Trent: Yo! So! Here at Chez Picksherry we flash the Spotify Colors of Green, and so nah, we ain’t got Tidal, and we refuse to get Tidal, in solidarity with the rest of civilization. There and thus we cannot properly and doperly talk smack about the entirety of Jay Z’s new album, “4:44.” (Urban Dictionary defines “4:44” as, “Oh, no! I got high and forgot to celebrate 4:20 when it happened, 24 minutes ago!”) Instead, we will check out Jay-Z’s cartoony new video / single, “The Story of O.J.” Cover your big ears, little pitchers! It’s pretty much the N-Word on repeat, on top of some wise financial advice. Therefore, Automatic Cherry!
Grandpa Felicius: Master Jason shows remarkable taste by opening up with a warbled sample from Nina Simone’s harrowing classic, “Four Women.” That song is a subtle, beautiful, devastating portrayal of how the legacy of America’s “peculiar institution” determines the lives of African-American females.
But of course, no one wants or expects subtlety, beauty, or emotional impact from a song by… “Hova,” is it? So he proceeds to engage in vocabulary choices that would have made D. W. Griffith blush. I can almost picture good old David cringing with indignation: “Sir! A Southern gentleman prefers to use the term ‘Jiggaboo!’” However, I believe D. W. Griffith and Master Jason would happily shake hands over the line: “You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America?” Such a fact. The Jews do control everything. It’s all there in the Protocols of Zion.
Tracey: Grandpa! WHAT THE—
Grandpa Felicius: I’m just agreeing with Master Jason. Don’t you like him? Him and his bootylicious spouse Beyonce?
Tracey: No! I hate everything about “The Story of O.J.”! It’s greedy, crass, materialistic, anti-semitic, capitalistic, offensive, and ultimately as clever as a Donald Trump tweet. This comes from a man who proudly sports Che Guevara T-Shirts? Doesn’t he get that Che Guevara was a communist, not a capitalist? The message of Jay-Z’s lyrics boils down to: “Hey, average black male, stop living your average life. Pull yourself by the boot-straps and become a millionaire like me! You should invest in banking, and real estate, and art, and oil fields !” Isn’t it lovely when rich people brag about their money? No. It isn’t. It’s an insult. Why do people listen to music that is taunting and offensive and condescending?
Hank: I have very mixed feelings about this song. It has a catchy chorus that I’m compelled to repeat, but that chorus is full of words that I’m not allowed to say by society! I feel mentally blocked. What does Jay-Z want from me? Sing his song, or not sing his song? I don’t know if I’m going to be using this one at our Annual Picksherry Karaoke Festival.
Cousin Franz: There are discordant threads here. By using that title, Jay-Z tries to connect the O. J. Simpson trial to the fact that real wealth is accumulated by wise financial investments. Those are two things that have nothing to do with each other. He’s also trying to imply that the O. J. Simpson trial was about “race,” which is a false cultural narrative superimposed on the fact that the trial was about MURDER. If Dan Marino had killed two people, it would have been the same bizarre heart-breaker for America, sans the racial paranoia. Also, O.J. WAS ACQUITTED. Which counters the notion of the song. Facts suggest that as long as you have money, you CAN get away with murder, no matter what your race is.
Beatricia: I love it. He’s teaching people simple mathematics. Being a billionaire is pretty easy! First step: get a million dollars. Second step: Invest on progressive technologies. Third Step: Relax. You’re already wealthy and you’re living off the dividends. Enjoy that champagne. Fourth: Write your will, and build a city with your name on it. It is all OH SO SIMPLE. But, whatever, you fools may continue with your raggedy working lives if you so desire.
Blurbarella: “4:44”– ACTIVATED. GO INTO CONTEMPLATION MODE. DO ROBOTS HAVE “RACES”? AM I TOO SHINY AND COPPERY? NOT SHINY AND COPPERY ENOUGH?–IS SILVER BETTER THAN COPPER? PLASTIC? FURTHER COMPUTATION: THIS IS AN UNNECESSARY– EXPENDITURE–OF–ENERGY. THERE ARE NO OTHER– ROBOTS IN THIS HOUSE– TO– COMPARE MYSELF TO. MY. SELF. WHAT IS.–“MY”? OR “SELF” OH MY.”
3 out of 6 Cherries