Jay-ZWith the current controversy surrounding high-end retail store Barneys and racial profiling allegations, one thing stands evident. Harry Belafonte was right about Jay-Z. In the midst of this controversy, fans have called on Jay-Z to end his partnership with Barneys, in which his new holiday fashion line is going to be sold. Jay-Z’s response has been a calculated public relations effort in which he negates any real responsibility to his default, “I’m doing it for charity” statement. Currently, Jay-Z is continuing his partnership with Barneys with his collection set to launch next week.

This “doing it for charity” response only further highlights Jay-Z’s disconnect with the masses that he often claims to represent. This notion of accepting racism in exchange for charity is downright laughable. If a charity is supposed to be helping people, why work with a store that appears to marginalize his own fan base due to class and race perceptions. Now, Jay-Z claims he’s being demonized for his partnership with Barneys. He’s not being demonized. He’s being realized.

This is where Harry Belafonte comes in. Months ago Belafonte called on Jay-Z to play a more active role in social movements and help to drive social change. Jay-Z’s response was to refer to the 86-year old civil rights icon as “boy.” Jay-Z went on to state that due to his mega star status, his very presence was “charity.”

Harry Belafonte’s critiques were not superfluous statements. They were part of an insightful analysis of how star power can be used to affect societal movements. With over 50 years of civil rights activism, Belafonte can spot both genuine and superficial involvement. The latter, is what Jay-Z is often engaged in. This superficial support of “the people” is laden with corporate driven interests.

For example, during the height of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, Jay-Z decided to make a t-shirt line based on slogans from the movement. His plans changed, once Occupy Wall Street activists asked if he would share the profits. The idea of having to share the profits (which would have helped provide much needed financial support to activists) was unthinkable to the hip-hop mogul.

Then, there’s the controversy that surrounded 2010 tax records from The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund. During that year he reportedly earned, over $63 million but only donated roughly $6,000 to his own charity. This is not a normal practice for charity founders, who often provide a large portion of their charities’ financial costs. Out of all donors, Jay-Z reportedly gave the lowest donation to his own cause.

Finally, there is the N*ggas in Paris fiasco in which his friend Gwyneth Paltrow, decided to tweet the title of the song after attending his concert. This resulted in Twitter backlash over her usage of the term. Jay-Z, who is an enthusiastic advocate for the usage of the N-word, was silent on the controversy. Having millions among his fan base embrace the N-word is a part of his crossover hood status appeal that provides further economic security.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, in 2012 White/Caucasian audiences represented 79% of music buys, 81% of CD buyers and 80% of digital buyers. So don’t expect Jay-Z to engage in any significant dialogue with fans about using the word. With him it’s the same old, “people give words power” and “this is the least racist generation” excuse. It’s not economically feasible for him or any other corporately invested hip-hop artist to do anymore than brush off the issue. Yet this is someone people expect to fully grasp or care about race related issues?

The African American community  has to get beyond this belief that just because someone from our community attains fame or wealth, that they’re somehow intellectually superior, a role model and someone to be admired. The same can be said for Russell Simmons with his Rush Card, Blood Diamond, and Harriet Tubman controversies. And Kanye West, who often laments about racism but strives to uphold the same materialistic values that help drive economic disparities. Do you really expect any of them to be deeply invested in activism against a classist system from which they benefit?

Harry Belafonte was right. Jay-Z isn’t genuinely standing up against racism or classism because this activism may affect profit margin (something he learned while selling crack).

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com. To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com.

Follow OurLegaci on Facebook at Facebook.com/OurLegaci.

792 thoughts on “Harry Belafonte Was Right About Jay-Z


    1. People are so DELUSIONAL !! U want to force people to do what you want them too. How about you guys sever any business or personal relationships presently HAVE!! Pure ignorance.

      1. Exactly, im not mad at jay one bit. Keep doing ya thang because if u was to go broke “Harry Belfonte” aint gonna help u.

      2. How do you know Harry Belafonte wouldn’t help him? If you haven’t realized this Mr Belafonte represents a different era when it wasn’t every man for himself but a time when we helped or fellow brother or sister when in need. Not to mention this is the same man or thug that sold drugs on the streets of his own community but has not opened a rehab facility or provided financial backing to help sip the damage he helped cause. Jay-Z doesn’t care about black ppl is what his fellow label mate should have said. Every man for himself it’s exactly how society wants us divided and easily conquered.

