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March 14, 2011

An Insert Preview - Music Superstar Ethics: How Completely You Can Sell “You can say what you say, but you are what you are.” Jay-Zzzzus!

Noticing New York

Nets' minority owner Jay-Z makes an appearance in a lengthy post, loosely about "360° deals" in the recording industry.

This Noticing New York discussion of the city-shaping aspects of music and the structure of the music industry could not be complete without discussing the city-shaping-size political scandals in which Jay-Z has been involved, Atlantic Yards and Aqueduct Raceway. Perhaps in these scandals we see the effect that 360 degree multi-rights deals can have in shaping our cities. It is easiest to see what this means in the case of Atlantic Yards. Through his appearances at strategic events Jay-Z has been giving cover to a ruthless developer’s abusive land-grabbing* seizures of private property in brownstone Brooklyn, whereby that developer is seeking to quash competition and alternative community development with 50 acres of high-density mega-monopoly. Thirty of those acres are contiguous acreage found at the Atlantic Yards site, the rest of them closely linked and sitting over the same ganglia of converging key Brooklyn subway lines. With Jay-Z’s help, the developer has been selling this project based on an outrageous constellation of falsehoods.

What Is Jay-Z?

“You can say what you say, but you are what you are.” This philosophical remark about how you conduct yourself in life is regularly attributed to Jay-Z by Tavis Smiley and a list of others.

OK, if that’s Jay’Z’s own quote then we clearly know what he 'can say,’ but what actually IS Jay-Z if he’s involved with such scandals? Well, maybe with a 360 degree multi-rights contract you don’t know until you read all the fine print in the contract. Might we presume Jay-Z didn’t get himself involved in these scandals? What if, instead, it was his promoters that got him involved.? What if Jay-Z’s contract said for him to show up so Jay-Z just did? Who knows whether the particular contracts he signed allow him to still say what he wants to say but the real question is whether he still gets to be who he would otherwise choose to be.

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Posted by eric at March 14, 2011 3:02 PM