Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” and the Occult Connections
Jay-Z’s latest video called Run This Town (featuring Rihanna and Kanye West) contains occult symbolism relating to secret societies. It has been long rumored that Jay-Z is part of some sort of occult order (probably Freemasonry) due to the hints slipped in his songs and his imagery. Run This Town certainly adds fuel to the fire. We’ll look at the symbolism in this song and in his clothing line, Rocawear.
I’m pretty sure Jay-Z does it on purpose and that he appreciates the attention it gets him. He has been steadily displaying occult symbolism in his songs, videos and in the designs of his Rocawear clothing line. The Brooklyn rapper has lately been associating himself with Freemasonry, Illuminati and other orders. Is he now initiated in one of those Brotherhoods and eager to show it off? Why does he appear in other videos containing occult meanings (see Rihanna’s Umbrella or Beyonce’s Crazy in Love)?
The video to Run This Town was directed by Anthony Mandler, who also did Rihanna’s Disturbia video. The least we can say is that Mandler certainly knows how to insert dark symbolism into a video.
“Do What Thou Wilt”
Before we get into the video, a couple of things need to be explained in order to understand Jay-Z’s mindset and where he gets his ideas from. The symbols that will be discussed in this article can’t be coincidences or a collection of random items. Jay-Z draws his inspiration from specific sources and associates with like-minded people (director Anthony Mandler) to integrate those ideas. A telling example can be found in the second trailer video for “Run This Town”. We see Jay-Z explaining the concept of the video while wearing a black hoodie bearing the saying “Do What Thou Wilt”.
“Do What Thou Wilt” is the official dictum of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) and of its reformer, occultist Aleister Crowley. The O.T.O. is a hermetic order modeled after Freemasonry and German Illuminism and teaches its initiates the secrets of the Mysteries, Gnosticism, sex magick, Kaballah and other occult sciences. Contrarily to Freemasonry, the O.T.O. is however based on the “Law of Thelema” which main precept is “Do What Thou Wilt be the whole of the Law“. Although this saying was interpreted in different ways, most agree that it refers to the dismissal of conventional moral and ethical rules in order to find one’s “True Will”. In other words, the usual guidelines by which good and evil are determined to have to be blurred and forgotten to obtain the true path to illumination. Crowley explains this notion rather clearly here:
“There are no “standards of Right”. Ethics is balderdash. Each Star must go on its own orbit. To hell with “moral principle”; there is no such thing”
–Crowley, Aleister. The Old and New Commentaries to Liber AL, II,28.
Although not officially considered “satanic”, the O.T.O. does fully embrace the Luciferian doctrine (see Crowley’s poem “Hymn to Lucifer) and its high-level members are referred to as “Most Illuminated and Most Puissant Baphomet”. Baphomet is, of course, the horned androgynous idol of Western Occultism.
Is Jay-Z part of the O.T.O. or does he just like that shirt? Don’t know. We will, however, see that he is very educated in the field of occult symbolism and that he enjoys hinting people that he associates with the Brotherhood. Here’s the video.
“Run This Town” Analysis
So this is the video at face value: Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West are performing in front of an angry mob, which is apparently out to overthrow the current order of things and thus “Run This Town”. The aesthetics of the video are reminiscent of movements led by rebel factions in third world African or Latino countries. When one listens closely to the lyrics, however, something seems to be “off”. Jay-Z and Kanye are mainly rapping about how rich and famous they are and are describing bourgeoisie luxuries such as Maison Martin Margiela clothes, bottles of Riesling and Maybach cars. This isn’t exactly the type of speech Che Guevara would give. Despite the looks, the artists aren’t quite revolutionary, they can even be considered pro-establishment. Is this a political rebellion or could it be philosophical/spiritual? The visuals of the video hint a second, occult meaning to the song. At the beginning of the video, a man hands a lit torch to Rihanna who holds it up in the air. This symbolic gesture sums up perfectly the concept of the video.