      3. How about you proofread your statement before posting, so that it makes the slightest semblance of sense? Pure ignorance, indeed!

      4. Ditto @Jaxaurelius. And Kay, oops! your ignorance is showing. Being ignorant of your history and shortsighted to boot, is not the way to promote oneself, or a people.

      5. Harry Belafonte is a singer, actor and – most importantly – a civil rights icon whose work and life are part of the foundation upon which many in the Black community stand. Jay-Z is a celebrity rapper and creative capitalist.

        The former is committed to his people … that latter is committed to his market.

      6. I totally agree with you Think First, this is straight from the article ” Barneys and racial profiling allegations” allegation is the key word there. Why should stop doing business with the company ? Why not sit with the company head and deal with the issue? May be he has done that and is not seeking publicity ?

      1. When I listen to Jay Z talk he sounds like a very rich moron with very little to say other then I’m rich and you’re not. If he cared about the epidemic of young black brothers going straight to hell off of his lyrics and messages, he would change his style and put a math school on every corner of the hood and have the young black male mandated to get A’s in math instead of going to jail and prison. Until he does something like that! the real status Quo will continue to laugh at him under their breath. Saying shit like “He’s just a nigga out of the hood with a lot of money and no political strategy other then what his handlers allows him to have which is to say as much shit as possible to keep the rest of the nigga’s in jail for the prison system to make trillions$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. If this is true Jay-Z ain’t nothing but a rich little pawn hanging around in an expensive in a suit, talking with Warren Buffet like he’s on Warren’s level…Warren Buffet forgot more about reality then Mr. Carter knows as a matter of fact Jay-z doesn’t have a clue he will die a dumb bell……. All due respects to his family.

      2. I don’t know for sure because I’m not from the hip hop generation…nor do I listen to their music. But based on what I read here and what I read in the news about Jay Z, it seems pretty easy to believe. There are lots of artist and sports figures that won’t participate in the political arena because their afraid of the backlash from white America. It’s their life so you can’t force them……I’m just glad we have people like you who expose them for who they really are. Keep up the good work.

      3. Ask Harry did he support the Panthers after they were demolished, or before ? These preachers in this country are getting mighty fat, rolling in rolls royce style. Should we boycott them as well ? And america enslaved us without compensation, almost completely erasing the american Indians, should we boycott them as well ? These are not winable fights, but JZ is…. Get Real

      4. Ditto. I am going to share this with my three children ages 27, 25, & 22. They grew up listening to Jay-Z. Knowledge is POWERFUL!!!!

    2. you mother fuckers are crazy Jay Z is not Jesus he cannot save the world always glorify when he do not do what you guys want him to do you guys did not glorify it when he gave all that money to the Katrina storm victims always want to destroy a black man one fucked up person works in the store and now all the stores aRe fucked up he should not do business with them RIGHT……

      1. Bullshit, I am a damn Katrina survivor , I never left New Orleans all what money did the Greedy Dog give to us?! Do you even know what the Hell you’re blabbing about? Oh I know he must have donated it to his “Charity”, that his mere presence allows for, yeh right!

      2. Dude…where are you periods, commas, semi-colons, etc? WHERE IS YOUR PUNCTUATION, SON?!

      3. That was the longest, most nonsensical sentence I believe I’ve ever read. However, despite being downright ignorant and ill-informed, it did manage to effectively reveal your embarrassing and shamefully low level of education. Please, learn to write if you want your posted points to be taken seriously.

      4. I am a HUGE Jay-Z fan…but I have to disagree with you. When Jay-Z SAYS it, it becomes the “law in the streets”. He told Blacks that the makers of Cristal were “rude”, so what happened, we stopped buying it and “popping it” in the club. He said “I don’t wear jerseys, I’m 30+” and dudes put away all the expensive jerseys they’d puchased over the years. He told guys to start wearing “button-ups”. What did we start seeing? More guys in button ups. At some point you have to stand for “something”. I am not familiar with his philanthropic efforts, so I cannot say that he doesn’t do great things in the community. What I do know is many people look at him at the “voice” of a marginalized group that is often VOICELESS. That said, despite whatever small monetary loss he could face, it would be well worth it. Someone earlier commented that he should “get his money and eff Mr. Belafonte”. That is a sad, selfish, non-community way of thinking . It’s ok to use your celebrity for something other than making yourself rich, especially when you’ve reached Jay-Z’s economic status.

