Next to Diddy and Dr. Dre, Jay-Z is one of the wealthiest rappers in the Hip Hop industry.
But he’s much more than just a “rapper”.
After all, you don’t get a net worth of over 810 million dollars just by spitting into a mic. Jay owns a record label, does endorsement deals, has his own product line and invests in real estate.
Given his business prowess, it should come as a surprise to NO ONE that Jay-Z is now trademarking his cartoon character “Jaybo”.
Who is Jaybo?
Jaybo is Jay’s animated character featured in his music video for “Story Of OJ”.
It’s a play on words in reference to the racially charged word “sambo”, and the character certainly lives up to stereotype expectations- picking cotton and munching watermelon throughout the video until he meets his demise.
But don’t you dare think about profiting from Jay’s creative genius by putting “Jaybo” on a mug, hat, blanket, t-shirt, hoodie, bumper sticker, or any medium for that matter.
Because he will sue your ass, and he will win.
The move fits in well not only with Jay’s general persona, but with the song as well.
Story Of OJ is all about ownership, power, and being in control of your destiny. Jay talks about investing in real estate and paintings, taking risks and reaping multimillion dollar rewards.
Jay makes fun of Hip Hop culture, which is full of rappers “pretending” to be wealthy with their gold chains, and lavish spending at strip clubs.
But really most of are one bad year away from going broke.
“Ya’ll on the Gram holding money to your ear, there’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here”.
Jay begs his audience to stop living off of cash advances, and start taking chances in business.
According to him- he’s laid out the blueprint in his album.
“Ya’ll think it’s boujee, I’m like it’s fine. But I’m trying to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99″
And what is that message?
Jay-Z is saying if you’re black, you’re black.
Doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, have light or dark skin, work manual labor or have a cushy office job.
All African Americans have a heritage they should be proud of, and have the ability to get ahead in life by making the right moves in business.
Jay-Z is at his core, a hustler. He grew up extremely poor, and rose above it. Before he was a famous rapper, he was a successful drug dealer.
( We’re glad he’s now making money by making great music and not selling crack- for the record)
He’s worked hard for what he has, so we have no problem with him legally protecting his creation of “Jaybo”.
Far too many people these days think it’s okay to leverage another artist’s intellectual property and profit of it by selling through branded merchandise online.
Those who try to pull that stuff with Jay-Z will be getting a swift cease and desist letter from his lawyers.
That’s not to say thieves won’t continue doing it anyway. Chances are, we’ll be hearing about a lawsuit sooner than later.