Monday, July 11, 2016

Jay Z Delivers a Spiritually Provoking Message

Boy...where to start with all that has gone on over the past month. Hot button topics like terrorism, gun violence, violence by/toward police officers, and mental illness have all been pushed to the forefront of cultural relevance due to a lot of deadly events. I'm not going to get up on a soap box and tell you how to think about it all, but I will offer an anecdote. Today while listening to the Dallas police chief being interviewed he said explained how a few people were arrested during the aftermath of the tragic attack last week. When talking about whether they were suspects, he had to explain that they were suspects because guns were being used to attack police officers and the people who were arrested were wearing assault rifles and gas masks while protesting since THAT IS LEGAL TO DO IN TEXAS. Two of those assault rifle toting suspects were released without being charged and one of the three didn't have a permit and was slapped with a misdemeanor charge. I know all of this was secondary to the tragic situation where many officers were shot and killed, but the fact that the Dallas police had to immediately treat people who were acting legally as threats in that situation should mean something. If acting legally by carrying around a threatening weapon is that close to being illegal, why should it be legal in the first place? Food for thought as the event was sadly another instance of unchecked mental illness that manifested itself through violence with weapons towards others.

To give context, Jay Z released Spiritual shortly following the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile deaths. On the track you're going to get a lot of raw emotion and reflection from the Jiggaman. Although its release was prompted by two African American deaths at the hands of police officers, it's much more than a generic, Black Lives Matter PSA. Instead you're going to get an introspective dive into issues of his youth and parenting without having a father of his own. There's a summoning of strength through reflection that will hopefully resonate with a lot of listeners. Below is a tweet that he released following the incidents and release of the track. Overall, I'm impressed with how strong and articulate his message comes across and I can only hope the strength of his words acts a positive step toward substantive discussion of timeless cultural issues that never seem to go away...#Spiritual

Jay Z - Spiritual


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