Ari Melber Uses Jay-Z’s ‘God Did’ Verse To Break Down The War On Drugs And LeBron James Approves

MSNBC correspondent Ari Melber is a huge fan of hip-hop who loves quoting rappers like Nicki Minaj and using hip-hop songs to make poignant political commentary. In his latest segment, though, he takes it a step farther, pulling quotes from Jay-Z’s triumphant “God Did” verse to break down the US government’s ongoing — and some would say failed — War On Drugs, which has mostly just led to increased incarceration rates for Black Americans, billions of tax dollars dumped into increasingly militarized police forces, and little measurable reduction in drug use in the US.

Melber references numerous lines from the verse, including one in which Jay calls US laws “draconian,” and another that mentions a 1996 60 Minutes interview between Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan and Mike Wallace. Melber breaks down these lines and others as he draws parallels to the drug war and points out how the prohibition of alcohol was reversed, allowing numerous former criminals to become legitimate businessmen with huge returns on their investments.

This leads to a note that while so-called “street drugs” continue to be criminalized and associated with minorities, the biggest drug dealers are, in fact, the pharmaceutical companies that legally manufacture ultra-addictive drugs like Oxycontin and Fentanyl despite being caught unethically using their power and reach to pressure doctors to overprescribe them.

One of the four billionaires that Jay claims responsibility for mentoring in the song, LeBron James, agreed that more people should check it out, sharing the report on Twitter. “Listen!” he implored his followers. “Then listen again to make sure you got the point. HOV DID!!!! And so did the reporter! 🐐 TALK.” His post prompted two replies, one from Melber, who quoted Jay’s line from “God Did” mentioning LeBron, and Jay-Z himself, who made a rare Twitter appearance to cosign James’ tweet with another quote from the verse.

The report is fascinating and enlightening through and through, and you should really check it out, which you can do up top.