Shout out to old Jews and old rules

from Jay Z – Somewhereinamerica Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

“Old jews and old rules” refers to Jewish lawyers that helped along Jay’s path to success. It is another addition to Jay’s long catalog of Jew shoutouts. Lest we forget, there were also, in the late 19th and early 20th century, no shortage of Jewish gangsters.

Jay Z is the new generation of rich, a black man who a few decades ago following ‘the old rules’, couldn’t have been as rich as he is in White America. The “old Jews” reference also speaks to Jewish families often having “old” money: a family history of wealth. He could be saying, shout out to old money, I’m new money. This is further underscored by the following line “new blacks with new stacks”.

He is likely referencing people such as the Jewish Lyor Cohen, his self-proclaimed mentor, who are the money behind a lot of the biggest labels in music; Cohen was the head of Def Jam Records as well as Warner Music Group.

And we all know Hov to be a fan of the “old Jews” known as The Beastie Boys.

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