Poetry News

Jay-Z Did Not Write That Poem and Is Not Swearing Off That Swear Word

By Harriet Staff

Is Jay-Z banning the word bitch in his poems-songs? Er, no. Hip-hop site XXL News tells us what happened:

On Tuesday (January 17), a poem that was supposed penned by the rapper, hit the net, and it read: “Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich/I didn’t think hard about using the word bitch/I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it/Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it.”

But, as touching as the poem was, it appears Jay didn’t actually write it.

“That poem and story are fake,” Jay-Z, who is reportedly hosting a grand re-opening of his New York City 40/40 Club today alongside wife Beyoncé, told the New York Daily News.

And yes, according to Entertainment Weekly, we must put the rumors to rest:

Jay’s representatives reached out to E! to let them know that the poem did not come from their client. They’re uncertain about the origin of the words, but they’re sure that they were not written by Jay-Z.

Honestly, that makes the whole thing a lot less problematic, as swearing off b—- would have created a double-pronged problem for Hova. First, it would have retired a handful of his best songs, most notably “99 Problems” (though that could have easily become “I got 99 problems but a hitch ain’t one,” meaning that no matter what inconveniences cross his path, he can always tow your trailer with his truck).

But the real issue at hand (and something that many bloggers touched on when the news bounced around yesterday) is that swearing off the word at this point in his career (and his life) would have been stunningly disingenuous. Why would his daughter have made him reconsider a piece of his vocabulary, especially considering the number of talented, confident women he has worked with (and married)?

What about his mother, who has a guest spot on The Black Album‘s “December 4th”? Doesn’t she merit a moratorium on that word? What may have been intended as a game-changing gesture would have only brought up a whole new series of (99) problematic questions.

Originally Published: January 19th, 2012