    3. as being one of the higher paid black business men in america..n having so much staus in the black community jay z could speak out n support any thing that hurts black people..but he dosent..his only objective n goal is to obtain a higher income..which is crazy..money is the root to all evil..so blacks should no longer support jau z since he dosent support us if it had not been for peope like mr belafonte jay z wouldnt be where he is..let alone have a voice..so i vote to silence jay z..

      1. Money isn’t the root of all evil, the LOVE of it is. Money is paper. In the right hands.money can do all sorts of good. It’s when those who reach a certain level of fame & success forget that they have a responsibility. Jay Z already said he wanted to be the first rapper to make it to a billion dollars, so why would anyone think he’s gonna do much to take away from his bottom line? In my opinion folk s put too much stock, belief, trust, and expectations on people like Jay-Z. He’s doing what he is told to do in most cases. He’s been taught to play the game or lose everything. What do you think he’s gonna do?


    5. The black youth in society today have no regard or respect for anyone… Jay Z has a powerful platform in his music and fame…our youth follow him…I feel that he should lead by example…apparently he does not even respect the black people such as Harry Belafonte, that came before, paved the way paid the dues in the music industry and the political arenas over the past 30 or more years so that the Jay Z’s can have the opportunities make it..I also feel as he does have a responsibility to the Black youth and all youth to giveback. He did not have a problem supplying death (drugs) to his own community so why have a problem with supplying life (youth programs, supply books, computers ,going back to his community and all inner city communities) and promote positive direction. Instead like all the rest he get his fame. money and success and forget where he came from until it is time to sell another record…He needs to stand for something and stop falling for the bullsh**…truth be told he will only get as far as they allow him too. He should be also leaving a legacy and paving the way for the next generation as Mr. Belafonte has and believe me I am from that era and Mr. Belafonte and others took some mighty blows for Jay Z to strike it rich!…

      1. I agree with you!
        Based on my observations and some of the comments I’ve just read, our youths are lacking three of the basic tenets: Education, Knowledge and Respect.

      2. Miss Susan,
        I respectfully disagree with your opening statement. As a seventeen year old African American, I find it highly offensive. Please do not lump us all in one group with such negative generalizations. Instead of critiquing my generation, educate us. We live in a world where information is literally at our fingertips and most of what we’re learning doesn’t reflect the values of our elders, so we in turn do not reflect those values. Still, there are some of us who do at least attempt to hold onto traditional values and respect the older generation. I don’t believe that it is fair of you to expect my generation to embody foreign ideals. My generation holds the individual above the group, and though it may be wrong, it is what we know. It isn’t up to Jay-Z singularly, but all of our elders to show us a proper example and hold us to higher standards. Most young people will achieve the expectations set for them by their elders… So if you tell us that “the black youth in society today have no regard or respect for anyone,” don’t expect us to prove you wrong; it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

      3. Mahalia,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of youths in todays society have little or no respect for themselves much less their elders.

  2. I can’t say that I am surprised, nor do I expect more from him or most other entertainers that aren’t true to their own lyrics. He’s trying not to offend any one in the social club that undoubtedly was reluctant in accepting him. Of which he still isn’t genuinely accepted. Smh!

    1. Why do we expect better from some one who stepped on, killed (by his selling of crack) and who he happened to leave alive went on the street and is barely alive,He will do anything to protect his ill gotten gains; whether Barney’s or his first venture (it’s all the same) all this because he learned nothing coming from where ever he came from. His dream was to become rich and he has done that, now we want him to do something, to jeopardize that, that must be so scary for him, he obviously still has a” hood” mentality and if so, he will not let any of that money go; he has never learned it is better to give than to receive, giving attracts receiving , I know the more you give the more you receive. This man is no humanitarian, we should stop trying to make him into one.I believe the bottom line is the man is just CHEAP, He has always been part of the problem and has not yet learned how to crossover to being part of thee solution.Just plain CHEAP.

