January 31, 2023


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Hakeem Jeffries’ House of Representatives Speech Set to Nas’ ‘Ether’

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After a humiliating week-long deadlock that saw a far-right Republican group delay work in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy was finally confirmed as House leader in the early hours of Saturday.

As part of the transfer of power from the previous Democratic leadership, incoming Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries delivered a powerful speech that was often interrupted by catcalls from far-right groups, which seemed to have locked in their goal of disrupting the government rather than focusing on themselves. Present any practical solutions.

Jeffries’ speech included what he called the “ABCs of American Values,” a slightly hokey but forcefully worded alphabetical recitation of a string of words that describe what government should and shouldn’t do.

Over the weekend, some talent set speeches to the music of Nas’ 2001 song “Ether” — a choice that comes with its own subtext: The song from Nas’ “Stillmatic” album is a diss track inspired by Jay-Z. “Takeover,” released in the midst of a feud between the two New York rappers: “Ether” even includes the line “Fuck Jay-Z.” However, the pair buried the hatchet in 2005, when Nas joined Jay-Z on stage at a concert in the New York area. “All beef shit done, we had our fun,” Jay said on stage. “Let’s get this money.” The pair have remained friends and collaborated together several times in the years since.

“We will always place American values ​​above tyranny, charity above bigotry, the Constitution above religion, democracy above democracy, economic opportunity above extremism, freedom above fascism.”

Several mid-alphabet references elicited the most severe reaction from that group: “Maturity on Mar-a-Lago. Normality over negativity. Opportunity over obstacles, people over politics. Quality of life issues compared to QAnon.”

He concludes with “reason over racism, substance over slander, triumph over tyranny, burden over ugliness, voting rights over voter suppression, working-class families over well-connected, genial over xenophobia, yes we can’t you can’t do it and zealous. “Representation on the Zero-sum Conflict.”

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