As most of you no doubt already know, the new iPhone 4S includes a new feature -- a loyal digital assistant named "Siri," who has a comforting voice and will make it so you never have to actually enter search terms in Google or use the maps app ever again. Eventually, humanity will stop evolving and lose the Dolphin Wars of 2031, but until then, Siri is available to answer all of your hard-hitting questions. So, I decided to put Siri to the test and ask her all of the questions that Jadakiss asks in his 2004 single, "Why?"
The song, which Wikipedia calls a "protest song" -- whatever, we'll go with it! -- featured Jadakiss asking a series of questions that are primarily about contemporary life and issues that concern both the music industry and the African-American community. But Jadakiss presses beyond those borders, seeking some enlightenment on issues of his own identity ("Why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets?") as well as some larger, philosophical concerns ("Why are you even alive?").
As you can see in the video, the unanswerability of these questions had a particular salience back in 2004, at which time ordinary people on the streets did not have the smartphone technology that they do today. (Also, apparently many people still had televisions from the 1970s.) Bridging the gap between the uncertainty of the immediate moment and a state of clarity is one of the challenges that Siri was designed to address. Though, it should be said that surely Jadakiss has, in the intervening time, gotten an answer to many of these inquiries. For example: "Why at the bar you ain't take straight shots instead of poppin Crist'?" Study your Jay-Z, Jadakiss: "I used to drink Cristal, muthaf-----s racist, so I switched Gold Bottles on to that spade sh-t."
Nevertheless, Jadakiss asks many questions that still matter in 2011. And Siri...well, she did her best. It should be noted that at times, Siri took to this task like a duck takes to a hot river of tar. I did what I could to pose the question in a way that Siri could understand, and it wasn't always simple to do.
But for the most part, this experiment yielded some positive results. It's clear that Jadakiss would find Siri quite useful -- especially in the service of locating various services that are in his area. In fact, Siri takes a holistic approach to providing her services -- she'll point you in the direction of an area bar one minute, and attempt to divine the location of an addiction treatment center the next. And she'll do so without judgment.
In fact, it seems pretty clear that Siri would be a good friend and companion to Jadakiss. We occasionally just need someone to tell us that sometimes there are no easy answers to many of life's questions, but if there's one certain thing we can cling to, as we scrabble through our lives, seeking out what meaning we can as we fill the numerous empty days until we are returned to the dust from whence we came, it's that there's probably a restaurant serving wrap sandwiches just a few blocks away. We'll get there together, somehow.
What follows is the loose transcript between Jadakiss and Siri, with me acting as an interpreter. Special thanks to HuffPost's researcher/office manager extraordinaire Brad Shannon, who lent me the use of his phone. Brad, I'm very sorry that your phone now thinks that you wanted to engage the services of a prostitute.
JADAKISS: Yo, why is Jadakiss as hard as it gets?
SIRI: Let me check on that. How about a web search for "Why is Jay to kiss as hard as it gets?"
JADAKISS: Why is the industry designed to keep the artist in debt?
SIRI: I found a number of art stores. 22 of them are fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: And why them dudes ain't ridin' if they're part of your set?
SIRI: Let me think about that. I can't answer that.
JADAKISS: And why they never get it poppin' but they party to death?
SIRI: What kind of place are you looking for? Parks or parking lots?
JADAKISS: Yea, and why they gon give you life for a murder, turn around only give you eight months for a burner?
SIRI: Checking my sources. (Sources are apparently the iCarly Wikiquote page.)
JADAKISS: Why they sellin' niggas' CDs for under a dime?
SIRI: I found a number of music stores, 22 of them are fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: If it's all love daddy why you come wit your nine?
JADAKISS: Why my niggas ain't get that cake?
SIRI: I found 11 pastry shops, 10 of them are fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: Why is a brother up North better than Jordan, that ain't get that break?
SIRI: Let me think. I don't know that.
JADAKISS: Why you ain't stackin' instead of tryin' to be fly?
SIRI: I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't answer that.
JADAKISS: Why is rattin' at an all time high?
SIRI: I found nine police stations. Seven of them are a little ways from Sticks, Pennsylvania.
JADAKISS: Why are you even alive?
