Jay Z lyric: ''And Jesus can't save you, life starts when the church end''?

In one of Jay Z’s new songs, feat. Alicia Keys called ‘Empire State Of Mind’ there is a lyric in the song:

***’‘And Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church end’’

I’ve seen on some atheist websites, they are proclaiming this lyric has some sort of atheist connotation.

What does Jay Z mean by this lyric? I’m confused!

I am not sure…it could be a commentary on how hard “real life” is.
But anti-Christian messages in hard core rap or rock would not surprise me because I think many of these stars have probably sold their souls to Satan to achieve the level of success they have, I am not saying that to be sensational.

I don’t know who Jay Z is but I would think that the meaning would depend on the context. Without knowing the context any of the following could be what he means:

"I was on the subway yesterday and someone said “…and Jesus can’t save you…”
"When you worship Satan you love him “and Jesus can’t save you…”
"I went to Mass yesterday and heard someone say “and Jesus can’t save you…”
"I saw the following on a tombstone: “and Jesus can’t save you…”
“I am an atheist and don’t believe in God “and Jesus can’t save you…” , so everybody join me in the life we have here on earth - you’re wasting it in church”
"I’m a druid “and Jesus can’t save you…”
"I’m psychotic and worship Santa Claus “and Jesus can’t save you…”

Add to that about 100 million other interpretations and I think you’ll see that it really depends on the context and even then, it’s a song. It’s just a song.

I was wondering about that line 2…b/c other than that it’s a cool song…If you watch the video though he appears to be making the Sign of the Cross when talking about the World Trade Center

2.04 min mark :signofcross:

Oh. I didn’t know it was a rap song. I can never understand what any of the lyrics are on rap songs. I’m amazed that anyone can.

He’s talking about the ‘high life’ of New York City (what, did you forget the Alicia Keys chorus about the bright lights, etc.?), about being in the scene with the ball players and rappers and how he’s the new Sinatra because he can make it in New York so he can make it anywhere. Therefore, given what he did to get where he is today (hint: he wasn’t flipping burgers), Jay-Z is referring to the moral concessions that happen when you do what he did and run into drugs and booze and an entourage with no morals.

Atheism? Please. There’s no such thing as atheist hip-hop. Doesn’t exist.

It’s a little difficult for me to believe he’s singing about atheism, considering how the subject of Beyonce’s song “Halo” is her husband, the aforementioned Jay-Z. (Not to mention, I’m pretty sure if he were atheist, he wouldn’t be too happy with her singing about him in her version of “Ave Maria,” either.)

Very Simple In Its essence.
God directly translates into
“Object of Worship”.
When this word was translated from the most ancient of texts it was taken out of context. As you may know, in the most authentic manuscripts of god was depicted by either “EL” or “AH”. Hence the name Sarah (Sara meaning soul or princess) translates to soul (or princess) of God. The problem is that when they translated this word, they dropped its plural meaning. ELOHEEM or ELOHIM was a plural representation of the source of all living things. When paganism was superimposed over the ancient scriputres, they produced stories such as Jesus and The Three Kings. Jesus being born on December 25, to a Virgin Mary And Three Kings (or Wise Men) Pointing to his Birth was actually meant dedication to addoration and the recognition of the sun. Jesus and his twelve disciples symbolized the Sun passing through the twelve houses of the Zodiac or the twelve months of the year. The Four Gospels (appearing in the manner in which they do) were the four seasons. The ancients had HORUS born of A Virgin on December Twenty Fith, Died on The CROSS and After THREE DAYS was RESURRECTED. This was stolen by the Early Europeans and was used (and unfortunatley continues to be used by the establishments of today) to control and influence the winds of change within society. On December 25, and only on this date, a constalation lines up behind the sun known as the southern cross and reresented the cross. Due to the fact that our planet is not round, and is actually an elipses, the sun APPEARS (on december 25-28 only) to Set or DIE on this cross, and after EXACTLY THREE DAYS APPEARS to ACTUALLY rise again or become RESURRECTED on this same cross. The Three Wise Men who were Pointing toward the birth of Jesus(HORUS) or the SUN were actually the constallation of ORION as it lines up perfectly on this date, and also marked by a star in the EAST. Now you see Jesus was just the SUN and was mistakenly taken for a real person due to the manipulation of the Higher Powers That Have Been and Will Continue To Be. The Reason Whey the RESURRECTION of JESUS is not celabrated until EASTER is because the SUN finally over powers the darkness by giving us longer days.

