Rap Genius: Verse to Verse: Jay Z

Originally published at rapgenius.com

Verse to Verse is a walk through all the Biblical verse and imagery referenced over the course of one artist’s career.


We could start discussing Hov’s bible references with his first album (Reasonable Doubt) and work our way to the present, but I have my doubts about that strategy. There are too many albums and compilations to approach this in chronological order. So I’ve gathered all of Jay’s references to biblical verse and categorized them under two modes: Jay-z, The Reluctant Bible Scholar and Jay-z, The God MC.

On the Reluctant Scholar side of things, we have lines like this:

And no, I am not a Christian, though I believe in God But I don’t believe in the devil, my beliefs are odd If we the people was given freewill from God How could He give the people freewill, without giving you E-vil? My spirit remains vibrant, I will lead the flock And that’s the tip of the iceberg,

You might hear Christ’s words in my scriptures

Hov lets us know that just because he isn’t religious and hasn’t read the bible (as he confirmed on Fade to Black), it doesn’t mean he won’t quote Jesus in his raps. He also makes a subtle comparison between himself and Jesus, which brings us to other side of the coin: Jay-z as God MC. You don’t have to look much further than lines like “God MC—me—Jay-hova” or “Young Hova the God, nigga blasphemy” to find examples of that. But let’s table the God MC talk for now and address Reluctant Jay first.

Continue reading here at rapgenius.com


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