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Jay-Z vows to clean up his lyrics following daughter's birth - updated

Jay-Z performs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Peter Power/Peter Power/ The Globe and Mail

Update: Not so fast: Reports that rapper Jay-Z has given up the word b-tch in his lyrics appear to be untrue. E! News is now reporting that a source close to the rapper's camp said that the poem posted online which outlined Jay-Z's change of heart was not, in fact, written by Jay-Z.



Blue Ivy Carter has been making news from the minute she was born to her famous parents, Beyonce and Jay-Z, for everything from her unique name and the posh conditions of her birth, to the fact that a song released by Jay-Z, which included sounds of her cooing, has made her the youngest person officially credited on the U.S. Billboard chart.

But now, the bundle of joy might also be responsible for less bad language - or at least the word b-tch - in rap lyrics, according to a piece on music site NME.com.

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In a poem written to his new baby, Jay-Z vowed never to use the word "b-tch" again:

"Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich/I didn't think hard about using the word b-tch/I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it/Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it."

He goes on to write that "No man will degrade her, or call her name. I'm so focused on your future, the degradation has passed..."

So, "99 problems but a lady ain't one," it is, apparently.

The move has stirred a vigourous debate about the power of language in rap music.

Blogger Madam President wasn't having it, pointing out that using profane language has influenced children for the past 20 years.

"I believe in change Mr.Carter - I just don't believe you've changed! If you are truly retiring the word out of respect for your daughter, it's sad you skipped the respect for your mother and wife!"

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Over at the MyBrownBaby blog, writer Nick Chiles defended the rapper's statement.

"But are we not going to allow the man to grow, to change his views over time? Is it not possible that when a powerful figure like Jay-Z comes forward and renounces his previously misogynistic ways, that it may have an even bigger impact than if he had never used the word at all?"

Mr. Chiles writes that as a father of two girls, "I understand that rappers like Jay-Z have contributed to the difficult and sometimes hateful environment that my girls were born into. I am not pleased about that."

Still, Mr Chiles says he applauds Jay-Z's apparent evolution and believes in the power of repentance.

So, does Jay-Z's heartfelt pledge make up for some of the past ills of the rap industry? Can having a baby really inspire a parent to change for the better?



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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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