November 8, 2012
What Obama Can Learn from Jay-Z

But how does a performer who earns $80 million a year and rhymes about his lavish spending on diamond-studded watches and Hermes shopping sprees continue to become ever-more popular with an audience that struggles to make ends meet? The challenge of how to bridge that gap—in wealth, in opportunity, in experience—now runs throughout every sector of American society, from finance, to sports, to intellectual and artistic life. The rapper’s insistence on honest reporting at every stage of his rise, his continuing drive to excel at his craft, his need to locate virtue in difficult and often twisted circumstances, and his ability to transform social distance into an emotional bond with his audience make him the consummate artist of a society in which the lives of a swelling but statistically tiny elite have become increasingly removed from the lives of 99 percent of their peers.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

What Obama Can Learn from Jay-Z

But how does a performer who earns $80 million a year and rhymes about his lavish spending on diamond-studded watches and Hermes shopping sprees continue to become ever-more popular with an audience that struggles to make ends meet? The challenge of how to bridge that gap—in wealth, in opportunity, in experience—now runs throughout every sector of American society, from finance, to sports, to intellectual and artistic life. The rapper’s insistence on honest reporting at every stage of his rise, his continuing drive to excel at his craft, his need to locate virtue in difficult and often twisted circumstances, and his ability to transform social distance into an emotional bond with his audience make him the consummate artist of a society in which the lives of a swelling but statistically tiny elite have become increasingly removed from the lives of 99 percent of their peers.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]


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