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God As My Witness, Time, It Was My Mistress

Those not heavy on the Internet may not be aware of Jay-Z’s new website, Life and Times. It’s a dope web space so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

Just the other day, the site posted a brand new song by Sade featuring Jay-Z. The song, entitled “The Moon and The Sky (Remix)”, is one of three new songs featured on Sade’s two-disc greatest hits compilation, The Ultimate Collection.

When I first heard Jay-Z’s verse, I wasn’t blown away, but I was intrigued. The most obvious thing I heard was a guest eager to make an impression. I believe this is Sade’s first and only collaboration with a hip-hop artist, and Jay sounded like he was aware this type of collaboration was a milestone in his career so digging up one of those old rhymes in his head wouldn’t cut it. He has a brief 16, but he goes for it here.

For whatever reason, probably because I’m easily distracted, I didn’t give “The Moon And The Sky (Remix)” repeated listens, but I told myself I would revisit it later. Like I said, I heard something in Jay’s verse that deserved deeper analysis.

Today as I was surfing Life and Times for updated posts, I saw a transcript of his verse posted. Before I read, I listened again, and though I was pretty clear on all that he said, I knew reading the words would give his verse the deeper meaning I was seeking. I mean, listening to it, I could hear this was about some sort of relationship, but what was the line that was going to stick out to me most?

I finally found it (hint: it’s the title of the post) when I read the transcription, which I’ve put in this post. The rhymes here were decoded, I’m assuming by a fan, and the editors of the site took the liberty of posting it. Seeing the words written out definitely elevated the verse’s meaning for me (though I do believe whoever decoded this made one crucial mistake: The last line isn’t meant to be “beautiful son” but rather “beautiful sun”, but I digress). Not to say the verse is deep, more like spot-on to the nature of some men who fail to commit simply because they’re too afraid of missing out on something better.

Once I read it and listened to it a couple more times, I chuckled to myself because I thought about how in college and even some years after college, a lot of Jay-Z’s lyrics were incorporated in the spiels I would give about my dating or relationship philosophies. This is why he remains to this day one of my favorite rappers, not because of the body of his work (though it is strong) but for the way he could express things so well, I could adopt those expressions into whatever I was saying and not be laughed at or discredited.

I don’t make Jay-Z references nearly as much as I used to, but this verse reminded me, he can still write a verse that makes me say, “Damn, ain’t that the truth.” Time has been my mistress more times than I care to admit and it has resulted in some consequences I never thought possible. And thinking “What if” drives us all crazy, along with the rest of the questions we ask ourselves, until we realize even though we did not get what we wanted, we certainly got what we needed.

Click here to listen to “The Moon And The Stars (Remix)” by Sade feat. Jay-Z

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  • The Big O

    Thanks for putting this up sir.

    The Big O

  • Ritenow26

    I love the way you wrote this, it flowed so well.

  • Lady Essence

    WOW! Thanks for sharing this post. Its an interesting perspective thinking that someone only wants to love you from a distance because they are searching for something better. I’m one of those women that is constantly wondering “what if” but with time things can only get better. This song is hot!

  • Anonymous

    Love love love this

  • ladyhaiti_02

    For a long time I though Jay had lost his tenacity and his grit for writing non-pop flavored music, but this post showed me that beneath all that fluff and all that industry stuff lies the Jay that I fell in love with when he dropped “Life and Time of S.Carter” This was a good post. I enjoyed it. Made me go onto his website and take a listen. I hope he decides to come back with some of his more though provoking lyrics.. bring back the realness of hip-hop!

  • Celly Richy

    I think it is a double entendre for son/sun… You are both right (in my opinion).

    He couldn’t give her the Happily ever after, but now she has a son. He couldn’t give her the Moon & Sky, but at least she has the sun.

    Jay = Double Entendre King.

  • Crystal Marie

    I’m not a real fan of Jay or hip-hop, but I do like good literature. I decided to give Jay a chance, and started reading Decoded by Jay-Z. The dude.. is the king of writing raps that seem like nothing major until you give them second, third, even fourth listen.

    Singers don’t have to impress you with lyrics; they can impress you with their voice. However, rappers are pretty much talking, so the lyrics really matter. Still not a Jay-Z head, but thoroughly impressed with his deeper meanings, such as the ones outlined in this article. Great post!

  • nubianempress

    honestly, i couldn’t really get into decoded. there were too many things going on and it distracted me. with that said, jay-z is an incredible PERFORMER, which leads me to think that his work is better performed that transcribed.

    i did enjoy this post though 🙂

  • Coolbaby2001us

    Sometimes I read something and feel so old. I don’t like when people quote rappers like their god. The song and Jay Z’s verse didn’t move me at all.

  • One&Only

    When i heard this song, I got really irritated. Especially by Jay’s verse, and the reason is because I have had a dude who I was really into just up and leave, and then explain his mess years later, when there’s nothing we can do. So, it’s like really, you’ll always know the reason why we couldn’t have the moon and the sky. And amazingly I’ve played this song over 100 times ever since I heard it…

    Beautiful post.

  • Que