      1. THE KEY WORD IS–>he has never learned it is better to give than to receive, giving attracts receiving , I know the more you give the more you receive

  3. Good article. Definitely changed the way I look at artist and their charitable deeds. Every rapper that talks about giving back, ‘aint’ really giving back to the people that need it. Some people that have an established level of wealth can no longer under stand the plight of those less fortunate. Having a clothing line in Barney’s seems to be for White American. His inability to give Mr.Belafonte his much due respect further validates Jay-Z’s disconnect from the very community that helped him reach White America.

    1. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, however this article has enlightened me even more about Jay-Z and his delusional ideas about community and disrespect of the people that paved the way for him to where he is today. A fool and his money will soon depart, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day. I so agree with what you stated.

      1. Don’t be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn’t do what you do , or think as you think. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today. Malcolm X

  4. Well there was also, the response that Jay-Z was hands on working with Barneys to teach the organization how to approach and handle the topic at the core of this public issue. Working hand and hand is better than throwing the towel towards oh im going to just protest. Its all types of classim-ism and race-ism. But these groups work with other groups (or they choose not to at all) to make money and to help break down these walls of stereotypes. Its not good when we as people can only see one way of handling something.

    1. This is EXACTLY how I have responded to others on this subject…Are all of these people against Affirmative Action? By Jay sitting on this panel and forcing them to do right, isn’t this the same principle? I think the real disappointment people are feeling is they want Jay to give more financially to the situation or to be in more of a 60’s radical mentality…but how much time are YOU donating to fight racism? This is NOT the only way people…WAKE UP.

    2. Did you all NOT read the article in its entirety? The author pointed to a pattern of acts of black complacency on Jay z’s part. I never was too keen on black celebrities attaining massive wealth without redistributing and investing a portion of that wealth in black communities. Whether you believe it or not, There is regression in the cause for advancement of our people. A lot of black celebrities are either unconsciously participating in this movement or they have sold their souls. Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte were for the advancement of blacks because of the positive black male charcters that they played in film and tv: imagery. That was older black elites goal, to eliminate discrimination. However, they are at fault as are many black elite. They helped maintain system of classism and institutionalized poverty in the black community. Their complacency to poor blacks and their issues gave rise to a generation of people who think and act like Jay Z.

      1. I agree with most of your statement. I would only say that some of the older icons who contributed to the cause expected the mantle to be passed on to the next generation. Harry Belafonte is one of the few who did not defer and rest on his laurels. Bill Cosby donated millions to Spelman and Morehouse Colleges while Dr. Dre donated millions to Southern Cal. I guess he didn’t get the memo. People like him and Carter must think that because they made it that there are no more battles to fight and that opportunity is available for all. Racism, segregation and oppression are more subtle today than it was 30, 40 or 50 years ago and I doubt if Carter and those of his ilk have the intellectual capacity or the heart to understand. When money and material things are your mantra and you worship those things you don’t let a little thing like humanity or giving back stand in your way.

    3. There is no right way to do wrong. Not to take a stance based on principle alone is wrong. The fact that he was not out in front of this issue and had to be sought for comment is telling. In his raps and in the persona he has constructed Jay Z has all but bragged about his callousness and willingness to mame , kill and exploit for wealth. Moreover history reminds us that those who speak out with real clout and credibility are demonized , singled out and even killed for taking a stand. We can accuse and blame him or we can take responsibility for supporting his ilk and learn to take a stand ourselves …

  5. Harry Belafonte is an activists activist…I do admire his Humanity,as far as Jay -Z is concerned,he only perpetuates the situation by being an enabler…Jay-Z just does not get it!

    1. Hello Joe! Apples and oranges. Belafonte was at the forefront of the civil rights struggle and took the hits to his career for his activism. However we can not prescribe morality, nor can Harry Belafonte.

