Answers to Some of the Tough Questions Posed in the Song “Why” by Jadakiss

The popular and controversial hip-hop song asks a lot of questions, though it doesn’t get many answers.

Q: “Why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets?”

A: Jadakiss uses a restricted carb diet and exercise regimen that combines high-intensity aerobic activity with weight training.

Q: “Why is the industry designed to keep the artist in debt?”

A: Jada is perhaps a little paranoid when it comes to this question. Though record labels and retail outlets often do receive greater financial rewards than the artists themselves, the “industry’s” main goal is not to keep the artist “in debt.” This is merely a side benefit resulting from an imbalance in the power structure between corporation and artist that dates back to the earliest wax-cylinder recordings.

Q: “Why they gonna give you life for murder? Turn around and only give you eight months for a burner?”

A: To answer the first part, the common school of thought is that if you take a life with your own hands, you should be fortunate to receive life instead of death by lethal injection, or in ancient times, the axe. If by “burner” Mr. Kiss means a joint, or marijuana cigarette, eight months is perhaps a severe punishment, but in relation to murder, appropriate, because getting high in the grand scale of things is at least several notches lower than say, stabbing a rival in the eye.

Q: “Why they sellin’ niggaz CDs for under a dime?”

A: The average retail price for a full length CD is somewhere around $17, considerably more than a “dime.” Jadakiss appears to be off base on this one unless he is referring to the massive Chinese bootleg market where CDs by popular American artists are frequently sold at extreme discounts. However, there are no lyrics in “Why” that might provide appropriate context for this conclusion.

Q: “Why are you even alive?”

A: Well, my mom and dad met at a party, had a few drinks, and here I am.

Q: “Why did Kobe have to hit that raw? Why he kiss that whore?”

A: Kobe did not have to “hit that raw”; he could have used protection if he felt it necessary, but he likely fell prey to the complex power dynamic that often causes top-flight athletes or other famous figures to see themselves as not necessarily subject to common social mores.

Q: “Why did Bush knock down the towers?”

A: There is no evidence that President Bush was involved in the 9/11 attacks. In this passage, Jadakiss is proclaiming his support of the Kerry/Edwards ticket with a misguided intensity.

Q: “Why they stop letting niggaz get degrees in jail?”

A: There are some jurisdictions where all inmates regardless of ethnicity have been prohibited from earning credits toward degrees, but there is no policy that specifically excludes African-Americans from pursuing degrees in jail. Perhaps Mr. Kiss is making reference to the disproportionate number of African-Americans who are currently incarcerated (most often for possession of a “burner”) and therefore unable to advance in their educations.

Q: “Why they let the Terminator win the election?”

A: Jadakiss seems to misunderstand the California recall election process. No one officially let Mr. Schwarzenegger win the election, he won it fair and square with the largest proportion of votes. That’s how it is in America, where one has to actually win an election and not just force one’s way into office with a systematic effort to exclude opposition voters in a key southern state, followed by a definitive ruling from an conveniently stacked Supreme Court.

and the last question for today is…

Q:“Why my buzz in L.A. ain’t like it is in New York?”

A: If Jadakiss is talking about the strength of the marijuana in southern California versus that found in the Northeast, this is likely due to regional differences in the potency and THC content. If he is talking about his word-of-mouth popularity: Just give it time, my friend. After all, you are as hard as it gets.