Whenever the Batman movies come back, this is a move they could consider: making Jay-Z the mayor of Gotham in the year 2025.
If Trump is President of the United States, surely it isn’t weird to think an esteemed businessman worth half a billion dollars could be a mayor of his hometown. Right?
I mean, there are rumors of Chance the Rapper running in Chicago. And Kendrick Lamar has the keys to the city of Compton. Minnnesota has let a comedian and wrestling star hold important public office positions. Why can’t the owner of TIDAL, the CEO of the ROC himself, make decisions about a city he knows like the back of his hand?
Is he still something to fear? Is he credible enough now?
As powerful as a Jay-Z campaign would be, he doesn’t even have to run for the idea to be an influential one. Reality influences art, but the relationship isn’t a one way street.
Don’t we use language from George Orwell’s 1984 in today’s world?
Has the validation of Black hip-hop artists in the late 1980s/early 1990s American mainstream not influenced today’s common beliefs regarding issues such as police brutality and the racial wealth divide?
Portraying a hip-hop figure as massive as Jay-Z in such a high-profile leadership position could do even more than give fuel to Black Lives Matter and hip-hop fanatics. Rather than energizing the efforts to tear old systems down, casting Jay-Z as Gotham’s mayor, or even using his likeness in the role, could encourage people to bring the truths of his experience into these systems.
We could see city councils across the nation putting money toward the arts in low-income neighborhoods, along with other asset-based approaches to helping communities in need of support. We could see hip-hop artists get checks as political commentators on major news networks. We could see a shift in hip-hop culture back toward political engagement. Given the growth of hip-hop as an industry and a culture, the results of this could be even greater than the days of KRS-One and Public Enemy.
We can dream, but we can also make dreams real. Seeing Batman in mayor Shawn Carter’s office warning him of imminent danger would make for a dope flick. It could also inspire shifts in how we view some major parts of U.S. society for the better.