JAY-Z resorts to using an “odious and false” stereotype about the Jewish community in a song on his latest album, an anti-bigotry organization charged.
The Anti-Defamation League — a non-profit Jewish establishment — lampooned the hip hop mogul over a set of controversial lyrics that they believe perpetuates anti-Semitic generalizations in his new song “The Story of O.J.”
In the song, which appears on his new “4:44” album, JAY-Z raps: “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit / You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”
The ADL officially condemned JAY-Z’s use of these lyrics on Thursday in a statement, contending that the rapper’s generalized wording seems to play “into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.
JAY-Z’s ‘4:44’ album goes platinum in less than a week
“The idea that Jews ‘own all the property’ in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false,” a spokesperson for the ADL told the magazine. “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.”
The spokesperson continued in the statement to say that the organization does not believe JAY-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, actually intended to promote Anti-Semitic views with the polarizing lyrics, but the league denounced that portion of the song nonetheless.
“We know that JAY-Z is someone who has used his celebrity in the past to speak out responsibly and forcefully against the evils of racism and anti-Semitism,” the statement continued.
JAY-Z has not responded to the Anti-Defamation League’s comments. A request for comment was not returned by his rep.
Snoop Dogg pirated JAY-Z’s ‘4:44’ because he doesn’t have Tidal
JAY-Z touches on a number of highly personal and social topics in his much-talked about new album, including in the song “Smile” where he reveals his mother, Gloria Carter, is a lesbian.
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian,” he raps.
His mother provides a spoken-word outro in the song, in which she says, “Love who you love, because life isn’t guaranteed.”
JAY-Z also made headlines for appearing to apologize to his wife, Beyoncé, for cheating on her in other parts of the album, as well as for addressing his fallout with longtime friend and collaborator Kanye West in the song “Kill Jay Z.”
“4:44” went platinum less than a week after it premiered exclusively on Tidal.
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