Why Jay-Z Uses Occult Imagery

Is Jay-Z an occultist? Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation, says “No” at BigThink.com:

He’s a genius who has a very shrewd eye for kind of oppositional imagery in our culture. And he uses these things and he understands the magnetism of these symbols. You know, symbols like the pentagram and the eye in the pyramid or astrological symbols, they do have a certain magnetic power. They have a pull on us. When people look at a crucifix or when people look at a Star of David, they feel something. There’s some kind of pull. It may just be a matter of conditioning, but the fact is, when you use the eye in the pyramid, it’s a magnetic symbol. It possesses something.

And I think when you’re using imagery that comes from the ancient world or that comes from Renaissance-era occultism, there is a little something going on there. We’ve never quite figured out a way to digest the image of the pentagram. Some people are really attracted to it, other people recoil from it. Jay-Z understands this and when he uses these images in his videos, on his clothing, and in other places, you know, he realizes that we are people who think in images and that you can take an image and you get a response from people. I was asked at one point whether I thought Jay-Z was a Freemason because of some of the images that appear in his videos. One of his videos also shows an image of Mao Tse Tung, I don’t think he’s an Agrarian Socialist, but he understand in the same way that street artists do that you can take these images and they touch an emotional cord in us that sometimes is very subliminal, even mysterious.

I don’t think he’s an occultist, but I do think he is probably a genius in terms of using imagery.

Check out the full interview at BigThink.com.

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  • Butter Knife

    So… the story is that Jay Z isn’t an occultist, he just has a keen sense of marketing and design and is able to exploit people’s fascination with things they don’t entirely understand?

    Ok.

    Does that actually qualify as “news” to anyone?

  • Butter Knife

    So… the story is that Jay Z isn’t an occultist, he just has a keen sense of marketing and design and is able to exploit people’s fascination with things they don’t entirely understand?

    Ok.

    Does that actually qualify as “news” to anyone?

  • DeepYuga

    I remember one interview where he wore a sweater with “Do What Thou Wilt” on it.
    At least he has a fascination for this stuff, why the hell wear it in the first place.
    He sure could be an occultist, and that’s fine for me. It doesn’t mean Illuminati-Freemansonry-Bilderberg bullcrap.
    Occultists aren’t necessarily ‘the elite’ and vice versa.

  • DeepYuga

    I remember one interview where he wore a sweater with “Do What Thou Wilt” on it.
    At least he has a fascination for this stuff, why the hell wear it in the first place.
    He sure could be an occultist, and that’s fine for me. It doesn’t mean Illuminati-Freemansonry-Bilderberg bullcrap.
    Occultists aren’t necessarily ‘the elite’ and vice versa.

    • Tunaghost

      Goddam right, I’m an occultist and if I’m part of a world-ruling elite I should probably have a bigger apartment.

  • http://cybercasualty.com The JoeBot

    The word “genius” gets bandied about a bit too freely. Not that Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Stryper, Carmen, and hundreds of other symbol-wielding artists weren’t onto something. But it’s not exactly a stroke of genius to throw uncontextualized loaded symbols into your artwork.

    Every artist does a crucifix painting. Swastikas, pentagrams, pyramids, BP logos, dollar signs… all powerful stuff, when employed cleverly. So are burning basketballs and old-fashioned milk bottles, I guess.

    More alarming than Jay-Z’s affiliation with ancient secret societies should be that he says basically nothing–not to be hatin’ on a muthafucka, fo’ real–over and over and over again, and yet is lauded as a “genius.” Take “On to the Next One,” for instance. Yet another hip hop song about how badass the song is. It is the ad, the product, and the review simultaneously. Most pop hip hop songs are. Selling a million units of nothing may be crafty–but it is not genius. It may be the work of the Devil, but doesn’t bear the marks of Satanism.