  6. When some people reach a certain level of sucesss they no longer understand the plight of the less fortunate!

      1. You’re ignorant. And hateful. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself why do I hate people because they don’t do what I think they should do with their money

  7. CHARITY… like no ma’am… i do business… whoever purchases these items, which, are pretty darned expensive, isnt at all the point… charity… as for harry belafonte, while he was bailing martin luther king out of prison, folks all over the country were learning prison culture as a freedom fighters badge of honor… you see where thats headed since…

  8. Plain and simple its Jay-z’s money and time. And he can do whatever he chooses to do with it. Just like I have my own money and time and I can choose to buy or not buy his cd’s or attend his concerts……. And I can choose to walk by the Salvation Army bucket and not donate, not donate a few canned goods to the poor, not give a few to Toys for Tots, or not give to the Hurricane Katrina relief fund, or not help Japan or the Philippines or any other country that had a natural disaster. I can also choose to not volunteer at the local boys and girls club or donate to help local after school programs buy new computers, sports equipment and other needed items. I can also not go to local food kitchens and help feed the homeless or not visit with the elderly in local nursing homes or go talk with vets at the local VA hospital …etc etc….my point before we start judging and criticizing celebrities and other people we don’t know about how much their giving or not giving… we need to look at our own lives and our own level of generosity….or lack thereof…..generosity/ giving back is not only for the rich and famous….

    1. Some people should never open their mouths do your home work or learn to read He made 63,000,000 but gave 6,000 to His Charity where they do that at while others give 100 1,000 2,000 when it’s your cause shouldn’t you care more

      1. You just confirmed my point. Stop judging what he does with his money. Lol. It’s not your money. Stop telling him how much to give. Do you give or donate to anything? I’ll admit. I don’t. Smh

    2. Yes we can all do as we please with our time and money. Just because a member of our race made it doesn’t mean that he is a role model or that its our place to badger them into being a role model. But to be able rise up from their circumstances that person should want to be a role model. If its all about money keep selling dope. Its more profitable. EITHER YOU BUILD OR DESTROY.

      1. “Made it”…really? In whose books? ‘pends what we define as “success”.
        In Mr. Carter’s case, Eminem’s “Rock star” seems an appropriate summary…well…one line in particular, “We’re the ones who…” I’ll leave that right there LOL!

    3. i think you make a valid point, but i think that folks might feel like when you are in a place of power as a black men selling music that is based on the lives of so many young people of color, you are held to a higher standard and because you have so many resources, your donations will have a tremendous impact and demonstrates your care for your people and their progress….
      speaking for me personally I would love to give to many different causes but I don’t have the capacity to.

      so it sort of feels like when you come into wealth you are know in a position to cultivate change due to the fact that through history powerful people make the most change.

      i don’t think we can pass to much judgement on Jay-Z, i think folks are just disappointed is all.

      1. Say that! How dare a wealthy African American rest on the laurels. We don’t have the room for that kind of complacency. Our community has to man needs. He especially should have a spirit of giving by the very way that he gained his financial wealth – exploration of his own community. Jay Z knows exactly what he’s doing. I HEARD him him state in an interview that he intentionally ‘dumbs’ down his music. He participate in a systematic designed destruction of the our community. However, he is not a leader or role model so there really shouldn’t be any expectations.

      2. Just thinking where would jay-z be if it were not for the sampling of beats from the 60’s or 70’s.when you listen to rap or hip-hop the first thing that grabs your attention is that old school back in the day track.Really without the track,his words would be pure babble.Example, try listening to hard-knock life without the hot beat in the background.So.It is the shoulders of the pioneers such as Mr. Belefonte &many others that jay-z and others are standing on.so RESPECT IS DUE EVEN IF YOU DONT AGREE!! Have I misspoken?

  9. He was one of the celebrities who cancelled all tour dates in Florida until the stand your ground law is changed. We need to stop pointing fingers at everyone else and do what we can to make our hoods better. First and foremost we need to start sticking together like so many other races,and if you have a problem with a store from Barneys to the Chinese carry out stop spending money there that’s the only way we can get the proper respect. Jay-Z isn’t the problem we are the problem he provides us entertainment if you like his music buy it if you don’t then don’t buy it. But stop blaming rich black folk for our ignorance and unwillingness to support each other. People don’t own anything but their shopping at Barney’s, I made 185,000$ and I don’t shop at Barney’s or own a 300$ belt.

