I Hope Jay-Z Runs for President in 2020, Just So I Can Watch the Worst Parts of White America Lose Their Collective Shit
Back when I used to spend my Friday nights at the local roller skating rink, grooving to the likes of Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin’— it never crossed my mind the Jigga’ man might one day run for President of The United States — call me shortsighted.
While the thought sounds comically absurd, we once said the same thing about a potential Trump Presidency. Simply put — Jay-Z has as good of a chance of becoming President in 2020, as we gave Donald Trump in 2014, two years before he was eventually inaugurated. Nobody thought we’d ever see the day Donald Trump was President but alas, here we are.
Don’t look now but we may have reason to refer to Shawn Carter as President Carter, outside of his former position at Def Jam Records, come 2020.
Maybe the rest of America hasn’t taken notice but despite the fact he’s notoriously averse to giving interviews, Jay-Z has given three interviews within the last six months. However, they weren’t with Rolling Stone, The Source or other publications you might expect to interview a rapper.
The interviews were with Van Jones on CNN, Dean Baquet of The New York Times and most recently David Letterman — on his new Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. They are not the stops a man makes as he anticipates the release of his new album. They’re interviews he gives as he quietly prepares for the campaign trail.
Jay-Z long ago transcended hip hop. It was first, into the business world with ventures that led to him becoming a minority owner of The New Jersey Nets franchise and moving them to his hometown of Brooklyn — on top of the entertainment empire he had already built in Roc-A-Fella Records. The man is no stranger to doing what others deem impossible or only dream of.
Dean Baquat literally opens up the interview by telling Jay “I want to talk to you about race — your music some, too, a little”. Jay-Z has reached a place where a journalist from one of the biggest Newspapers in the country wants to talk to him about race — and then music, in that order. That alone, is an accomplishment probably beyond even Jay’s wildest dreams, had you asked him in 1996.
Van Jones too, goes on to pick Jay’s brain about race, politics and his thoughts on Donald Trump’s first year as President, in the CNN interview. They both go on to note and agree while black unemployment is at a low and Wall Street and the economy as a whole has thrived under Trump, it doesn’t equate to a successful presidency thus far because at the end of the day, it’s not about money. Jay goes on to compare it to a boss who pays you well but treats you bad and doesn’t respect you, an analogy that perfectly sums up Trump’s presidency to date.
In all three interviews, Jay carries himself diplomatically. He is calm, cool, and collected. He responds to questions in a well thought out and intelligent manner, rather than a reactive or impulsive one so often demonstrated by our current commander in chief. Nothing about his demeanor suggests he’s anything less than capable of accomplishing whatever he sets his mind to — as he’s done time and time again throughout his life and a career that is now over two decades old. He’s built a reputation as a leader, as both hip hop legend and business mogul. He’s as qualified as Trump was for the job when inaugurated — you can take what you will from that statement.
Shawn Carter would be a formidable opponent for just about anyone. When you add in the fact his opponent would be a man who has pissed off Black America at every turn to begin with, along with just about every other even remotely marginalized group of people, I don’t know it would even be close.
At this point, I’ll vote for just about anyone who finds themselves running against Trump come 2020. But to watch the face of rich white privileged republicans as Jay made campaign speeches would give me joy like few other things in life have. Oh, to watch him throw up The Roc sign, just one time after a debate, would allow me to die a happy man.
The worst parts of White America weren’t accepting of Barack Obama as President — simply based off the color of his skin — regardless of his character and how he carried himself. How would they deal with a man two shades darker that represents all the parts of Black America that Obama didn’t because he didn’t live the life Jay has? One who quite openly admits to having started his record label with drug money. The thought alone warms my heart. The white outrage pouring out of Fox News alone would be a source of constant entertainment.
Again, while it’s fun to think about, another Carter Presidency is far from out of the question. America opened the door for such scenarios when it elected Trump. In fact, that was a selling point for many Trump supporters. A businessman and a non politician who would shake things up in Washington, is what they said. Lots of talk of making America great again but here we are.
It’s no secret money and power equal influence. Jay-Z has become a broker of all three in the last two decades. During Barack Obama’s campaign, him and his wife Beyonce’ organized a charity event at Jay’s 40/40 nightclub where donors made a $40,000 contribution as they walked in the door. One that raised a reported total of over $4 Million. This not only demonstrates Jay’s ability to raise money for a political campaign but also reminds us — Obama could end up being one of his biggest supporters if he does decide to run.
Put plainly, as inexperienced or as unqualified as Shawn Carter may be for a political office, nonetheless the highest in the country, he’d be no worse for this country than Trump has. He knows how to talk to people and is a man that gets things done. While Jay has made no mentions of his intentions to run, one can’t help but think he wouldn’t say so publicly yet, even if he does intend to. Hearing him discuss Trump’s presidency and referring to the man himself as a “super bug” makes me believe it could end up being his disdain for Trump himself that persuades him to run.
Jay-Z is to the republican right what Donald Trump is to the liberal left — everything they disdain about this country and the opposite of every belief they hold dearly. I can’t help but feel like he’d be the perfect follow up to Trump as President. He’d represent every group and individual that Trump has gone out of his way to belittle and marginalize. He could blindly undo all Trump has done, simply because Trump did it — much like Trump has done with much of what Obama accomplished while in office. I’d get to watch the likes of Bill O’ Reilly and Sean Hannity have public meltdowns on a nightly basis. While I may just be getting my hopes up, a Carter presidency isn’t as far fetched as we would have thought it to be just two short years ago.