    Jay Z’s the rap equivalent of Billy Ray Cyrus. The musical equivalent of Laffy Taffy. The cultural equivalent of an irresistable piggy bank. So toss another quarter in, muthafuckas. ‘Cause it’s on…

  • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

    The word “genius” gets bandied about a bit too freely. Not that Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Stryper, Carmen, and hundreds of other symbol-wielding artists weren’t onto something. But it’s not exactly a stroke of genius to throw uncontextualized loaded symbols into your artwork.

    Every artist does a crucifix painting. Swastikas, pentagrams, pyramids, BP logos, dollar signs… all powerful stuff, when employed cleverly. So are burning basketballs and old-fashioned milk bottles, I guess.

    More alarming than Jay-Z’s affiliation with ancient secret societies should be that he says basically nothing–not to be hatin’ on a muthafucka, fo’ real–over and over and over again, and yet is lauded as a “genius.” Take “On to the Next One,” for instance. Yet another hip hop song about how badass the song is. It is the ad, the product, and the review simultaneously. Most pop hip hop songs are. Selling a million units of nothing may be crafty–but it is not genius. It may be the work of the Devil, but doesn’t bear the marks of Satanism.

    Jay Z’s the rap equivalent of Billy Ray Cyrus. The musical equivalent of Laffy Taffy. The cultural equivalent of an irresistable piggy bank. So toss another quarter in, muthafuckas. ‘Cause it’s on…

    • Laws456

      Billy Ray Cyrus??? Wow. Do you listen to Jay??

      • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

        More than could possibly be healthy, my friend. Occupational hazard. You know… we ride… all day… all night… big pimpin’… spendin’ cheese… dusting our shoulders off… cause it’s a hard knock life… listening to this drivel…

        Then you start hearing it all the time, even when it’s not playing.

        Dude can throw a few rhymes together, no doubt. And as has been pointed out here, he knows how to pick his producers and graphic designers. Jay-Z knows how to reach his market. Just like Billy “Big Pimpin’ My Daughter Out” Cyrus. Push the right buttons. Like a combination lock on a safe. The pins tumble into place and $ching$

        You know how we do… Foo…

        • Laws456

          Alright, you mentioned some of his bigger radio hits but fans like myself skip over those songs when listening to those particular albums. Jay has an ego, a big one, no doubt about it, but that’s partially what rap is about, being better than your competition. In sports, that’s celebrated, in rap, well when it comes to Jay, I guess it turns some people off because the dude has managed to be so successful for so long. I prefer the “B” side of his catalog, you know the joints that won’t ever make the radio, or if they do it’s only on Funk Flex’s show or some other late night mix show.

          But if you really want to listen to some excellent music, I suggest you check out Distant Relatives, by Nas and Damian Marley.

          • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

            You have a point, Laws. I may be suffering from “hit fatigue.” Sometimes the B-sides of pop stars can be a pleasant surprise. I’ll check out the Distant Relatives.

            And who knows. Maybe the old boys down at the Lodge will be more willing to let me advance through my degrees if I bolster my street cred a little bit.

          • Laws456

            There you go, and plus you may learn something.

  • Adam

    sure thing, if people use images of Miss Piggy, it doesn’t mean they are sucking her titties.

    similar with Jay-Z, he’s just doing it for business, yes, which is fine.

    the real surprise, are the people who go on and on, that he is an Illuminati (we are all Illuminati), thus playing into his record companies’ marketing strategy of creating shit loads more controversy, and thus boosting albums sales, der.

    Adam

  • Adam

    sure thing, if people use images of Miss Piggy, it doesn’t mean they are sucking her titties.

    similar with Jay-Z, he’s just doing it for business, yes, which is fine.

    the real surprise, are the people who go on and on, that he is an Illuminati (we are all Illuminati), thus playing into his record companies’ marketing strategy of creating shit loads more controversy, and thus boosting albums sales, der.

    Adam

    • Laws456

      I know, go to any Hip-hop site and the comments about Jay-Z being part of the Illuminati dominate the conversation. I don’t get it. If he’s part of them, he’s definitely on the lower end of the totem pole, they just use him to push their product.

  • Anon

    His combination of gnostic symbols and incantations of egocentric rhymes/chants work as a type of power/wealth binding attraction majick.