Anybody vaguely familiar with occultism can easily associate the symbol of the lit torch held high to Lucifer a.k.a. the Light Bearer. Most occult orders secretly acknowledge Lucifer as being the savior of humanity, the fallen angel who liberated men from the oppression of the biblical God (Jehovah, Yahweh). These orders (the main one being Freemasonry) have been working for centuries towards the overthrow of the rule of organized religions to usher in a new age or a “New Order”. At the philosophical center of this order: the Luciferian Doctrine, where men are free to become gods by their own means. The Torch of Illumination is the ultimate symbol of this philosophy and can be found in many instances (see Statue of Liberty, a gift from French Freemasons). The goal of the Illuminist has been put in plain in simple words: they are dedicated to the “coming forth of the conquering light“. “Run This Town” visually represents this aim in a clear way for the initiates yet concealed for the profane. Consequently, the video contains a second level of interpretation: “Run This Town” is an announcement of the coming of a New World Order, lead by secret (Luciferian) societies. Rihanna’s ominous intro explains how it is going down.
Feeling it coming in the air, hear the screams from everywhere, I’m addicted to thrill, Its a dangerous love affair, Can’t be scared when it goes down, got a problem tell me now, Only thing that’s on my mind is who gon run this town tonight, who gon run this town tonite
Rihanna’s lyrics are announcing an imminent change that might terrify or enrage some people (“hear the screams from everywhere“). The torches hint to a new spiritual and philosophical era where Lucifer is king. She is “addicted to the thrill” of being on the dark side and she knows that dealing with it is a “dangerous love affair“. But regardless of all of this, it all comes down to control, hence “Only thing that’s on my mind is who gon run this town tonight“. Then Jay-Z comes along and announces the coming of “Roc Nation” (Roc being a diminutive of Rocafella, the name of his record label, which is based on the elite family Rockefeller).
We are, yeah, I said it, we are This is Roc Nation, pledge your allegiance Get y’all fatigues on, all black everything Black cards, black cars, all black everything And our girls are blackbirds, riding with they Dillingers I get more in-depth if you boys really real enough This is La Familia, I’ll explain later But for now, let me get back to this paper I’m a couple bands down and I’m tryna get back I gave Doug a grip, I lost a flip for five stacks Yeah, I’m talking five comma six zeroes dot zero ? Back to running circles ’round niggas, now we squared up
Jay-Z is asking you to “Pledge your allegiance” to the new ruler and to wear black everything to honor him. Jay’s lyrics contain hints to Freemasonry that are hidden in the double meaning of some lines. “I gave Doug a grip” means he gave Doug a stack of money but the double meaning of that line would refer to the Masons’ secret handshakes which are called “grips”. And who is Doug? Might be Doug Morris. The last line of his first verse is “Back to running circles’ round niggas, now we squared up“. Aside from its obvious meaning, it also refers to the important Masonic concept of “squaring the circle”, which is way too deep to explain here (“I get more in-depth if you boys really real enough“). In the second verse, Jay-Z says “It’s the return of thee god“, which refers to the Luciferian belief of men being gods. This term is often used in NY slang and originates from the fact that many rappers were Five-Percenters, a philosophy based on the belief that all men are gods. Further in the song, Jay-Z says: “I’m in Maison, ugh, Martin Margiela” which is an upper-end fashion store. English speaking people usually pronounce the French word “Maison” to sound like “mayzaun”. Jay-Z, however, says it to sound like “Mason” as in “Freemason”. There is an obvious double-meaning here meant to catch the ear of the listener. He basically says “I’m in Mason” to make people say “huh did he really say that?” as “I’m a Freemason” but he then continues by saying “ugh, Martin Margiela“. The little pause after he says those words accentuate the effect. Then Rihanna comes back with the chorus.
