By Jineea Butler
What’s the greatest trick the devil ever pulled? Convince the world he didn’t exist. Rick Ross and Jay Z released a new single, “The Devil is a Lie.” On first glance, I thought it read, “The Devil is Alive.” I rushed to hear it as Allhiphop.com sent out a news blast that the track from Rick Ross’ Mastermind Album has arrived.
I listened to the intro; the track is hot. Rick Ross comes out with a dynamite flow. I was bobbing my head. My favorite lines:
Tell the plug that I’m lookin’ for increase
Wingstop, fat boy need a 10 piece
The clean interpretation I have for Rozay’s verses is basically he is saying the devil is a liar because the activities he partakes in and his accomplishments have not been affected by the lies the devil creates in the world around him to stop him from succeeding. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe. Other than the fact that he’s talking about selling drugs and tells me to bow my head because it’s time to pay tithes. I like the concept.
Jay Z comes in on fire, completely expressing his frustration over all the latest drama to which he has been connected. What I respect about Jay is that he is so advanced in his lyrical skills he can have real time conversations about his direct actions in his music. Remember in “Open Letter,” Jay said President Obama himself gave him and his wife permission to visit Cuba.
I turned Havana into Atlanta,
Boy from the ‘hood, I got White House clearance
Obama said, ‘Chill you gonna get me impeached’
And don’t forget when he had issues with Harry Belafonte in “Nickels and Dimes.” In this ballad, “The Devil is a Lie,”’ he addresses illuminati rumors, the Barney’s situation, his crack career, and introduces his D’usse Cognac. I’ll give it to him, his wordplay is amazing.
He makes you think about the mentality of people who attempt to crucify him. He also makes it clear that he fought Barney’s his way by tattooing Brooklyn all over the walls and if you know VIM he represented. He even acknowledges that White people will be buying his merchandise and gives it a Robin Hood spin by saying the best way to get them back is make them pay. I agree with him a Black man shouldn’t have to be associated with the illuminati to be rich and successful, but if every Black man who is rich and successful is throwing up the signs that show allegiance to a particular group what message is that sending?
At the end of the day it’s still an oxymoron. How can you say you are not down with something like the illuminati but then throw the signs up, use the language, wear images on your clothes and condone images in your videos. The single cover for “The Devil is a Lie” is a skull with a gold horn for God’s sake, (pun intended).
Even with the Barney’s situation, let us in on plan. People looked to you to help fight for justice, it’s great that Barney’s is giving you 100 percent of the proceeds and you are donating education resources to underprivileged children, great, but what about the people who were wronged.
Did you bring them in for questioning, give them a gift pack to the line, offer them help with attorney fees, their education? Anything to justify why, you didn’t want to speak up for these individuals yet you leave out with a bigger check on behalf of these individuals. What part of the game is that? If you want us not to believe that you are not down with this mysterious culture, I would advise you and your wife to stop making blatant references to what we symbolize as illuminati.
I think of the the Illuminati like I think of the LGBT Community, if you are you are. I don’t want to knock these guys for making a song that appears to rebuke the Devil, but the question is, is that what they are really doing? The chorus makes me question what they want me to hear.
Big guns and big whips
Rich nigga talkin’ big shit
Double cup, gold wrist
Double up on that blow, bitch
Two mil on that I-95
Bow your head cuz it’s time to pay tithes
Opposition want me dead or alive
Mother—— but the devil is a lie
The devil is a lie, bitch I’m the truth
The devil is a lie, bitch I’m the proof
The devil is a lie, the devil is a lie
Bitch I’m alive, the devil is a lie
If you change one letter, the whole thing reads different. Problem is most people won’t know the name of the song before they hear it. Most will interpret it as the “Devil is Alive.” I have a feeling Rick Ross is going to perform that song at the Superbowl with his shirt off in horns throwing the illuminati signs up crazy. What’s a whole stadium of people chanting, “The Devil is A Lie,” really sounding like the Devil is Alive, really all about. It goes to show that the power of Hip Hop can be used for just about anything, even evil.
Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union is a Hip Hop Analyst who investigates the trends and behaviors of the community and delivers programming that solves the Hip Hop Dilemma. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay