Today marked the relatively quiet debut of Jay-Z’s Life + Times, the lifestyle and entertainment website offering you a heavily filtered, clearly outsourced glimpse into the mind and matters of Hova himself—specifically, all the cool stuff he likes that you might like too. As you might expect, it looks like a bajillion dollars, with a cool, aesthetically appealing layout, and tons of content on rich-people shit like cars and clothes you’ll never pop the tags on.
And yet, it’s also kind of cold and alien, and completely distant from Jay-Z. To use a couple of obvious inspirations from Jay-Z’s coterie, so far it falls somewhere between Kanye West’s classic, exclamation-point-riddled blog of old—before he traded pictures of sneakers accompanied by “SO DOPE!!!!!” headlines for straightforward self-promotion—and the sort of unrealistically aspirational musings peddled by his pal Gwyneth Paltrow over at GOOP. But unlike either of those sites, so far there’s nothing that hints at a personal touch, save this kinda crappy photo of clouds that boasts Jay-Z’s only byline (as “SC”) so far.
Still, he’s clearly put some serious thought into this—or at least, into asking members of Roc Nation to find some people to put some serious thought into it. The site boasts its own dedicated editorial staff, and it’s already loaded up with articles in areas like fashion, design, sports, and technology. And if it occasionally struggles to create a connection between Jay-Z and subjects such as, say, chef Daniel Boloud with dubious claims like, “The way he handles his business, our man Daniel is more like a rap star,” well, hopefully that’s just part of its growing pains. We’re sure before long Life + Times will develop into a less awkward extension of hip-hop’s most preeminent mogul, and maybe even provide a fitting retirement option, as Jay-Z transitions in his winter years to filing columns on handling each of life’s 99-plus problems, which is like that song he wrote one time.