NEWS ANALYSIS: In Jay-Z’s New Rap, Who Are the `dweebs’?
He’s `Still Keeping His Seats’ at Barclays
In his new song, “Open Letter,” 17-time Grammy winner Jay-Z, a longtime booster and part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, addresses his having to sell his reported $4.5 million stake in the team so he can become certified as a player agent.
However, it’s not quite clear who he’s addressing in his song.
“Would have bought the Nets to Brooklyn for free, except I made millions off of you [expletive] dweebs, I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seats,” raps Jay-Z, who grew up in the Marcy Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant and went to Downtown Brooklyn’s George Westinghouse High School.
For those who don’t know, a “dweeb” is basically a nerd. The popular site “Urban Dictionary” puts it this way: “Max, fitting the role of the dweeb, spent all Friday night reading Hartshorne’s “Algebraic Geometry” while the others in the dorm wing went downtown for an evening of fun.”
But who are the “dweebs” he is addressing? Is it people in the NBA offices who forced him to sell his shares in the team? People in the Nets front office or the Barclays management? Those fans who are critical of him? Or Nets fans in general?
There’s no way to be sure. Jay-Z calls himself the “Dylan of rap music,” and Bob Dylan himself was deliberately vague in his lyrics, which lent themselves to hundreds of interpretations.
As to his claim that he still “owns the building,” by all accounts, his stake in Barclays Center is small – although he is keeping his courtside seats, as the song says. That may be why he immediately follows up the part about “owning the building” with “You buy that bulls—t, you better keep your receipts.”
Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office and a spokesman for the Nets management didn’t return requests for comment.
Jay-Z frequently appeared at rallies in support of the building of the Barclays Center when it was still a controversial item, as well as at its ribbon-cutting ceremony, and performed eight sold-out concerts at the arena soon after it opened.
“Open Letter” also attacks people who were critical of his and his wife Beyonce’s recent trip to Cuba.
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