    Or ,as the skeptics say, he’s a really good businessman.

    • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

      That’s fucking hilarious!

  • Anon

    His combination of gnostic symbols and incantations of egocentric rhymes/chants work as a type of power/wealth binding attraction majick.

    Or ,as the skeptics say, he’s a really good businessman.

  • http://cybercasualty.com The JoeBot

    That’s fucking hilarious!

  • Anonymous

    Billy Ray Cyrus??? Wow. Do you listen to Jay??

  • Anonymous

    I know, go to any Hip-hop site and the comments about Jay-Z being part of the Illuminati dominate the conversation. I don’t get it. If he’s part of them, he’s definitely on the lower end of the totem pole, they just use him to push their product.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

    Really, though – isn’t it actually Jay-Z’s graphic designer?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

    Really, though – isn’t it actually Jay-Z’s graphic designer?

  • http://cybercasualty.com The JoeBot

    More than could possibly be healthy, my friend. Occupational hazard. You know… we ride… all day… all night… big pimpin’… spendin’ cheese… dusting our shoulders off… cause it’s a hard knock life… listening to this drivel…

    Then you start hearing it all the time, even when it’s not playing.

    Dude can throw a few rhymes together, no doubt. And as has been pointed out here, he knows how to pick his producers and graphic designers. Jay-Z knows how to reach his market. Just like Billy “Big Pimpin’ My Daughter Out” Cyrus. Push the right buttons. Like a combination lock on a safe. The pins tumble into place and $ching$

    You know how we do… Foo…

  • Anonymous

    Alright, you mentioned some of his bigger radio hits but fans like myself skip over those songs when listening to those particular albums. Jay has an ego, a big one, no doubt about it, but that’s partially what rap is about, being better than your competition. In sports, that’s celebrated, in rap, well when it comes to Jay, I guess it turns some people off because the dude has managed to be so successful for so long. I prefer the “B” side of his catalog, you know the joints that won’t ever make the radio, or if they do it’s only on Funk Flex’s show or some other late night mix show.

    But if you really want to listen to some excellent music, I suggest you check out Distant Relatives, by Nas and Damian Marley.

  • http://cybercasualty.com The JoeBot

    You have a point, Laws. I may be suffering from “hit fatigue.” Sometimes the B-sides of pop stars can be a pleasant surprise. I’ll check out the Distant Relatives.

    And who knows. Maybe the old boys down at the Lodge will be more willing to let me advance through my degrees if I bolster my street cred a little bit.

  • http://cybercasualty.com The JoeBot

    You have a point, Laws. I may be suffering from “hit fatigue.” Sometimes the B-sides of pop stars can be a pleasant surprise. I’ll check out the Distant Relatives.

    And who knows. Maybe the old boys down at the Lodge will be more willing to let me advance through my degrees if I bolster my street cred a little bit.

  • Anonymous

    There you go, and plus you may learn something.

  • Tunaghost

    Goddam right, I’m an occultist and if I’m part of a world-ruling elite I should probably have a bigger apartment.

  • mrfreaklips

    what makes you think jay-z has anything to do with selecting the images in his videos?he is a puppet like any other pop star.the people that pull his strings use those images to pull ours…simple not genius

  • mrfreaklips

    what makes you think jay-z has anything to do with selecting the images in his videos?he is a puppet like any other pop star.the people that pull his strings use those images to pull ours…simple not genius

  • Black Guy

    Joe i think your Rascist I can tell coz your white!

  • Black Guy

    no really your a bladdy NAZI and a dont mean a national socialist fuck that your a bigot motley crue is dope Manson is gay and they are both genius yes they sell people bubble gum but thats what people chew on . NOW DIG THIS WHITEY! Do they make half a billion dollars doing it?

  • Black Guy

    no really your a bladdy NAZI and a dont mean a national socialist fuck that your a bigot motley crue is dope Manson is gay and they are both genius yes they sell people bubble gum but thats what people chew on . NOW DIG THIS WHITEY! Do they make half a billion dollars doing it?

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