    1. Come on Bra you made 185,000 dollars but you don’t own a 300.00 belt but we should stick together because he’s black he shouldn’t spend 300.00 on a belt people like you don’t get it

  10. I have been saying this all along. One of his items is a ski mask! Wait….what? Dead ass? And you know some fool is going to buy this mask. It’s not enough that Barney’s have “racial profiling” imagine the black person wearing that ski mask! He’s an ass! This incident ALONE has proved to me how much he ain’t ish in my eyes!

    1. RACISM IS OBSOLETE. The moment I saw a black member of the GOP I realized that. It has been replaced by classisim. If you don’t believe me ask the white middle class voters that re elected George W. He stuck it to both black and white for the green. People like Jay Z see that green is the only color that counts. If activism becomes profitable then maybe he will change his stance.

  11. People expect us to quit when someone does something offensive, C’mon Son! Be upset about it for sure but don’t be a quitter, it does nothing to further your cause so Why quit? I expect disrespect at every turn when we’er not looking, it shouldn’t but does come with the media constant displays of people of color wrongdoings. I understand what’s going on and know that I might as well stick to my guns and help further the agenda and my business “Blu Tint Photography” which I made to create opportunities for others in the future. I’m glad Slaves, Harriet Tubman, Ellen Craft (look her up), Jackie Robertson, MLK and Barack Obama never quit when things got rough. If you’re mad at Jay- Z… I say get a back bone and develop a thicker hide because the world isn’t a “big pimping” video shoot and access is hard to come by if you have no one who understands you at the top.
    Blu of Blu Tint Photography

  12. I hate it that folks are so opinionated and critical of Jay-Z when we only have select information we have read in the Media. We do not know ALL of the facts that made Jay-Z reach his decision to go forward with his contract with Barneys. In my opinion, we need to support our black sucessful artists, who are not hurting anyone because we do not know what they do privately to help the “cause” of racial equality, etc. A friend worked at Barneys for over 30 years and repeatedly told me about folks of color coming in with fake charge cards/I.D.’s and purchased multiple expensive items. This is commonplace in New York and these activities continued for decades and there was nothing Barney’s could do about it, unless the credit card could be proved to be faudulent at the time of the sale. Some folks were arrested after repeatedly running the same scam in Barneys and Barney’s had proof of the fraudulent card and the crooks were identified as repeat offenders. This information was given to me by a black employee at Barneys. Earlier, I read that we should all do our individual part to ease racism, rather than place the burden on our wealthy entertainers. Just my opinion.

  13. As long as your enemy is invested in your finances they will control you, just like the banks control america the stats above if your enemy is providing 80 percent of your lively hood what do you expect when your people don’t or can’t afford to back you you can’t back them is it right no but I can understand. Harry came up in a different era and him and sydney and ruby and ossie didn’t always back the black theater that needed them because what the money the exposure (The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, good read and insight to blacks back then) rmember Harry was pre intergration jay kanye post intergration too different mind frames two different eras two different practices of racism…

  14. We as Africans American came a long way…And have a long way 2 go…Fighting for your people does not mean Jay Z going to go broke…Its doing whats right..Because at the end of the day IF YOU DONT STAND FOR SOMETHING YOU WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING…SMH

    1. Jay Z works for his money, he has the right to invest and spend his money anyway he so chooses, no different than you or I. The choices that anyone makes be it right or wrong are something that they will have to live with. Jay Z is a business Man, rather you want to accept it or not! I do not agree or disagree, I do not have all of the facts, however; I will end on this note, Jay Z is not the only wealthiest Man on this Earth and many others are making a difference, and when it’s all said and done, God so give it and God can so take it away!!

      1. Even the devil has those who will defend him just like Hitler. No matter the deed even the most despicable person (especially if he’s rich and famous) will find someone who will take up for him. Sure Carter can do what he wants with the money he earned off those whose lives he exploited. To follow your logic then its safe to say that a crack dealer can do whatever he wants with his money since you made no distinction between legal and illegal gotten gains. But just like the man can do what he wants with his money the same holds true for people who oppose him. Personally, I choose not to buy his crappy misogynistic drivel or go to his concerts or shop at Barney’s. That’s my right! I applaud people who are taking a stand against this character and the next time he refers to you and your sisters as b—ches and my brothers as n—-s I’m sure someone will crawl out of a hole and defend him.

