On “dumbing down” his music Jay-Z is not sipping from a bitter cup. There is a pressure to be highly marketable to gain commercial success; this kind of success is only accessible through palatable (and simpler) wordplay than what the Underground or Streets typically offer. Hip Hop culture as a whole needs that kind of flexibility in order to be heard by more people instead of an exclusive party. Jay-Z characterizes simplicity as both an art and science that need to be maintained to keep its entertainment value as well as keeping up with the lyrical challenge of being understood. Commercial rap need not to exclude people; it would defeat the purpose of going mainstream.
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