Forty-three looks good on Jay-Z. Popping bottles are in order for Jigga man, but not Cristal since “I used to drink Cristal, the muh’f*cker’s racist/So I switched gold bottles on to that Spade sh*t.” The man has a lot to celebrate this year if for one reason alone: Blue Ivy Carter. Of course when you and a legion of your fans have likened you to the status of god–hence the Hov moniker–toasting to the good life for a plethora of achievements are in order. Jay’s an elder statesman at this point in his career. He’s fresher than guys half his age. We’re celebrating his b-day with five things Hov does at 43 that make him one of the coolest guys in the game.
5. He’ll still body rappers on their own song
That’s no disrespect to Jay’s co-collaborative peers. After 16 years in the game and 11 solo albums, it’s almost not fair the way he still annihilates a track diverting attention away from anyone else on the record. He owned “3 Kings” from Rick Ross‘s God Forgives, I Don’t by rapping about his daughter’s room. “Millions on the wall in all my rooms/Ni**as couldn’t f— with my daughter’s room/Ni**as couldn’t walk in my daughter’s socks/Banksy bitches, Basquiat.” Who else was on this song again?
4. Fresher than the average.
Hov had regular dudes toss out all of their faux authentic jerseys because of one line on “What More Can I Say?” “And I don’t wear jerseys I’m thirty plus. Give me a crisp pair of jeans, ni**a button ups.” These days he’ll rock his Jordan’s with a sweatshirt as quick as he’ll throw on a bowtie to complement his tux. What never changes, ever, is his Brooklyn swag. He carries it everywhere he goes.
It’s not uncommon for people who’ve been at the top for so long to become complacent. Not Sean Carter. The 43-year-old who entered hip-hop at 26 is still hungry. Rap has an expiration date. Typically no one wants to hear the old(er) man at the club rapping about “bad bitches” and making it rain. This isn’t applicable to Jay, but even if it was, his expansion beyond rap keeps him relevant, and very wealthy. This year he hosted and curated Philadelphia’s Made In America concert, performed eight sold-out shows at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center, of which he’s 1% owner and hit the stage at the president’s Ohio campaign rally. Milestones on milestones on milestones. A business, man steadily making history.
2. What rapper do you know with President Obama on the text?
Maybe that rhyme was hyperbole, but he does brush the dirt of his shoulders with the president. If there was another rapper who raised $4 million for the president’s reelection, hosted it at their own 40/40 club in NYC and had the honor of the president’s presence, we must’ve missed it. Jay’s Made In America concert was also blessed with a personal shout-out video from the president himself. If you can’t respect that your whole perspective is wack.
1. “I got the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain.”
Eons ago, Jay pulled a chick 11 years his junior. And Beyonce’s still the hottest chick in the game. Forget about her beauty for a second (we know it’s hard). Bey will go down as a legend because of her musical achievements. His wife of four years is as powerful as him. More than the success, the accolades, the fame, she’s likeable. You’d be hard pressed to ever hear a negative word uttered by people behind the scenes in the industry. Trust me, we’re a group of talkers. The newest addition to the Carters has basically solidified the two as hip-hop’s royal couple.
Jay-Z’s on his grown man status. Happy wife, happy life, amazing career. Did we mention the boat loads of money? “Hov’s a living legend and I’ll tell you why, everybody wanna be Hov, and Hov still alive.” Cheers. To 43.
[Photo: Getty Images and Tumblr]