American rapper Jay-Z performs at Bercy stadium in Paris, October 17, 2013..
(photo credit: BENOIT TESSIER /REUTERS)
Social media is abuzz about Jay-Z's new album release Friday, 4:44... and his use of racial and religious stereotypes.
"You wanna know what's more important than throwin' away money at a strip club?
One lyric in particular is under fire, from his track "The Story of OJ":
You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America?
This how they did it
Jay-Z told iHeartRadio
that the song is about "we as a culture, having a plan, how we're gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger."
The antisemitic sentiment that Jews possess the majority of the world's wealth, or are somehow in cahoots in a global financial-political scheme, is nothing new, but it is somewhat surprising in a Jay-Z song.
After all, as Buzzfeed
pointed out, Jay-Z took part in a 2006 video campaign with Russell Simmons, speaking out against racism and antisemitism. "What's not cool is antisemitism," Simmons says in the clip. "It's a long word for racism. Antisemitism and racism are the same thing... Let's fight all types of racism and antisemitism together." Jay-Z closes with, "Don't be silent, remember: we are one."
The rapper visited the Anne Frank House
in 2014 with his wife Beyonce, and was spotted wearing a hamsa necklace
to an NBA game, but faced another accusation for antisemitism in his 2007 track, "No Hook" in which he said, "Had to get some challah bread so you can holla back. My Jewish lawyer too enjoyed the fruit of letting my cash stack," The Forward reported
Jay-Z and Russell Simmons Anti-Semitism PSA