So Jay Z’s comment about Jeus can’t save you…is actually meant to be helpful and truthful.


um, …no.

You`ve taken too much notice of that blatantly slanderously lying film “Zeitgeist”, plus some other fantasy from elsewhere.

From an astronomical point of view, the whole thing is skewed.
For a start, the Constellation Crux (or Crux Australis) is too far south to be anywhere near the sun at any time of the year. From those northern latitudes, at its highest point in the sky, it would have been close to the southern horizon. Any stars near (line of sight) the sun are overpowered by its glare…

A complete mix up of history, as well.

Totally New Age and pagan.

l take Jay Z with a pinch of salt nowadays. He once had a track that when played backwards said Murder Murder Jesus! and also had another song called Lucifer. One of his nicknames is HOVA, short for Jay Hova, which is culled from Jehovah. l can’t really not be suspicious of him and his wife when they sing Ave Maria or Halo, and other heavenly things cos there might be some hidden message we do not immediately realise. l am not sure, but l have my doubts.
About athiesm in hip hop, it would appear there may be. A lot of successful rappers belong to a Nation of Nine, or something like that, where they see themselves as gods.

JayZ has also been seen wearing a Che Guevara tshirt, that just shows his ignorance cause if he knew what Che thought about blacks i guarantee you he would probably make a whole album against Che and his waked out philosophy … lol

I stop listening to rap long ago… :shrug:

Here is a link to the lyrics:


It is sad seeing these rap idols continuing to shovel this offensive stuff as music and the young minds they steer to distruction. Blind guides leading the blind to whom a millstone awaits in the next life.

I’m shocked…j/k. I’d rather eat a cactus than ever contemplate any lyric by this miscreant.

I always took that as similar to a kid saying the most important part of a church was the exit-because if you don’t live your faith, then your being here is kinda pointless…

That said, that’s the only video from his most recent album I can stomach (I am an old fan of the original Blueprint: love the soul samples in “Heart of the City” and “Song Cry” among others)

Hey guys,

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 :stuck_out_tongue:


Dont know why but this forum isnt allowing me to post links. Anyway there is a website called OHHLA (ORIGINAL hip hop lyrics archive) that contains a comprehensive database of lyrics. Perhaps the largest on the web. Its worth looking into.

This is an excellent source. Alot of hip hop is very meaningful unfortunately its always eclipsed by less substative music.

Having watched the video and read the lyrics (never heard of it before now), I’m pretty sure he’s trying to say something about innocent little girls getting caught up in the city “high life”: drugs, prostitution, etc. What better way to conjure up an image of innocent little girls than to mention Mary, Jesus, and the church?

It doesn’t seem like a dig at the church to me, per se. But then I’ve never tried to interpret hip-hop before. Ugh.

I think I would agree with your interpretation more if I had not seen a fairly consistent line in the use of Christian icons, dogma and doctrine in Jay-Zs music and music videos. Some sounds borderline blasphemous. That added to the roots of rap and hip hop in their resistance to the establishment and organized (European) religion would logically lead one to think that his mention of Jesus and Mary was not totally innocent.

I’ll be honest I didn’t read the other postings besides what I glanced at as I scrolled down and am very suprised that some ppl actually are taking this deeply.I honestly mean no offense or disrespect with that,I’m just stating I’m a suprised about the level of depth some ppl gave to their answers to something I just consider a sensationalist craving for attention in some overglamorized song.Yet like that one part of the “In Paris” song with Kanye West goes…
I don’t even know what that means.
(No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative)
No, it’s not
(It gets the people going!)

Knowing Jay-Z he probably just penned it cos it sounded profound. That brey is all surface no content these days, trust.

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