Life’s a game but it’s not fair I break the rules so I don’t care So I keep doing my own thing Walking tall against the rain Victory’s within the mile Almost there, don’t give up now Only thing that’s on my mind Is who gon’ run this town tonight
She says that the game of life is corrupted but she still succeeds because she “breaks the rules”. In other words, she ignores the boundaries between good and evil to achieve her goals. This might remind you of the saying “Do What Thou Wilt” of the Ordo Templi Orientis described above. Those lines refer to her as a person and also to the Order as a whole, who is prepared to commit the most horrible acts to reach its goals. “Victory’s within the mile” means that the realization of the New World Order is at its final stages and that the Illuminati-sponsored revolution is about to happen.
So “Run This Town” contains obvious hints leading towards Luciferian philosophy and occult orders. The fire of Lucifer’s torch esoterically represents divine knowledge and wisdom brought to men. Fire in this vi, however, wever a destructive force. What type of knowledge are we giving these rebellious people, who represent the masses of fans?
Jay-Z and Occult Symbolism
Jay-Z’s clothing line “Rocawear” has incorporated obvious occult symbols in its designs. Some are so blatantly Masonic that he probably couldn’t get away with it if he wasn’t effectively implicated with them. In interviews, Jay-Z has said to be actively involved in the choices of designs of his clothing line. Here are some examples:
The logo above is designed to look like the Eye of Horus below.
Rapper Prodigy from the mythical group Mobb Deep has occasionally denounced Jay-Z’s affiliation with the Illuminati in the last years. Here’s an URB article on the subject.
Like he does in his monthly blog on Vibe.com, the incarcerated Prodigy recently spewed more of his conspiracy theories via a handwritten letter to URB. This time, he reveals the moment his eyes were opened to the sham he calls “the government, religions, politics, the Federal Reserve, and I.R.S.” According to P, in 1996, after reading a book by Dr. Malichi Z. York titled Leviathan 666, he was moved so much, he cried, and that was his “moment of clarity.” “I was crying for all of humanity, but mostly for my black people ’cause I then realized it was all a sham,” Prodigy writes in his letter to URB. “The government, religions, politics, the Federal Reserve, the I.R.S., and everything that we believe and live by is a joke.” Even worse, the rapper says that many popular rappers are aware of these society secrets, but choose not to speak on it for fear of not being accepted by corporate America. One, in particular, is Jay-Z. Occult Secrets of Jay Z, Kanye & Nas “J.Z. knows the truth, but he chose sides with evil in order to be accepted in the corporate world. J.Z. conceals the truth from the black community and the world, and promotes the lifestyle of the beast instead,” he wrote. Prodigy says that Jay grew up grew up in Dr. York’s “Nuwabian” community in Brooklyn as a kid, and is “aware” of these evils — rogue government, elitists running the country, etc. Because of Jay’z refusal to speak on the topics Prodigy has been doing so since his incarceration, he will make it a point to wage war against him. “J.Z is a God damn lie. I have so much fire in my heart that I will relentlessly attack J.Z, Illuminati, and any-every other evil that exists until my lights are put out,” P writes. “This negativity I speak of is an actual living entity that uses us as food. We must sever ties with it in order to see things for what they really are. This negative energy is created and harnessed by the Illuminati secret government and they will make you spread this energy without you even knowing it. But people like J.Z. are very well aware. He was schooled by Dr. York,” he continued.
So, the least we can say is that Jay-Z has “affinities” with occultism and secret societies. “Run This Town” only adds to the suspicions surrounding him due to the symbolism and philosophy displayed in the video. In light of those facts, some questions arise: has Jay-Z sided with the elite to succeed in the corporate world? Is he used to promote NWO agenda? Or is this an act to fuel rumors and to add a little “mystique” around his persona? Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe he’s doing this to get people like me writing and to generate buzz around his latest album. If this article has promoted Jay-Z, so be it. At least people will know what the they’re saluting when they’re throwing up that Roc sign.
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