Yvette Carnell: Jay-Z Trashes Occupy Wall Street, Even After Having Tried to Make Money From It
by Yvette Carnell
The rapper, mogul, and former crack dealer says he told OWS supporter Russell Simmons that he did not share Simmons’ view of the movement.
“I’m not going to a park and picnic — I have no idea what to do,” Jay-Z said, recalling a conversation with Simmons about being a part of the movement.
Occupy Wall St. was, at that time, about non-violently sitting in on Wall St. to protest government corruption, especially the corruption of those on Wall St. who engineered the recession, but then got bailed out with American tax dollars. But Jay-Z, who can easily wrap his head around multi-million dollar deals, can’t understand what it means to be a part of a protest movement?
Those who follow the Occupy Wall St. Movement will also remember that Jay-Z tried to capitalize off the energy of the movement by selling Occupy All Streets t-shirts. This enraged some in the OWS movement because Jay-Z was was co-opting the theme of the movement without donating any money to the cause.
Back then, Jay-Z’s clothing company, Rocawear, said it was selling the shirts to support OWS:
The ‘Occupy All Streets’ T shirt was created in support of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. Rocawear strongly encourages all forms of constructive expression, whether it be artistic, political or social. ‘Occupy All Streets’ is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement.
Now, however, Jay-Z is changing his tune, and saying he was never in support of OWS. It was just another hustle, I guess.
This sort of indifference to the suffering of people is what caused Harry Belafonte to recently call out both Jay-Z and Beyonce, saying in an interview, “It is sad. And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.”
Jay-Z has gone from trying to hawk OWS themed t-shirts to saying it’s wrong to blame all one percenters (which OWS never did, by the way). Jay-Z either doesn’t know what he believes, or he doesn’t believe anything. Take your pick.
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