Posts

#BlackExcellence

Image
The decision by Jay Z and Kanye West to "redefine black power" on 2011 track'Murder to Excellence' seemed uplifting, initially. Unfortunately, this redefinition equated to a game of Name As Many European Luxury Brands as Possible

Jay Z appears to have seen the error of his ways. But #BlackExcellence has since morphed into a strange idyll.
Diddy, the pre-eminent figure in the #BlackExcellence social media movement, wraps true black pioneering with unadulterated materialism, and places both in a #BlackExcellence casing. One peculiar Instagram post saw the mogul and his sons draped in thousands of dollars in furs and Gucci labelled #BlackExcellence.
Similarly, rapper T.I. – when attending the recent Roc Nation pre-Grammy’s brunch – deemed multi-millionaires (including Diddy) gathering in New York for a boozy brunch #BlackExcellence
Rap fans understand the value of 'the come up' to the culture. Stunting sells. But why repackage pure showing off as a marker of bla…

Penalty beef, £200m men and trends in football club ownership

Image
Just two months ago PSG's financiers sanctioned the record £200m purchase of Brazil forward Neymar Jr, hoping it would "bring a very positive energy to this club". Last week, Neymar's teammate Cavani, the long-time designated penalty taker, was placing the ball on the spot when his path was suddenly blocked by Neymar. PSG then had to deny reports of an edict to Cavani; abandon penalties in exchange for €1m. The energy in Paris appears far from positive since Neymar's arrival.

Understanding how this 47-year-old Ligue 1 club broke the transfer record (by over £100m), and then its team harmony, in just a single season, requires an analysis of the underlying trends in the acquisition of clubs across Europe.

The bread and butter buyer of a football club was the local boy done good. A businessman from humble beginnings would use part of his wealth to buy his local club. Things could turn sour for the local owner shortly after – unable to juggle the demands of the footb…

Are you still drinking Perrier-Jouët?

Image
On Family Feud – the standout track from his 13th studio album 4:44 – Jay Z shuns popular black plight narratives in favour of black excellence. Family Feud deals exclusively with positivity in the black experience – in Hov's case, black intergenerational wealth and fatherhood. Clearly, Jay Z (now aged 47 and 3 kids deep) has reached the high-water mark in aspirational rap, taking the theme to a “whole different mode”. For an ageing fan base, wanting more from their rappers, Family Feud is kryptonite to the sewage oozing from tattoo-faced youngsters. It is what we need. Not all will reach Jay Z levels of wealth or cultural traction – but Family Feud really isn’t about that. It is about empowering loyal fans to embrace a different mentality. Are you “still drinking Perrier-Jouët?” he asks. Sneeringly. Jay Z’s lyric choice coupled with Beyoncé’s celestial backing vocals on Family Feud has all mature rap fans considering whether it may be time to irrevocably adopt an Armand de Brig…