I adore popular music, and I know about Jay Z a fair bit. Though he’s not Catholic (makes quite a few Catholic references in his songs though), he does believe in God.
A lot of music is sensationalist, and hip-hop/rap is no different. It’s a product of 80’s hood life, and when you walk as hard as they do, you talk as hard as they do.
In any case, that Jesus/Mary allusion was essentially about making it in New York City. You can’t just walk into town and expect to be the next big thing.
Though it can be taken offensively, I kinda admire what he’s saying. I know many non-Catholics who treat Christianity like a get-out-of-jail free card. It doesn’t matter what they do, if they’re lazy, or greedy, or arrogant or whatever, it’s okay because they love Jesus and will get into heaven.
We, as Catholics, know we have to put in the hard yards in this life, and even then, we’d be sorry for even stepping around the throne of Jesus in heaven.
Faith and good works. Perhaps leave out hip hop hard talk though