Say It’s So: Is Jay Z Really Giving Up the B Word?

January 13, 2012  |  

There’s a letter floating around online that’s said to be a poem Jay Z wrote to his darling daughter Blue Ivy. In it, Jay has supposedly vowed to never use the B word again out of love and respect for his little girl, but something seems a little suspect about this. Here are the lines:

Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich,

I didn’t think hard about using the word B—-

I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it

now with my daughter in this world

I curse those that give it.

I never realized while on the fast track

that I’d give riddance to the word Itchbay, to leave her innocence in tact.

No man will degrade her, or call her out her name

the women won’t despise her and call her the same.

I know it’s gonna miss me

cuz we been together like Nike Airs and crisp tees

when we all used to hang out front

singing 99 problems but a lady ain’t one.

Excuse me miss, can I be your mister

cuz I can tell the difference from a little girl and a sister,

She never grew up, her father left her alone

I promise not to talk like we used to

until Kingdom Come.

I’m so focused on your future,

The degradation has passed

I wish you wealth, health, and insight

forever young you may pass.

Blue Ivy Carter, my angel.

If this letter is in fact true, great! Someone of Jay Z’s rap caliber standing up against the use of a derogatory term to describe women is monumental, but the question is why now? I mean, we know why now—obviously, Blue Ivy—but why now after you just referred to your wife of nearly four years as a B— on your last album (and countless others), plus you have a mama and sisters. It’s kind of messed up none of these  women in his life were important enough to make him hang up the word.

Hopefully this letter is the real deal, and just like Jay ushered in button-ups back in 2008, his lyrical examples will encourage more men to put down the B word and pick up their parenting skills. But so far, the jury is still out on whether this is a commitment he really vowed to make. And I already know what you’re thinking, hopefully the N word will be next.

Do you think it’s likely Jay Z would really give up the B word in his lyrics? If it’s true, what do you think about the fact that his daughter is the only reason he decided to?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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