JAY-Z teams up with the late Nipsey Hussle on their new track, “What It Feels Like,” from the upcoming film Judas and the Black Messiah, and he doesn’t shy away from political topics. The track finds Jay reflecting on the January 6th riots at the US capitol building as well as calling back to an old Fred Hampton reference that first appeared on “Murder to Excellence.”
On his verse, Jay spits about the January 6th insurrection:You know they hate when you become more than they expectYou let them crackers storm your Capitol, put they feet up on your deskAnd yet you talkin' tough to me, I lost all my little respect
It’s his first public comment on the incident, which saw supporters of former President Donald Trump storm the US Capitol building in an attempt to stop the counting of electoral votes. It led to the evacuation of members of congress and the second impeachment of Donald Trump.
Judas and the Black Messiah is a biopic about civil rights leader Fred Hampton. During his verse, Jay takes a moment to correct the record on Hampton’s death, referencing a lyric from Watch The Throne in the process. Genius contributor ibmac26 breaks it down in an annotation:
Meanwhile, Nipsey compares himself to another Black civil rights icon:Young Malcolm, I’m the leader of this movement out this b-tch, lookAnd this is what it feels likeReach a level, make you question, “Is it real life?”All the weed good, all the p-ssy real tightAnd the only rule, keep your dollar bills right