Shepard Fairey they finally gave me some hope
Can't believe they got a nigga to vote

from Jay Z (Ft. Frank Ocean) – Oceans Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Shepard Fairey is a skateboard illustrator and graphic designer born in Charleston, South Carolina. He’s known for his work on the Banksy film and the graffiti community in general.

Shepard is the author of the poster “Hope” that blew up in the 2008 presidential election (Barack Obama & John McCain) Which makes sense that Jay said “they finally gave me some hope.”

The metaphorical Jay is making a play on this illustrators name to convey a point. A shepherd-( play on Shepard) is one who guides sheep, normally a good role. A ferry-(used to carry passengers/goods) is a play on Fairey. He is using the illustrators name to depict how his painting of Obama aided in winning the presidency by convincing even people like Jay who have no belief in politics to vote. This was also done by Jay-Z with his series of concerts at Barclay’s, he always reminded black people to vote for Obama because that would’ve probably been the only chance they had to actually be heard.

The line might also recall the 15th amendment, and how during the last decades the voting rights were given to more people, even niggas.

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