Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jay-Z: Holy Grail || Heaven

Kyle Worley is the author of Pitfalls: Along the Path to Young and Reformed. He blogs at The Strife and is an assistant editor for Manual, the men's blog at CBMW (Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood).  He serves on staff at The Village Church Dallas and tweets at @kyleworley.
magna carta holy grailWhile Natasha Tretheway is the poet laureate of the US, Jay-Z is the unofficial poet laureate of the masses.  More so than any other performer, Jay-Z carries a cultural weight that can move mountains of fashion, hip hop, and showmanship.  His newest release is Magna Carta, Holy Grail.

Now, if you would like, you can go and read two fistfuls of blogs decrying Jay as a member of the illuminati.  Do I care if Jay is in the illuminati? No, because the illuminati exists in the same way that unicorns do.

In what might be the most blasphemous hip hop track in history, “Heaven,” Jay quotes Michael Stipe (from REM) who once sang, “That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion.” But Jay-Z is lying…
Jay hasn’t lost his religion, he’s just exposed who he always truly worshiped…himself.
When you listen to the “Holy Grail” track it is clear, Jay found his religion and it is destroying him.  Jay and Justin sing a hymn to fame: “And baby, it’s amazing I’m in this maze with you, I just can’t crack your code. One day your screaming you love me loud, the next day you’re so cold. One day your here, one day your there, one day you care, you’re so unfair sipping from your cup. Till it runneth over, Holy Grail.”

For those who haven’t seen The Last Crusade, what are you doing reading this article? Go buy all of the Indiana Jones movies and watch the first three and burn the one with kid from Holes in it. The holy grail is a mythical chalice that Christ supposedly drank from at the Lord’s Supper that promises immortality. Jay has bought into the idea that fame, the “woman” he is singing to in “Holy Grail,” will grant him immortality.

In the “Holy Grail” track from Jay’s album he raps about the love/hate relationship he has with fame.  It is fame that both promises immortality and will be his destruction. He decides that he will “take the good with the bad” and “won’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Yet, at the same time, he quotes Cobain when he says, “And we are all just entertainers, And we’re stupid and contagious.” Cobain was the quintessential rock martyr, sacrificing his life on the altar of fame. It appears that Jay is willing to do the same.

Only when you have heard Jay’s “Holy Grail” track will you understand his “Heaven” lyrics. If “Holy Grail” is Jay wrestling with being famous, “Heaven” is Jay asserting that there is absolutely no question why he is famous…he is god.

He quite clearly states evidence of his “divinity” throughout the track, here are a few examples:
“Have you bowed unto your highness?”
“God is my chauffeur…Boy they love Hova…”
“I confess, God in the flesh…live among the serpent, turn arenas into churches.”
Jay hasn’t lost his religion, he has created a religion.  He is “god,” arenas of people gather to worship him and his verses are scripture.  Yet, “Holy Grail,” reveals that the pressure of being god is crushing him.

He loves the very thing that is destroying him. He can’t quit sipping from a beautiful cup of poison. He has chosen poorly:

So, what are you pursuing? Jay is far from heaven, sitting on a kiddie chair calling it a throne, drinking from a cup of poison reflecting on Kurt Cobain. Will you join him?

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