Jay Z
Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Yesterday, there was an idea flying around this series of tubes that Jay-Z, he of new fatherhood and extremely public displays of affection, had written a poem about his daughter Blue Ivy where he renounced using the word “b—-” (yeah, not “baby”) in his lyrics.

Though a number of news outlets reported that Jigga was nixing “the b-word” for good and republished the rapper’s supposed prose, nobody could figure out exactly where the words had been published. And even if the poem was real, it didn’t explicitly say that Jay was retiring the word in question.

As it turns out, the whole thing was a figment of the Internet’s imagination. Jay’s representatives reached out to E! to let them know that the poem did not come from their client. They’re uncertain about the origin of the words, but they’re sure that they were not written by Jay-Z.

Honestly, that makes the whole thing a lot less problematic, as swearing off b—- would have created a double-pronged problem for Hova. First, it would have retired a handful of his best songs, most notably “99 Problems” (though that could have easily become “I got 99 problems but a hitch ain’t one,” meaning that no matter what inconveniences cross his path, he can always tow your trailer with his truck).

But the real issue at hand (and something that many bloggers touched on when the news bounced around yesterday) is that swearing off the word at this point in his career (and his life) would have been stunningly disingenuous. Why would his daughter have made him reconsider a piece of his vocabulary, especially considering the number of talented, confident women he has worked with (and married)?

What about his mother, who has a guest spot on The Black Album‘s “December 4th”? Doesn’t she merit a moratorium on that word? What may have been intended as a game-changing gesture would have only brought up a whole new series of (99) problematic questions.

Jay could still swear off the dreaded b-word — at this point, the dude can do what he wants — though he wouldn’t be the first hip-hop icon to renounce it; the posthumous Tupac album Better Dayz featured a track from 1995 called “Never Call U B—- Again,” a lengthy apology to a woman in his life. Give it a spin: