We can now call Jay-Z an editor as today sees the launch of Life And Times, a website “curated’ by the remarkable guy from Marcy.
“As if being a rapper, clothing line creator and businessman weren’t enough, Jay-Z (a.k.a. Shawn Corey Carter) is adding another job to his resume: editorial director.
“Today, Jay-Z, along with his company SC | Enterprises, is launching a new lifestyle site called Life And Times, which covers everything from music to fashion to tech to sports. An idea that was born about one year ago, the site is curated based on Jay-Z’s interests, and the rapper works with a small staff to produce each piece of content.”
The navigation on the site is beautiful, the content hidden behind clickable images. And the idea of Jay sharing more of himself and influences seems entertaining, but that’s also part of the challenge which makes the endeavor’s success seem implausible.
“Is a blog with its main selling point being that it’s curated by Jay-Z a recipe for success? Would you add this site to your must-read list?”
In short answer, no, I won’t just yet.
I’ve read reports of exchanges between Bill Gates and tech bloggers, where the gazillionaire responds via email to op-ed pieces and corrects leaks and speculation regarding upcoming products. Uncle Russ and Kanye, their sites and sparse postings feel authentic with Russell talking politics, money and power and Kanye sharing random naked art and tossing in periodic rants, though nowhere near as often as he once did. Even Curtis hopped online and created one of the urban world’s go-to destinations. Hell, even the President seems more tech savvy than Jay, launching a new site today in anticipation of his reelection campaign and sending out an email blast.
Jay seems late to the party and, unless there are parties privy to information I’m not, he’s never seemingly embraced the web, unless we’re talking the mythical S_C_Twitter account. Without a doubt, he’s an obvious winner so it’s hard to bet against him and that’s withstanding his share of failed ideas, much like any other successful entrepreneur. Yet this one seems far too calculated and demanding to succeed or at least cause a ripple in the web’s waters. His presence yields more power when he’s unseen, unheard. He can rap about a brand or been pictured wearing a certain shirt and guarantee boosts come as a result. But for me to visit a Hova The God website, I’d like to at least be fooled with the idea that I was there to interact with him, even in a static sense, not to check what I assume will be a mixture of expensive product placement and other half-interesting shit I can always see in GQ or Robb Report.
I read Decoded and I’ve noted that most people either Stan for it or loath it. I waiver between both stances but lean towards acknowledging its strengths, painting Jay’s skills and lyrical approach in a different light. The weak moments come from the redundancy and a few ideas which get garbled in translation. There’s potential for the same to happen here because I don’t know for fact but I’ve heard it’s much harder to “curate” a web site than most people realize.
Then again, Jay will probably recognize this in a few short months and hire YN to add some spice by ghostblogging a few Blackouts. Come to think of it, I’m going to browse to see if there’s an FAQ regarding openings. Even if the pay isn’t killer, the perks of text messaging Beyonce have to be pretty dope.