Jay-Z's App and Obama's Criminal Enterprise
To gauge the real impact of a historic development like "the Snowden revelations", it's sometimes useful to examine how wide it's being felt. An illustration: Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" Samsung cellphone app. I've a feeling some may not know what I'm talking about because, up until this past Friday, neither did I. But my May First/People Link colleague and office buddy Hilary Goldstein (who has often been the source of ideas for my writings here) sent me an email with a link to a story about the controversy and it got me thinking about how our society has succumbed to a massive crime and how this might be a kind of "critical mass".
The story starts with a Tweet by a respected Hip Hop artist named Michael "Killer Mike" Render. The Atlanta, Georgia resident issued a tweet this week displaying a graphic of the registration screen for the Magna Carta Holy Grail App with the cryptic but powerful message: "Naw...I'm cool." The app (a term used to describe small applications often used on hand-held devices) lets the user download a new album (called "Magna Carta Holy Grail") by Hip Hop super-star Jay-Z.
The meaning of the message (a bit more dismissive than "Thanks but no thanks") is significant because over a half million people had already said "yes" to that App and had downloaded it to their phones. In the process, they gave Samsung their names, specific GPS location, approximate network location and the phone's precies id and status as well as permission to "modify or delete contents" from their USB storage, stop the phone from sleeping and get full access to their network communications.
In other words, you give them a treasure trove of information about you in exchange for downloading a "pre-release" version of this album.
Why give in to such an intrusion? The most obvious answer is to get an advanced copy of the already critically acclaimed album by one of the greatest musical artists of all time.
Shawn Corey Carter, known as Jay-Z, grew up on tough streets in Brooklyn, New York (where he led what he himself terms a "gangsta life-style") and has risen to world-wide reknown as a musical genius. His evocative and innovative lyrics, run over brilliant instrumental mixes, touch on themes and topics touched on in "conceptual albums": tracks that are hung together under one theme. His legendary discipline and the shere quantify of quality music he puts out make him singular in his industry. He's also a successful businessman (already reportedly worth over a half billion dollars) with a diverse array of businesses. Because of what he's done with his life and what he does with his music, it's hard not to admire Jay-Z.