Jeremiah Cedeno Comp 101 December 12, 2013 Essay 4 During the final few weeks in class we covered the “American Dream”. At great lengths we read articles and debated their stance on the position of the American Dream’s pulse. Some of the authors talked about the dream being alive and others spoke about its death. My favorite article of this semester was one that came about this in a unique angle, “What Obama Can Learn From Jay-Z’ by David Samuels. The article basically details the relationship the rapper Jay-Z has with President Obama.
Samuels goes on to explain what he feels President Obama can in fact learn from the ap mogul. The premise of this article is resolved around the idea that David Samuels, debates the notion that not only is Jay-Z an ideal embodiment of the American Dream, but also that President Barack Obama has something that he could learn from him as well. Jay-Z with his rags to riches story personifies the American Dream. His rise from the projects of Brooklyn to the musical elites is similar to the goals of young urban youth fighting poverty. Indeed, the real reason Jay-Z can so openly celebrate his talent and wealth is not simply his genius at marketing, but the act that his rags-to-riches story is, in fact, a true incarnation of the American Dream. ” (“What Obama Can Learn From Jay-Z” David Samuels). Samuel’s says that President Obama could learn from Jay-Z because they are very similar in many ways. Jay-Z is trusted, respected and celebrated by his fans because he is upfront, honest, and comes from humble beginnings.
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On the other hand, Americans trust Obama because he is familiar, they see themselves in him. “The idea that the president has something to learn from this tension, and from the ynthesis that Jay-Z offers, shouldn’t seem far-fetched: While Americans may accept the great disparities of wealth that the new economy has engendered, they will not give up on their equal right to dream. ” (“What Obama Can Learn From Jay-Z” David Samuels). President Obama’s roots are similar to that of most Americans which makes more easily relatable.
Similar to Jay-Z, Obama finds himself (a living embodiment of the American Dream) on a platform which will allow him to impact lives and make changes. They have already garnered the love, support and trust of he people. I have to agree with the point Samuels is making about what the President can learn from Jay-Z. I found this article and his perspective refreshing because I wouldVe never imagined Jay-Z ever being linked with President Obama.
Two men who serve different roles within this country: one a rap mogul and the other the President of the Free World. Reading the article really allowed me to draw the gap between the President and Jay-Z. As someone who grew up listening to the music of Jay-Z. I can vouch that much of his music was filled with lyrics about he had vercome the struggles of poverty to reach dazzling heights of fame and prestige. His song “hard Knock Life” illustrated some of the issues he faced going through the projects and tough life of Brooklyn.
Jay-Z for all the fame he is garnered, one thing has endeared him with fans is the constant homage he pays to his roots. The phrase “they forget where they came from”, is never one placed in the same sentence as Jay- Z. Almost like soldier who boasts about his rigourous training, Jay-Z shows off the scars of his past life. This attitude has made him loved by fans and gives a fresh elatability that most Americans long to have with their elected officials.
I do think Obama can use his story as well to continue captivating and enamoring Americans all across this country. Americans long to be able to relate to their politicians and have some type of relationship with them. President Obama does have the power now to positively affect and change peoples lives. This well written out essay though almost seems to make the notion that if one day Jay-Z were to run for office, he could very well win. This article is one I hope they showed President Obama and his fellow constituents.