Jay Z

Songwriters Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees

Jay Z has become the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The full class of inductees was announced today:

Musical titans Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm, James Pankow & Peter Cetera, p/k/a “Chicago,” Max Martin, and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. Berry Gordy, who deferred his induction in 2016, will also be part of the 2017 class.

Jay Z: ‘The War on Drugs Is an Epic Fail’

Jay Z wrote and narrated a video for The New York Times that looks at the war on drugs here in the United States. The film can be watched below.

This short film, narrated by Jay Z (Shawn Carter) and featuring the artwork of Molly Crabapple, is part history lesson about the war on drugs and part vision statement. As Ms. Crabapple’s haunting images flash by, the film takes us from the Nixon administration and the Rockefeller drug laws — the draconian 1973 statutes enacted in New York that exploded the state’s prison population and ushered in a period of similar sentencing schemes for other states — through the extraordinary growth in our nation’s prison population to the emerging aboveground marijuana market of today. We learn how African-Americans can make up around 13 percent of the United States population — yet 31 percent of those arrested for drug law violations, even though they use and sell drugs at the same rate as whites.