Jay-Z had it easy. He faced few restrictions in his quest for money and stardom. Unapologetically driven by material desires and founded on a platform of social Darwinism, Jay-Z’s ascent to mogul-hood represents capitalism in its purest form.
Like most rappers, Talib Kweli wants what Jay-Z has—money, esteem, an audience—but in his pursuit of these goals he’s been held to a much stricter standard than Jay-Z. Long ago labeled a conscious rapper by his fans, Kweli is expected to be above the perceived vanity of mainstream rap. While rappers like Jay-Z can play anything-goes, Tammany Hall politics, Kweli must adhere to restrictive campaign finance regulations or risk alienating his idealistic fans.