On Monday, I’m sure everyone got their fill of “Blue Ivy” mania. Jay and Beyonce announced the arrival of their bundle of joy and and the news spread like wildfire over just about every media outlet imaginable. At the apex of the hoorah, Jay released “Glory”, a song dedicated to the new young lady in his life, complete with a feature from the newborn crying in the background. Hearing the song automatically took me back to my first run in with parenthood a few years back. For me, I immediately picked up in the happy tones in Hov’s usually cool and cocky bravado…he was a father and damn proud of it.
“Glory” catches one of this generation’s musical leaders in an earnest moment; sharing the candid details of not only Blue’s arrival, but also the heartaches of prior failed attempts to conceive. Notably, Jay and Beyonce often feign away from discussing the more personal aspects of their union (rightfully so), but this song says so much in so little. I don’t want go to speculate about the semantics of the record, but the significance of it is what I find so captivating. To me the record represents, a transition for Jay and in that a transition for his listeners.
Hearing him for the first time, he was the cool kid in high school…you know…the one with the newest kicks and fly car that you KNEW he couldn’t afford. Reasonable Doubt was a raw painting of a drug dealer and it was so visceral, we all wanted to try it out for ourselves. He was “super-mafioso”…the unstoppable, unflappable good guy dope man. His influence was just as potent when he put out “The Blueprint”. He was filthy rich and the streets followed him with blind faith from pauper to prince in Hip-Hop’s royal chain. When Jay consigned a product (Evisu jeans?) we bought in…when he scolded (Jerseys, Cristal) we changed right along with him. He like the athlete he compares himself to most often, Michael Jordan, has taken the field of his respective crafts to unseen peaks and with it we follow…not to worship but simply as fans…we enjoy what they do.
As I listened to this song, I felt like it was my big brother with his first kid…nervous but proud. He was turning the corner and with it the scope of influence will change as well. The voice of this generation of black men is a father…a family man. He will be changing diapers and strapping in car seats…singing lullabies and having fake tea parties. He won’t be able to hide that away in his music. The coldest record won’t be able to match the joy that Blue will bring him and through that, hopefully it will resonate with those of us that aren’t as involved with their kids as they should be through every song. Yes, the same way we all stopped wearing the jerseys and bought S.Carter sneakers. For the both of them, Bey and Jay, it sets a new “Will and Jada” archetype as cliche as it sounds it shows those that have no direction how it should be. Here’s to you both…enjoy the sleepless nights and dirty diapers.