Hustlers and Revolutionaries

This assignment focuses on the public personas of Shawn Carter and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.




Study Guide

Note that this guide is not meant to replace careful study of the assigned texts. Instead, this guide highlights some of the important ideas and information found in these chapters, songs, and videos. To do well on our tests, quizzes, and class discussions, you will need a thorough knowledge of all assigned texts.

Doubt is interesting because it isn’t a blind celebration of criminality–it’s an unflinching, intelligent one.” (Mendez Berry).

Although Jay-Z claims in “Open Letter” that “I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seat,” in fact he never owned more than one-fifth of one percent of Barclays Center. His highly publicized status as an “owner,” however, did help the real owners to overcome opposition to their plans from neighborhood residents.

“Mr. Carter’s involvement frustrated opponents of Mr. Ratner’s development plans in Brooklyn who saw the arena and proposed residential and office towers as a subsidized land grab that could ruin the neighborhood. They complained that residents who might have been wary of Mr. Ratner’s promises to create jobs, nonetheless trusted Jay-Z, who invoked his roots and insisted he could never support ‘anything that’s against the people’”(Halbfinger).


See the Kendrick Lamar page for this discussion’s topic.