By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover
When you're a rapper mogul who already has a sterling career, one of the few remaining successful labels and Beyonce for a wife, what else is there left to do? Well, apparently the next item on Jay-Z's bucket list was establishing his own lifestyle website, appropriately named Life + Times.
At the moment, Life + Times is vaguely Tumblr-ific, with a collage of pics that feed into articles, videos and random thoughts. There's even an introductory video that, uh, explains pretty much nothing. Except that somewhere down the line, Life + Times might just be hosting snowboarding and interviews with bearded old white men. Cool? Of course, the real news is that Jay-Z, or his chosen site designers, apparently really, really want to use the site to promote hip young indie bands.
Up first are Cat Fancy subscribers Best Coast, who get the profile treatment in a lushly shot video that shows the band prepping for a show by bowling (badly) and just generally hanging out. There's also a piece on uber mysterious lo-fi R&B act The Weeknd, who are like a more slow jams oriented XX if they were Canadian. Rounding things out are segments on college basketball, trendy ski wear, and Brazilian photography, amongst other subjects.
Is Life + Times pretty? Undoubtedly. Does it serve a purpose? Well, that's not so clear yet. At the moment the site isn't all that different from others of its ilk, except with a much larger budget. But at the same time, you have to give Jay-Z credit for putting his funds towards creative endeavors and using the massive platform of his public persona to promote acts like The Weeknd, even if he isn't necessarily the one finding these artists.