Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jay-Z and the 'art' of business


Over the last decade I have found myself in midst of several debates about Jay-Z. Currently I feel that he is one of the greatest artists of all time. I always felt that he was an incredible rapper, but over the past few years he has demonstrated a great deal of range in his work, along with some cross over risks. One of the main criticisms that I hear the most about Jay-Z, is his love for making money. Some feel that his keen sense of business has compromised his artistic integrity. Is it possible that Jay-Z speculated a NYC themed song would become synonymous with the success of the Yankees? (after all the song did debut as the Yankees were 'spanking' their way to the post season). Jay-z created an incredibly accessible, star powered anthem for one of the richest and most populated cities in the world. Is he simply a business man seeking all possible opportunities to make money?

Or,

is it possible that Jay-Z has mastered the combination of art and business down to an art form in itself.

The music industry has been a rapidly shifting and turbulent trade. As the record labels and distributors collapse the artists have been given the reigns to produce, release and promote their own music. Isn't it possible that an artist’s sense of business and creativity can integrate while the integrity of the artist stays in tact? . The 'music industry' as we know it, is dying if anything it's actually already dead. Understanding and mastering the business of music is a reality that all aspiring artists must learn to accept. Artists today must believe that the union of business and artistry is possible with out ‘selling out’and an artist like Jay-Z is a true pioneer of this fusion.

Unlike Madonna he is more talented and sincere about his work, unlike lil wayne he has been around longer and has more 'staying power' and unlike Diddy he is still recognized as a real artist. The bottom line is, Jay-Z has gracefully and ingeniously mastered the merger between the 'artist' and the 'business man' better than anyone else and in my opinion this only enhances his talent and makes him a stronger artist.

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