Are Y’all Really Surprised Jay-Z Don’t Give A DAMN About Your Broke-Asses?!

“I got the Forbes on my living room floor
And I’m still talking to the poor, nigga I want more
TIME’s most influential, was impressive
‘Specially since I wasn’t in the artist section
Had me with the builders and the titans
Had me right with Rupert Murdoch
Billionaire boys and some dudes you never heard of
Word up on Madison Ave is I’m a cash cow
Word down on Wall Street, homie, you get the cash out
IPO Hov, no need for reverse merger
The boy money talk no need to converse further”

“Grammy Family Freestyle” – Jay-Z

Every now and then I make a point of stating on this blog how important it is for me to differentiate artists on-stage characters from their real life personas as a method of still respecting their art, even when I don’t really advocate their BS personal-stances. Well, that is VERY true of one Jay-Z, a.k.a Shawn Carter, who recently made some horribly ridiculous comments in an interview with the New York Times in regards to the Occupy Wall Street movement. He stated:

“I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly. Because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true. Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad. Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.”

Now, I have no problem with the beginning of his quote, because stating that the Occupy movement needed a MUCH clearer narrative is a fair and valid criticism of the entire movement that has been made by many people, supporters and detractors alike. But the coded language in the second half of his quote is EXTREMELY troubling, if for no other reason than the fact that he SHOULD be very much in tune with BOTH communities and their struggles. But, I’ve known for a MINUTE that Shawn Carter doesn’t give a DAMN about our broke-asses, and Jay-Z only cares when he can make a buck off of us, but if you are reading this and desperately searching for a defence of this dude, just GIVE IT UP. He doesn’t give a RATS ASS about the struggle we are going through.

Now I’m NOT slamming him because I think he needs to be more moral, I am disappointed because he’s suppose to be one of the most accessible examples of someone who has encountered BOTH extremes, from the poverty of the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn to his palatial estates around the globe. Once again, I don’t knock him for getting up out the hood and never looking back – but the problem is that he REACHES backfor sympathetic MONEY. So my question becomes, at what point can we call hypocrisy? This isn’t even about Jay-Z and the hood – this is about a 100-millionaire and everyone who’s NOT at that point.

And yes, Jay-Z DOES go after SYMPATHETIC money [playing on the Marcy angle whenever he can] so PLEASE don’t give me any BS about he’s just a simple musician who is supported by his old neighbourhood whether he likes it or not.

But what I find funny about his statements is how we perceive different quotes from different people, because if Mitt Romney had said that Occupy Wall-Street needs to stop “hating” on “free enterprise” y’all negroes would’ve lost your damn minds. Why? Because the obvious coded language is that “poor people need to stop hating on rich people who decided to get off their asses and make something of themselves instead of being lazy-bastards like you all currently are.”

Thank GOD for Russell Simmons retort to Jay-Z’s quote, in which he wrote in an open letter:

“So, Jay, here’s the deal. You’re rich and I’m rich. But, today it’s close to impossible to be you or me and get out of Marcy Projects or Hollis, Queens without changing our government to have our politicians work for the people who elect them and not the special interests and corporations that pay them. Because we know that these special interests are nothing special at all. In fact, they spend millions of dollars destroying the fabric of the black community and make billions of dollars in return.”

And that’s the point in a nutshell. Jay-Z thrived at a time that is DEAD & GONE – and if he doesn’t see the precipitous nature of the unstable economic condition we are currently in, it’s not because he’s simply unaware – it’s because he simply doesn’t care.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    09/11/2012 at 6:46 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, What Are Your Thoughts ON Jay's Comments? Does He Have A Point About The Occupy Movement, Or Do You Support Russell Simmons Views?

  2. LINDA

    09/11/2012 at 7:00 AM

    To whom much is given much is expected. Jay-Z (and Kanye) are both Judas goats. His wealth will continue to be fed lavishly by those interests that despise our community because for a select few money DOES grow on trees. It ain't a big thing to toss him a few mil. Unfortunately he doesn't realize that indifference to the suffering of a people comes at a great cost and with a new baby he really needs to start rethinking his political viewpoints. Harry Belafonte, our esteemed elder, said it better a few weeks ago.

  3. mena

    09/11/2012 at 7:31 AM

    I really want to go harder on this post but don't have the time right now. All I can say is that I agree with Jay-Z. Everyone, from the politicians, to Wall St., to the people who bought homes that they knew they couldn't afford are to be blamed for our economic times. Ignorance isn't always bliss.

    And if Mitt would have said the exact thing that Jay said, I would have agreed with him as well. My only problem is when those who have done well for themselves don't recognize those who helped them come up. And by help, I don't mean the people who bought your product, I mean those people who gave you your first break in the recording studio, or those who taught you how to invest your money.

