Happy 49th birthday to the legendary rapper and businessman Jay-Z.
Since first stepping into the hip-hop scene in 1989, the Brooklyn-born rapper has made a profound impact within the culture.
Now that Jay-Z is well within his golden years, he’s sought to use his influence to empower black people.
It’s been apparent since releasing his album 4:44, Hov has embarked on a reflective journey. One that he uses as inspiration and knowledge within his verses.
So, to celebrate his birthday, let’s take a look at some of Jay-Z’s best empowerment and reflective verses since 4:44:
The Story of O.J
“Financial freedom my only hope / F**ck livin’ dich and dyin’ broke / I bought some artwork for one million / Two years later, that shit worth two million ‘ Few years later, that shit worth eight million / I can’t wait to give this shit to my children / Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine / But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99.”
What’s Free – Meek Mill feat. Jay-Z & Rick Ross
“Look at my hair free, carefree, ni**as ain’t near free / Enjoy your chains, what’s your employer name with the hairpiece? / I survived the hood, can’t no Shaytan rob me / My accountant’s so good, I’m practically livin’ tax-free/ Factory, that’s me / Sold drugs, got away scot-free / That’s a CC, E-Copy / Guilt free, still me.”
“Mama had four kids but she’s a lesbian/ Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian/ Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/ Society shame and the pain was too much to take/ Cried tears of joy when you fell in love/ Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her/ I just wanna see you smile through the hate”’
“Generational wealth, that’s the key/ My parents ain’t have s–t, so that ship started with me/ My mom took her money, she bought me bonds/ That was the sweetest thing of all time, uh”