For Jay Z, no recent month has been more favorable to his image as hip-hop's preeminent renaissance man than his birthday month, this year, in December. As reported previously by The Shadow League, Jay recently secured a 10-year, $240 million contract for 31-year-old All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano with the Seattle Mariners on December 6. This came despite a litany of doubts showered upon what was described as his "rookie" approach at negotiating a sports contract. If only all beginners were so lucky.
And the Barney's situation, while all the rage in the media just weeks ago, is now virtually water under the bridge. Carter faced blistering criticism because he did not cease his business dealings with Barney's amid allegations of racial profiling against African American shoppers Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips at the store's New York location.
But this week, Rev. Al Sharpton announced department stores that had agreed to a Shopper's Bill of Rights. Executives from Barney's, Macy's, Sak's Fifth Ave and Bergdorf's, were among those behind the bill that combats stop and frisk type tactics used against shoppers. And Carter appears to have been one of the visionaries behind this Bill's creation, having agreed to assist in formulating similar literature as part of a council convened to combat racial profiling at Barney's. This good news comes when his entire collection that was on sale at Barney's - with items like ski masks going for close to $700 - nearly sold out a week ago with all proceeds going to the Shawn Carter Foundation.
And the recent positive shine doesn't end there. On Sunday, Dec. 8, the nominations for the 56th annual Grammy Awards were announced and he received nine nods in such categories as Album of the Year for Magna Carta/Holy Grail, Best Rap Performance for "Holy Grail," Best Rap Album for Magna Carta/Holy Grail and Best Rap Collaboration for duets with Justin Timberlake and Beyonce, to name a few. His nine nominations are the most for any nominee this year.
Is it a coincidence that all of the aforementioned wins for Mr. Carter occurred shortly after the mogul took on the challenge of a spiritual cleansing via a plant-based diet? Perhaps we can surmise something from his statement released on Jay's "Life + Times" blog last week.
"On December 3rd, one day before my 44th birthday I will embark on a 22 Days challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!!" Jay Z wrote, citing a theory of psychology that it takes someone 21 days to form or break a habit. "This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace a 'plant-based breakfast' everyday. It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought."
"There's something spiritual to me about it being my 44th birthday and the serendipity behind the number of days in this challenge; 22 (2+2=4) coupled with the fact that the challenge ends on Christmas day," he add. "It just feels right!"
So you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse. I will post my progress … Any professional vegans out there that have any great food spots please help out! Please ha. I don’t know what happens after Christmas. A semi-vegan, a full plant-based diet? Or just a spiritual and physical challenge? We’ll see…
Best of luck and health!
P.S. B is also joining me."
And if "feeling right" means recalibrating ones mental and physical faculties, perhaps we all should work on experiments of the serendipitous pursuit of what feels right. Serendipity is described by those who practice it as a "happy accident," so perhaps Jay's new nascent steps down the road of spirituality have him off on a winning streak of Jordan-esque proportions as he dominates the month from a P.R. perspective. And perhaps Carter's plant-based diet was indeed the sublime catalyst behind it all.
He wouldn't be the first high-profile man to pass on meat. Bill Clinton lives on a plant-based diet, along with Rev. Al Sharpton, and an increasing number of prominent individuals. Aside from its positive effects on eliminating bad cholesterol, practitioners say the entire mindset is transformed from one filled with fear, anger, doubt and aggression, to one that is far more peaceful and tranquil.
"I don’t eat meat because meat brings out negative qualities such as fear, anger, anxiety, aggressiveness, etc. Vegetables peacefully offer themselves to the earth when ripe, thus allowing a sublime and peaceful thought-consciousness"- Carlos Santana, Musician.
Others point out that one can't ignore the karmic benefits Hov picked up from avoiding meat. The farm factories that produce it treat animals we eat like trash, locked up in horrific conditions that promote disease and overgrowth, all for the sake of a cheaper product. The animal industry uses 80 percent of the antibiotics in the United States. Medicines necessary because the horrendous treatment of these animals causes pink eye and liver failure in many of them, while contributing to the outbreaks of e-coli seen in the USA on an annual basis.
A recent expose in Rolling Stone opened with this chilling description of an average farm factory.
"...the blood on sows’ snouts cut by cages so tight they can’t turn around or lie sideways; the racking cries of broken-legged pigs, hauled into alleys by dead-eyed workers and left there to die of exposure."
Is it a mere coincidence that Shawn Carter's positive win streak was sparked after changing his diet? Is this a conspiracy theory? Maybe. But we've got you thinking. Those progressive eaters subsiding on vegan-based diets believe the very idea is almost transcendental in nature. You're still you, but with a plant-based attitude. Imagine the things a vegan Jay Z could accomplish? What exactly would the world's illest plant-based rhyme sound like? There's a 33 percent chance we find out the answer to all of those questions on Dec. 26, the day after he decides whether to remain vegan, stay with a meat-based diet, or subsist on a more balanced combination of both.
But until then, the stars are clearly aligning for Hova as he rides a spiritual high to greater, more positive, wealth and glory.