    Also, the entire west is the 1% and for any of us to think that we aren't is just BS.

  4. Smilez_920

    09/11/2012 at 8:11 AM

    Umm I never really saw Hov as any type of political, economic, social analysis. That's his opinion , fine I guess. He's not completely off with the first part of his comment. but I don't think people hate free enterprise, I just think ppl hate being taken advantage of , trick, bamboozled etc… We don't have a problem with folks getting rich, but if your business ventures, or politics effect my well being in a negative way , then that could cause an uproar.

    Im very happy that uncle Rus came through to play damage control. We also need to understand that Jay-z is a rapper and Mitt Romeny is trying to become president. So yes if Mitt Romeney said it ppl would be in a uproar or bothered because …. HE HAS THE CHANCE TO BECOME LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. So while Jayz opinion will be debated on blogs and in the hip hop community, If elected Mitt ROmeny's opinion will more than likely have a direct effect on most ppls lives.

  5. AMG

    09/11/2012 at 9:48 AM

    Mitt Romney & Jay-z are one and the same. Whoever is going to be president is pre-determined and really and truly, we should be hating on them and their free enterprise. (Re Bush and the re-count.) If you don't have the right connect, you can't make those dollars. Not one of those people that make over a certain amount of money give a f*ck what you think. Money is the root of all evil and if you got that much, you the root. We all got to wake the f up. & stop thinking that just cause a rapper's nice wit it that he ain't f*cking evil. I can't 'support no one that calls themself God. Straight. Look beneath the surface. I'd love to write more, but can't right now.

  6. AMG

    09/11/2012 at 9:57 AM

    Re: Bush and the recount was meant to be inserted the line before.

  7. GrandCentral

    09/11/2012 at 11:27 AM

    Ok. I just spent the last few minutes reading the New York Times article in its entirety. Jay-Z needs to be very with his words. Though I don’t believe he said anything wrong, nor did he say anything that hasn't already been said. He is partially right and partially wrong on this one, so I am beginning to understand the outrage that people have about this interview.

    I was very critical of the Occupy Wall Street Movement at first because appeared to be somewhat of a joke and gimmick. The initial weekend (keyword weekend) that this movement began, the group made claim to something that wasn't really magnificent. They gathered on Wall Street on a Saturday. The Financial District is dead after 7pm on a week day, including Friday. If you work down there, you are lucky if you can find a meal after 7pm. We all knew this, so we didn't take them seriously when they claimed to "Occupy Wall Street." Then they decided to occupy Zuccotti Park in a very Woodstock esque manner. I went down there last October and covered the movement for my blog ( and was hoping that I would leave with a better understanding of what exactly was happening. I spoke to three sound people who were willing to go on record, but I quickly discovered that the people with no vision or plan for the movement outnumbered those with a vision and clear definition of the movement. This is what Jay-Z was referring to.

    When everything first went down, a lot of celebrities went down there to show their support or sent food and beverages. I believe Russell Simmons was one of those people. Jay-z made t-shirts but if my memory serves me correctly however he never went down there or fully endorsed the movement. Russell really wanted him to get behind the movement or at least endorse it. I see what Jay-Z is saying, but I disagree with his attempt to make a separation between “good 1- percenters from bad 1 –percenters.” Making this distinction leads me to believe that he doesn’t understand who the people are that the movement was attempting to draw attention to. Yes, America was built on entrepreneurs, innovation and creative thinkers. However, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers were not your small run of the mill entrepreneur small business ventures. It wasn’t the bakery on the corner run by Mrs. Johnson who baked birthday cakes for all the kids in the neighborhood. That is where my issue lies with Jay-Z. Statements like that make me think that he is pretending to not understand the issues, or is he so far removed that he has just thrown in the towel and joined the bad crew? Russell probably saw it as I’ve explained and that’s why he rightfully got in that ass!

    Jay-Z needs to be very careful. He might want to stick to his day job of spitting bars and fall back on political issues. He doesn’t appear to fully comprehend what’s going on here. Also, he loves to talk about maturing and evolving, he needs to also understand that spitting bars or attempting to wax poetically can’t always be his method of communicating. I would like to see him move past relating everything to hip hop.

  8. Spizz

    09/11/2012 at 1:31 PM

    Hey you didn't show the second part of the Jay-Z quote
    That disturbed you.

  9. Xcavator

    09/13/2012 at 10:26 PM

    Lol at America being built on entrepreneurship. America was built on the slave trade.

  10. Infamous

    03/15/2013 at 2:54 PM

    It was all good, just a week ago

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