An Open Letter to Jay-Z

Dear Jay-Z, Hova or whatever pseudonym you prefer to go by as of late ...

I read the lyrics to your "Open Letter" earlier today. However, I think it could stand to improve a lot. Why don't you work on a second draft?

After all, people in the world of politics tend to be very serious, and without humor. They may hang on every word you say and use them against you.


Below are a few things to think about should you choose to rewrite your "Open Letter":

1. You're not above the law.

Yes, Jay-Z, you read that correctly. While you may romp about with the likes of Warren Buffet and have President Obama on speed dial, neither your affiliates nor your considerable wealth place you above the laws of the United States.

As a United States citizen, you must abide by the country's laws, quietly get away with breaking them, or else expect consequences. If, in fact, Obama's White House gave you clearance to enter Cuba, the President should consider the message that sends to the general public, many of whom would love to vacation in Cuba but are not eligible to apply for an exemption.

2. Politicians have in fact done shit for you:

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. If the statement serves as hyperbole, fine. If you have a poor opinion of the current Congress, or think that politicians are often full of hot air, I'm with you. Many Americans are.

But if you're trying to get away with the claim that no politician, anywhere, ever has done anything for you, you're simply grandstanding. And what about President Obama? Is that an indictment of his leadership? I thought you supported him in 2012, too.

3. You are harming President Obama's reputation and his agenda:

Given that you support the president, you are doing nothing to help him. In fact, all this letter does is hurt him. It doesn't help to advance the president's causes and makes it appear that A) he thinks you are above the law by granting a White House clearance and B) he believes you have the potential to get him impeached, but he gave you that clearance anyway. I hope and ultimately believe that neither is true.

4. Claiming that you might buy drugs for Chief Keef, a minor who has been investigated for murder, isn't a good idea:

I understand that you said you "might buy a kilo" for him "out of spite," but it sends a bad message in two ways.

First, Chief Keef has at times been front and center in Chicago's discussions about crime and homicide, particularly in its Englewood neighborhood. By name dropping Keef despite that he was ruled innocent you glorify a rapper who bragged on Twitter about the Englewood murder of Lil JoJo, an 18-year-old rapper.

Second, keep in mind that Chief Keef is a minor. If you have all the alleged influence you claim that you do, what kind of message do you think your words send?

In conclusion, you are a good rapper and in past interviews have struck me as intelligent and insightful, so I can't help but wonder why you would release such a poorly-worded, yet highly-political statement.

Try to release a re-write by next week, if you can, and if you have any questions about my ideas, feel free to tweet me @jeffhba.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jeffrey Bishku-Aykul

A Chicago native, Jeff has been to every US state except Hawaii. After graduating from McGill University in 2011, he worked as a dishwasher and bookstore clerk before going on to serve as editorial assistant for the Hyde Park Herald, the main local paper covering President Obama's neighborhood, where Jeff also lives. Fluent in Turkish, Jeff has written for the Washington Times, the Chicago Weekly and the McGill Daily, his alma mater's weekly student newspaper. His work can be seen at jeffhba.tumblr.com. He can be contacted at jeffhba@gmail.com or at his YouTube channel, on which he posts videos from time to time: YouTube.com/MCLyteNyng.

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