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Jay-Z Wants You To Enjoy Your Life

Looking for a great way to end the year? Promise to live your life to the fullest

“Man, I’m high off life, fuck it, I’m wasted” — Jay-Z “Allure”

Happy new year to you and yours, it’s Joel Leon here back with the end of the year “What Would Hov Do?” Medium column to help us get right for 2021. The goal of this column was simple: hear from the reading audience (that’s y’all) about whatever issues you may be struggling with, and I’ll help you unpack them with the help of my favorite artist, the God emcee, Jay-Z.

If there’s a topic you’d want to see tackled with a little Jay-Z insight, feel free to drop your question or issue here and me and Shawn Carter will take care of the rest. Easy enough, right?

This week, we’ll tackle a question that I think a lot of us have going into a new year. “Stay fly” asks:

What’s the flyest thing I could do to end this year, Rona in mind?

Ahh, good ‘ole ‘rona — disrupting and destroying lives while hapless government officials twiddle their thumbs figuring out viable solutions. Folks have lost lives, jobs, partners, friends, relationships, sources of income. The struggle has been real for a majority of us. With year coming to a close, this would be the time we’d be looking in our closets to throw on something fly, hit the nearest house party or private function with lots of bubbly drinks and funny plastic hats and glasses, all in an effort to celebrate the closing of one moment and ushering in the beginnings of another. 2020 has been a year the likes of we’ve never seen in our generation. But, in spite of the calamity and hardship and the pressure we can sometimes feel of wanting to make the end of the year a spectacle that gives us the energy to bring in the new year the “right” just being able to enjoy the life we already have may actually be enough.

In the lyric for “Allure”, another record of the classic (yup, I said it) Black Album, Jay-Z is telling he’s essentially so in love with life, he’s basically in a drugged, comatose state from it. Granted, the life he’s alluding to is of the crack dealing and selling variety, but nonetheless the point is made. What’s important to acknowledge is that this life we have, especially in a year where so many of the ones we love and care for lost the opportunity to see another day, has given us an opportunity to be reflective. Every year, we spend a lot of money on an outfit to wear, for a ticket to the happy party, where we will drink and dance and kiss our ways to fulfillment. And there is nothing wrong with being able to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished.

But, there’s more to our living than that. Being fly and celebrating the good we’ve received, or celebrating the good we’re looking forward to, doesn’t have to be an illustrious affair. And the lack of such an event does not take away from the opportunity to enjoy all the fly shit that is happening around us.

You know what’s really fly? Breathing. Breathing is mad fly. You know what else is fly in 2020? Being alive, having health insurance, being healthy enough to kiss your kids, or walk to the bodega to grab Bustelo (IYKYK.) Know what’s fly? Waking up to a home, to a loving partner, to a pet, to working internet. What’s fly is us being able to get another opportunity to see our promise and purpose through, in a world where none of the moments we are afforded are guaranteed. And even if you don’t have any of those things, we have nature — we have trees and air and clouds and sunshine and space to just… be.

You want to end the year in a fly way? Go get high off life. Step outside and take a deep breath and take in all that your life has to offer. Listen, if you don’t believe, go ahead and ask Hov. He’ll probably tell you the same. Happy New Year to you and yours. Let’s all get wasted — wasted off of the opportunity this living has to offer.

For the newbies out there, feel free to get familiar with some of my previous Medium work here. And here. Oh, and here, too. Submit any WWHD questions here while you’re at it.

Written by

he/him. i tell stories for black people. work: @taylorstrategy @nike @twitter @gatesfoundation @ted @hbo @ethelsclub @medium @newsweek @twloha #BXFOREVER

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