There’s some debate about the precise words in the new Jay-Z song, especially in terms of who, exactly, he was calling an effing dweeb. Devin heard it as:
“Would’ve brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free. Except, I made millions off of you f***ing dweeb. I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seats, you buy that bulls***, you better keep your receipts.
Some heard it as made millions off “it” instead of “of.” Either way, at the risk of over-interpreting a bunch of rap lyrics, it sounds like Jay-Z thinks:
a) He single-handedly brought the Nets to Brooklyn. I guess Bruce Ratner, Mikhail Prokhorov, Marty Markowitz and the many other people who have been agitating for a Brooklyn team for years, were irrelevant. The Nets came to Brooklyn because Jay-Z decided it should be so. And, “I still own the building.” He was no doubt very important in creating the brand but even accounting for normal celebrity trash talk, this sounds a bit too much like The Donald.
b) Nets are suckers. Whether he’s mocking a particular Nets executive or the entire deal, he’s saying the Nets could have gotten his help for free but they paid him! Ha ha ha ha. (By the way, the Nets did just fine in this relationship: whatever they paid, they probably got their money’s worth in terms of brand-buffing and publicity.)
It’s quite possible that Jay-Z was mostly intending to push back at those who made fun of him for having a small stake in the team. That seems to have really gotten under his skin, which is a weird thing to care about. So he’s saying, “you think I had a small stake! Well then how come I made millions! Still think I was used??”
But whatever his motivation, the combination of him selling his shares to go off and make some more money as an agent and this Nets-whack makes it slightly harder to think of him as the Nets Number One Fan in quite the same way. He was supposed to be our Spike Lee. This week, at least, he’s sounding more like our Donald Trump.