Just how far will celebrities go for a successful publicity stunt? So far as to make the public believe that it’s not a stunt at all? It seems that they have triumphed in doing so with the conversations running rampant about religion and how it relates to some of most well achieved entertainers in hip hop. Rappers have long since been alleged free mason and members of secret societies but recently the imagery and lyrics have been so powerful, few non believers remain. The song alarmingly titled “Free Mason” off of Rick Ross’s latest album Teflon Don, cialis features Jay-z and John Legend is an ode of sorts to the religion and at the same time serves as a platform for braggadocio of material wealth and boasting of allegiance to manhood (“ I go to the grave, before I be a b**** n****) but it seems very contradictory considering the allegiance one must pledge to in order to become a free mason. And since Jay-Z has neither confirmed nor denied being a mason in the new song, it leaves listeners to have to draw their own conclusions from the speculations.
Has it gone too far? The topic is now the center of conversation amongst teen-aged supporters. There are few issues that contain much depth, that can really get teenagers discussing a topic that they are not made to in an academic setting. The buzz surrounding top artists such as Drake, Rihanna, and Jay-Z seem to be part of those select topics. These artists are treading very dangerous waters considering these young adults are almost modeling themselves after them. Entertainers cannot be responsible for all the teenagers imitating them, but any kind of social responsibility seems to have been abandoned.
Money is a powerful element of success in the views of most people. So is it safe to say, these rappers are portraying themselves as religious followers just to gain popularity? In terms of popularity, Jay-Z is pretty much the epitome of it, especially considering he is a hip hop artist. This is to say, that his growth as a rapper has gained him access to stages like Glastonbury and he is a well respected business man. Money doesn’t seem to be something that keeps him up at night, but power is something he could possibly be lacking in this media driven music business and new wave of hip hoppers with fresh techniques and ideas. People have done strange things for power and followers have participated in even more mind boggling exploitation implemented by a leader e.g Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre. Religion has and will likely continue to be one of the few resources one can use to manipulate a mass of people with little effort.
Opening songs with phrases such as “…this is for the soldiers who see the sun at midnight” and imagery as powerful as wearing the Baphomet on a t-shirt leads the public to believe that supporters are being taken advantage of and lied to. What is most unsettling is that entertainers, not just rappers, continue to thrive under this kind of speculation. It is the masses that remain loyal to these celebrities. Who knows how this phenomenon will play out in the lives of young fans as they transition into some of the most critical stages of their lives and what can be done to prevent severe effects from taking place?
By: Racquel Malone