Jay-Z Hits Back At Accusations Of Anti-Semitic Lyrics On His 4:44 Album
Jay-Z has hit out at accusations the lyrics on his latest album 4:44 are anti-Semitic. The rapper, 47 shut down the claims about his track The Story Of OJ during an interview with Elliott Wilson and Brian "B.Dot" Miller on their Rap Radar podcast.
Insisting the accusations were 'hypocritical', the musician said it was difficult for him to take the claims seriously because he had 'exaggerated every black image in the world'.
In the song, he raps: 'You wanna know what's more important than throwin' away money at a strip club? You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This is how they did it.'
Jay Z told the podcast hosts of the controversy: 'Of course I know Jewish people don't own all the property in America. I mean, I own things! So I know that they don't own all of the property in America. It was an exaggeration.'
'If even you, as the Jewish community, if you don't have a problem with the exaggerations of the guy eating watermelon and all the things that was happening [in the Story of O.J. music video], if you don't have a problem with that, and that's the only line you pick out, then you are being a hypocrite.'
I can't address that in a real way,' he said. 'I got to leave that where it is.'
Jay Z commented during the interview that his lyrics for the song could even be interpreted as a compliment.
'I pretty much said, if you want to be good at property and things like that, follow this pattern,' he explained.
'It's almost like saying, 'Kobe Bryant shot a lot of shots. If you want to be good at basketball, practice your thousand shots and do what he did.''
'And then Kobe Bryant comes out and says, 'Whatchu trying to say, all black people play basketball?' That's how ridiculous it is. ... C'mon, you know I didn't say that. Context is everything.'
After the song was released in June, the Anti-Defamation League said it did 'not believe it was Jay-Z's intent to promote anti-Semitism' in the track.
In a statement released to Rolling Stone magazine, the Jewish organization stated: 'The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.
Yet, such notions have lingered in society for decades, and we are concerned that this lyric could feed into preconceived notions about Jews and alleged Jewish 'control' of the banks and finance.'
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