Jay-Z: The Story Of O.J.-Video Review




"The Story Of OJ" directed by Jay Z and Mark Romanek, is a video release off Jay-Z's new album: 4:44. It doesn't feature Jay himself but rather an animated old school minstrel style character named JayBo. In it Jaybo is like a sort of narrator that walks us through various negatively stereotypical situations - that are associated with Black People. People singing and picking cotton, crosses burning, and many characters eating watermelons.




Jaybo is based on Sambo -from "The Story Of Little Black Sambo". The Story of Little Black Sambo is a children's book written and illustrated by Scottish author Helen Bannerman, first published in October 1899. Originally this book did not depict black people in a negative way. In fact, in the first books Sambo was supposed to be a little black child from India, who outsmarts some tigers who tried to steal his clothes.


But as the years went on, new illustrators began to re-draw Sambo, making him look like some kind of monkey man or a minstrel or "pickaninny" type of character. This was typical of the way Blacks were depicted in art and in cartoons during the 1900's. The Sambo character eventually became more and more despised as a negative symbol that was meant to insult Black people.

Jay Z's Jaybo character also references Dumbo - the throwback Disney elephant character. Everybody knows that Disney was an open racist and many of Disney's early cartoons were heavily laden with racist imagery and white supremacist propaganda. In Dumbo - there are some black birds that accompany Dumbo on his journey. Anybody with sense quickly gets offended by these birds as it becomes clear that they are supposed to represent black people - and not in a good way. Comedian Paul Mooney jokingly refers to them as "nigga birds".

If you are familiar with OJ Simpson's story and career, then you know that he made it clear that he had no desire to be associated with the black race or the Black Power Movement- which was raging all around him at that time. He just wanted to play football and get away from all that. The media liked OJ because OJ served the interest of the "good ole boy" football network- while simultaneously using his platform to downplay the Black Power Movement.


Jay Z has done a wonderful job at saying a lot about this- with only a few words. And whatever Jay Z didn't say outright - the video says for him visually. I think that this song and video reflects upon an interesting dynamic that is at the forefront of the discussion about the responsibilities of rich Black celebrities.

Was it OJ's job to represent the hood and the Black race - whenever he was questioned about things other than football? Is it Jay Z's job to give back to the hood and help remedy some of Black people's problems now that he has become so rich and powerful? Clearly Jay Z's answer to these questions is Yes. It is a responsibility that is placed on the shoulders of powerful Black people - whether they like it or not. White supremacy is still the ruling force in the majority of the world. It can't ignored just because you are rich now.

The chorus says it all:

Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga Still nigga, still nigga

In other words- it doesn't matter what kind of Black person you are- your'e still perceived as a nigga on the outside. So no matter what path you take, your always going to be connected with all the things (good and bad) that are associated with being Black. I think Jay Z has good timing with this. Black people need to see someone as powerful as him doing this kind of stuff.

At the end of the video, they show a slave being happy to finally get off the slave ship- only to be saddened again by the fact they were being marched off to the auction block to be sold to white people. Then, you see Jaybo getting lynched saying: "still nigga" - in front of an happy white mob. Finally they show Jaybo as Dumbo flying over the hood dropping money on everybody.

This is not only the best, most creative video I've ever seen from Jay-Z, but it's one of the dopest videos I've seen in a minute. It reminds me of the "Behind Bars" video by Slick Rick. In that video - you can tell the animators tried to accurately illustrate all of Slick Rick's lyrics visually. I think Jay Z and his animation team did a thorough job doing that as well. Sometimes videos can seem like an after thought- but this video feels like its married to the song- and I like that. Often times- a dope song might have a video that doesn't really do it justice- but that's not the case here.

Keep dropping jewels Jay. It suits you.

JAY Z'S 4:44 IS OUT NOW

GET IT HERE:


Lyrics:

Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga Still nigga, still nigga

[Intro: Nina Simone] Skin is, skin, is Skin black, my skin is black My, black, my skin is yellow [Chorus] Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga Still nigga, still nigga I like that second one Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga Still nigga, still nigga [Interlude] O.J. like, "I'm not black, I'm O.J." …okay


[Verse 1] House nigga, don't fuck with me I'm a field nigga, go shine cutlery Go play the quarters where the butlers be I'ma play the corners where the hustlers be I told him, "Please don't die over the neighborhood That your mama rentin' Take your drug money and buy the neighborhood That's how you rinse it" I bought every V12 engine Wish I could take it back to the beginnin' I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo For like 2 million That same building today is worth 25 million Guess how I'm feelin'? Dumbo

[Chorus] Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga Still nigga, still nigga Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga Still nigga, still nigga [Interlude] You wanna know what's more important than throwin' away money at a strip club? Credit You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it [Verse 2] Financial freedom my only hope Fuck livin' rich and dyin' broke I bought some artwork for 1 million 2 years later, that shit worth 2 million Few years later, that shit worth 8 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 I turned that 2 to a 4, 4 to an 8 I turned my life into a nice first week release date Y'all out here still takin' advances, huh? Me and my niggas takin' real chances, uh Y'all on the 'Gram holdin' money to your ear There's a disconnect, we don't call that money over here, yeah

IF YOU LIKED THIS - CHECK THESE OUT!

#jayz #dumbo #jaybo #nigga #sambo #watermelon #oj #video #444 #review

0 views
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon

SOUL TRUST RECORDS

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA UNITED STATES . 757-447-7094

COPYRIGHT 2016. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED