Bleek could be one hit away his whole career
As long as I’m alive, he’s a millionaire
And even if I die, he’s in my will somewhere
So he can just kick back and chill somewhere, oh yeah
He don’t even have to write rhymes
The Dynasty like my money last three lifetimes
“Bleek,” also known as Memphis Bleek (also known as Malik Thuston Cox), is one of the gents on Jay’s Roc-a-fella label who seems perpetually unable to crossover to mainstream success. Unlike most artists with such a problem, though, he has a fan (assumedly) in the form of one of the world’s biggest hip-hop artists. He’s featured on Jay’s albums, is featured on Jay’s tours, is featured in Jay’s videos, and is featured in Jay’s lyrics; all are great promotional vehicles.
However, the line seems to implicate the following:
- Bleek has never had a hit,
- Bleek is dependent on Jay for his success and wealth, and
- Bleek could bow out of the music game and it wouldn’t matter.
Granted, I’m reading into this a bit, but none of these implications, while possibly being factual, are what you (Bleek) would want to hear from a friend (Jay) or fan (also Jay). It makes the friendship appear as a pity party or a mercy friendship.
In other words, if all three of these statements I’m gleaning from the lyrics are true, why would you say this to your friend, much less your friend and all of the hip-hop listening world? Sure, Jay should be honest and constructive in his feedback to Bleek, but this doesn’t appear constructive to me. The first would appear petty, the second would appear obvious and demeaning, and the third would be downright hurtful and dismissive.
From the times where I met Jay while working at Def Jam, he always seemed like a personable, kind fellow. And artists on his label (now and past) seem to have a strong affinity to him (much in the same manner as his fans), which would suggest he doesn’t regularly demean his crew. So, again, why would he say this to someone with such loyalty?
- Could Jay not have recognized my interpretation of this lyric?
I doubt it; Jay’s a smart guy, and constructs some very intricate ideas across clever wordplay. In other words, he shows all the signs of thinking through what he’s saying. His point of detailing how anyone (and anyone’s progeny) associated with him would be living large could be detailed in any number of alternative ways. That said, maybe he quickly wrote the verse, recorded it, thought about it, and figured it didn’t matter… it illustrated his point, and there were other lyrics to be recorded for other projects; you can’t live in the past.
- Is it tough love?
Again, doubtful. Aside from this line, Jay appears to be a fan of Bleek, and (from what I’ve seen) hasn’t offered any other “time to fly from the comforts of my nest, young one” lines to Bleek.
- Is it hate?
I can’t see how this is possible, as Jay has an incredibly large platform to hate from, and there isn’t any other evidence of him taking a shot at Bleek.
- Could Bleek have written the rhyme for Jay in some sort of bizarre homage to his patron?
Possible, but strange. This seems the least likely answer yet.
As you can see, I can’t make sense of the line, but I wish that I could. And, while I would certainly enjoy the no-strings-attached patronage of someone like Jay-Z (you know, so I could “just kick back and chill somewhere”), I hope none of my friends would ever publicly call out any perceived lack of success on my part as a means to illustrate their wealth of success.
From a hater, it’s always welcome and expected; from a friend, it just seems downright confusing.