the bright side is you might also get a lot of money. The greatest businessmen take the hugest risks. I read an article where business tycoon, Aliko Dangote said he lost almost 6o0 million dollars in a single year! This didn’t deter him from moving forward. If anything, he pushed harder. No one ever got to the top by just playing safe and by the rule book. Be bold and daring in your business decisions. But remember to be smart also.
“Yall on the Gram holdin money to your ear
There’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here, yeah”
This has to be my favorite part. He throws shades at people who feel the need to show off their wealth. He does this so subtly, you almost miss it. Almost. Never have I seen a picture of Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates where either of them is holding money bills to their ears, like it’s a telephone, or have you? And these are people who are filthily rich. There is no need to be ostentatious. True money speaks for itself.
It isn’t until you take pictures of yourself and your flashy cars or dollar bills before people know you have money. Let your money introduce you. All in all, the song, “Story of O.J is one that is necessary to our society, didactic and beautiful. One packed with financial nuggets from a sage himself. Evergreen music that would be relevant even in
generations to come.