“What Would Hova Do?” is the only poem I have written that I like.The inspiration is from my addiction to the life and music of Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay Z.Written on a date I can’t remember(it’s a shame,I know),the poem uses a bird’s eye view of the life of the hip hop mogul to inspire the reader.This is specifically evident in the last verse,and even more in the last line “…And ask yourself,”What would Hova Do?”…”
Why then did I do a review? The answer is simple.The purpose of me writing is not only to exorcise my demons,so to speak,but to also be able to reach every one who reads any piece I write.This review,is therefore very necessary for all the non hip hop people who will see the poem,if they are really to understand and relate to it.
For a hip hop lover,it should be very easy to get the title.For the benefit of the non hip hop lovers,’Hova’ ,as used here doesn’t refer to God or any spiritual being.Hova is the nickname of the character under review i.e. Jay Z
A common style of loads of hip hop musicians is to recount where they’re from,what they have been through and generally,their past.This style is employed throughout the poem.The first verse looks at two things.One,Jay’s drug dealing past and two,his hitherto poor life.
The started from the bottom theme is also largely evident over here.Whilst it might not be evident on surface look,Verse 2 has a bit more to it.Laced with puns and metaphors here and there.The greatest metaphor in the whole of the verse is,the whole of the verse.Written in classic Jay Z rap style and talking about him at the same time.Also a little direct reference is made to his lyrics on the 2009 hit,”Dirt Off Your Shoulder” which was produced by ace music producer,Timberland.
The first two lines show a heavily woven wordplay on ‘owes’,written as “O’s” which also give birth to a metaphor on “opposite Orphan Annie”.My movie lovers will very much get this,but for those who don’t,”Orphan Annie” has now in the American culture become a symbol of poverty in its extreme.Opposite Orphan Annie is therefore opulence or wealth in extreme.This shows how Jay was poor and presumably in debts but bit by bit worked hard to settle his debts(scratch the owes)and turned to an opposite Orphan Annie.Note the repetition of the ‘o’ sound through out the first two lines too.
The last part of the verse continues in a heavy wordplay-cum-metaphor on the name of Jay’s beautiful wife,Beyonce Knowles,aka Bey.Saying “…he’s got a wife that makes honey…”,plays on the nickname of Beyonce,Bey and the insect which makes the notoriously sweet honey
Jay sold CDs of his first album “Reasonable Doubt” out of the trunk of a rental car in Brooklyn.Obviously,any one who saw him then wouldn’t have guessed he was going to make even a million dollars,let alone the 600 he has made.The line continues to shed more light on the started from the bottom life Jay has lived.
The next two lines,also employs a common style of hip hop culture:talking about haters.Jay has often talked about and rapped about the persecution he had to suffer from haters who taught he would never make it to where he is now. Advising the reader on how to handle haters in classic Jay style,the writer implores the reader not to let the taunts of haters get to him or her and one day he/she will spend in a day what his/her haters make in a year.
The concluding verse.I don’t know about other writers but anytime I get to the last part of a piece I get lazy or loose ideas.This poem was no different.The idea to end it in this style was from a friend/writer, Leonard Nyaban aka Blank Space,and so far I would say it has turned out well.The verse entreats the reader to in times of trouble ask himself what Jay would have done if he were in his/her shoes.Give up?Or fight harder?Looking at the 600+ million bucks he has amassed for himself,the latter is obviously more certain.