Jay-Z: The Godfather of Hip-Hop

Could Jay-Z be considered The Godfather of Hip Hop due to his seemingly unlimited connections?


Jay- Z is a rapper from Brooklyn who has been one of the most popular artists of the past 20 years. As of last year he is the richest musician in America charting in at an estimated net worth of $900 million. He is also very well accomplished within the industry as he has 14 number one albums and 22 Grammy Awards; which is the most ever by any rap artist. Over the years, through all his success Jay-Z has made his connections throughout the music industry which he has recently used to help and benefit younger artists.

In the past Jay-Z had been known for being very generous to his fellow rapper, one instance that sticks out is when he paid famous rapper Lil Wayne’s huge tax bill of $7.7 million dollars in 2009. Wayne recently spoke about the situation saying the tax build up was all the way from 2002 and proceeded to call Jay-Z one of his real friends as he thanked him for his generosity. Over the past few months though Jay-Z’s connections and big brother mentality to the rap game have become clearer than ever.

On November 6, 2017 Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years for violating his parole. The whole hip hop community was stunned and many began chanting and exclaiming “Free Meek!” This came to a climax when the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl with many players dedicating the win to Meek. One of Meek’s biggest supporters was label mate and president, Jay-Z. Jay-Z went on to write an op-ed piece for the New York Times about Meek’s unfair imprisonment along with paying millions of dollars in legal fees to Meek get free.

Meek was eventually released from prison on bail in April 2018 and a large part of that was due to Jay-Z as Meek will admit himself. Just recently the two started up a huge criminal justice reform organization that will help people like Meek who are wrongfully imprisoned see their just process. The organization has seen massive support already from CEO’s and owners with the likes of Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and Michael Rubin, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers donating an estimated $50 million.

The next instance of Jay-Z lending a helping hand was when Atlanta rapper 21 Savage was arrested in February of this year for violating his US visa. Savage came to the U.S. from the United Kingdom in 2005 when he was seven and his visa expired in 2006. After his imprisonment, Jay-Z immediately hired a team of lawyers in defense of the rapper calling the situation an “absolute travesty.” In Jay-Z’s eyes he was wrongfully incarcerated similar to Meek Mill, as 21’s petition for a new visa had been pending for four years.

On February 12, the 26 year old rapper was released from the detainment center on bond. Three days later he went on Good Morning America to give his thoughts about the situation and he went on to say that he believed he was targeted because of the fact that he’s a celebrity and so that they can send a message. The whole situation has seemed to cool down in the past few months and will hopefully be resolved, and 21 and his mother have both gone on to thank Jay-Z for the contributions he made so that the rapper would see justice.

The most recent instance of Jay-Z helping out his fellow rapper isn’t as great a deal as the others but still significant that would be the case of another Philadelphia rapper, Lil Uzi Vert. Lil Uzi Vert is an aspiring rapper who although young has seen his fair share of big hits, but has recently not seen eye to eye with label which had drove him to “quit” music this past January. While many people did not believe Uzi as many when they say they are quitting, it really did seem as if he was done and there was no way he could release his music.

This is of course until late March when Jay-Z helped Lil Uzi get back in the studio with his connections and after that proceeded to sign him to his label, Roc Nation. Uzi has since released a song titled “Free Uzi” which has come back with great reception from his fans and will hopefully be releasing his album Eternal Atake sometime soon. Jay-Z has consistently been helping rappers in the industry for year not mention the ones he gave a start like Kanye West. Jay-Z’s impact on hip-hop is immeasurable and I believe will continue to be, and that is why Jay-Z should be considered the Godfather of Hip-Hop.