MSNBC’s Ari Melber analyzed Jay-Z’s “God Did” verse to examine America’s war on drugs.
Ari Melber’s special report featured a clip of Mike Wallace interviewing Louis Farrakhan on 60 Minutes in 1996. The interview is referenced by Jay-Z on “God Did.”
“[Louis Farrakhan] dispatched the contradiction between America’s reality and perhaps her selective vision of herself,” Ari Melber noted.
Ari Melber then explored how Jay-Z’s verse encapsulated America’s failed drug war. The Beat anchor highlighted several portions of Hov’s lyrics, exploring everything from the legalization of marijuana to Roc Nation’s Emory Jones serving 10 years for drug dealing.
“Those lines quickly go from prohibition to a war on street drugs associated with minorities … to fentanyl, a huge driver of drug problems and deaths, which politicians do not treat criminally the same way they attack the drugs that Jay or others once sold,” Ari Melber said. “I can tell you corporations have made over $10 billion selling addictive painkillers legally, so that’s a contrast.”
Ari Melber concluded his breakdown with a callback to the Louis Farrakhan interview. He mentioned a straightforward reading of Jay-Z’s bars before pointing out his interpretation regarding the hypocrisy of the war on drugs.
“Decades in, this billionaire entrepreneur with proven success – measurable success – in music, media, sports, business, law and politics still finds he must explain basic facts about American corruption and racism to elite and white society,” the MSBNC host said. “And many leaders and people still don’t see or refuse to face it. That kind of entitled ignorance, which can cause real damage to real people’s lives, well that might raise your ire. It might get your passion talking.”
Watch Ari Melber’s full segment about Jay-Z’s “God Did” verse below.