SIRI: Why, indeed.
JADAKISS: Why they kill Tupac n' Chris?
SIRI: I'm on it.
JADAKISS: Why at the bar you ain't take straight shots instead of poppin Crist'?
SIRI: I found a number of bars fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: Why them bullets have to hit that door?
SIRI: I don't know what you mean.
JADAKISS: Why did Kobe have to hit that raw?
SIRI: Sorry, I can't provide maps and directions in Japan.
JADAKISS: Why he kiss that whore?
SIRI: OK. One of these escorts looks fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: Why would niggas push pounds and powder?
SIRI: I didn't find any addiction treatment centers.
JADAKISS: Why did Bush knock down the towers?
SIRI: Let me check on that.
JADAKISS: Why you around them cowards?
SIRI: No comment.
JADAKISS: Why Aaliyah have to take that flight?
SIRI: I can't answer that.
JADAKISS: Why my nigga D ain't pull out his Ferrari?
SIRI: I've found two Ferrari dealers a little ways from you. I've sorted them by rating.
JADAKISS: Why he take that bike?
SIRI: I found 18 bicycle shops.
JADAKISS: Why they gotta open your package and read your mail?
SIRI: I found 25 emails. I can't read them to you. Sorry about that.
JADAKISS: Why they stop lettin' niggas get degreez in jail?
SIRI: I found a number of colleges fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: Why you gotta do 85 percent of your time?
SIRI: Good question.
JADAKISS: And why do niggas lie in 85 percent of they rhymes?
SIRI: OK, here you go:
JADAKISS: Why a nigga always want what he can't have?
SIRI: I don't know, maybe the Genius Bar folks can answer that for you.
JADAKISS: Why I can't come through in the pecan Jag?
SIRI: Okay, I give up.
JADAKISS: Why did crack have to hit so hard?
SIRI: Sorry, I couldn't find any addiction treatment centers.
JADAKISS: Why niggas can't get no jobs?
JADAKISS: Why they come up wit the witness protection?
JADAKISS: Why they let the terminator win the election?
SIRI: I found three places matching "terminator" a little ways from California, MD.
JADAKISS: Why sell in the stores what you can sell in the streets?
SIRI: Sorry, I couldn't do that.
JADAKISS: Why I say the hottest shit but we sellin' the least?
SIRI: Ask nice, now.
JADAKISS: Why Halle have to let a white man pop her to get a Oscar?
SIRI: [No answer.]
JADAKISS: Why Denzel have to be crooked before he took it?
SIRI: I couldn't find that in your music.
JADAKISS: Why they didn't make the CL6 wit a clutch?
SIRI: Checking my sources [Sources are apparently the Sue Sylvester character page on the Internet Movie Database.]
JADAKISS: And if you don't smoke why the hell you reachin' for my dutch?
SIRI: A fine question. Now can we get back to work?
JADAKISS: Why rap, cause I need air time?
SIRI: I found a number of restaurants whose reviews mention wraps fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: Why be on the curb wit a "why lie I need a beer" sign?
SIRI: I found a number of bars fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: Why all the young niggas is dyin'?
JADAKISS: Why they ain't give us a cure for AIDS?
SIRI: Let me check on that.
JADAKISS: Why my diesel have fiends in the spot on the floor for days?
SIRI: I found a number of gas stations fairly close to you.
JADAKISS: Why you screamin' like it's slug, it's only the hawk?
SIRI: I'd blush if I could.
JADAKISS: Why my buzz in L.A. ain't like it is in New York?
SIRI: Okay, one of these bus lines is in Los Angeles, California.
JADAKISS: Why you forcin' me to be hard?
SIRI: I am what I am.
JADAKISS: Why ain't you a thug by choice?
SIRI: Sorry, I couldn't do it.
JADAKISS: Why the whole world love my voice?
SIRI: I really have no opinion.
JADAKISS: Why try to tell 'em that it's the flow son?
SIRI: Here's your message to Brad Shannon: "It's the flow, son." Ready to send it?
JADAKISS: Why they made the new twenties?
SIRI: Cause they got all your old ones, that's why. (Ha, just kidding, but wouldn't that have been awesome?)
[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not?]
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