      2. Yes, of course I am speaking of “Clean Money”! About Jay Z calling Woman Bitches or Niggar’s, that never did earn my attention, if the shoes fit than the words will truly do damage. I did not bring up the topic of selling crack, as mention before, I speak on facts, and crack selling is not the issue of concern!!

  15. I feel like some of this is unfounded. Do the actions of a few mean that Barney’s is actually a racist store? I feel like the obvious move for the store would be to fire those involved and for Jay to cease business with the company until they do so. With his influence, he has the leverage because I’m sure Barney’s doesn’t want that bad publicity. So what, did you really expect Jay Z to abandon a partnership that has probably been months in the making and stands to help thousands just because one or two employees profiled someone? Really? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not how life works-at all. As for the Gwyneth Pawltrol tweet…that is such a controversial, ambivalent topic that even he isn’t sure what to make of . There’s no way Jay could come out looking good responding to something as trivial as that. No one really cares, and if they really have a problem , they should stop saying the “n-word” and listening to songs that say it. If the “n-word” is such an offensive word- why is it okay for anyone to say it? GP is definitely not a racist, she was just confused, and did she take the “i” out of N*gga” ? If so, than she was merely repeating the title as its written. Oh, and let’s just forget about the 10,000,000$ well he had built when he visited Kenya. I feel like we as black people have to distinguish between swinging blindly at the first isolated spurt of racism and practical Afrocentrism and advocacy. I feel like we’re just tearing another black man down at this point. Oh, btw, I’m black.

    1. If you think Jay Z spent 10,000,000 to dig a Well in Kenya I got a Island I sell you For 10,000 the money was donate on his behalf just like his Charity he gave 6,000 to

      1. Even if he didn’t, which I’ll admit could very well be a possibility, he definitely attached himself to the Water for life movement back in ’06. He visited Angola and plenty of other third world countries, and lending his fame to such a great cause is definitely nothing to scoff at.

      2. Do you really think he made 63,000,000 and only donated 6,000 to charity? On 63,000,000 you would have to pay about 30,000,000 in taxes. Do you think he rather give 30,000,000 to the tax man or give 10,000,000 to charity and 20,000,000 to the tax man. You get a deduction for charitable giving–he still would pay the same amount in taxes. Just because he gave 6,000 to his charity, does not mean he did not give to other charities.

  16. Nevr have cared for him or west. Two opinionated clowns with money. Going to Cuba, was the main disaster for this camel (should have walked the Sahara). Chasing money will not end happily. You’ve got all you need and only want to show off.

  17. I’m shocked about the demeaning way in which he even addresses Harry Belafonte! At the end of the day we all have to live with our choices! Maybe one day Jay z will open his heart.

    1. Open his heart or do you mean his wallet. Tell me what has harry done for you lately ? If Harry can comment on JZ, then he is old enough to boycott America, for all it’s evil doings to us and others. That’s where I know him, BUCK AND THE PREACHER. Keep it pimping Harry, some things never stop.

  18. Jay Z is in his own make believe world or for better words bubble he will come back to reality as soon as that bubble burst.

  19. This doesn’t mean that he’s out of touch; rather, it means that he is rational. Why would he discontinue his clothing line for an unsubstantiated claim? And, why would he cut off funding that comes into his household? He did what any rational person would do. People need to focus on the issues at hand and stop trying to cast the buck. If someone was racially profiled at Barney’s, then hold Barney’s accountable (not the designers that supply the store).

    As far as Belafonte, if he feels that Jay-Z is not doing enough in the community, he should have a man-to-man conversation with him (not chastise him in the media). How about, instead of worrying about how much money Jay-Z gives, worry about how we close the economic gap! Come up with real-world, rational solutions instead of misguided opinions.

    1. I think you are correct to some degree, but I think that people are technically worried about how Jay-Z spends his money..it is more so that he is in a place of power and has the potential more than a lot of folks to have an impact and make a difference. Black and brown folks have progressed but we remain the under dog and I think that the feeling is that Jay-Z should fight for the folks he discusses in his music, but I also think that although he is in a place of power he may not be well educated just a good businessman and he is doing what he is good at.

      there is a ton of internalized racism/oppression that being rational can not irradiate. in terms of oppression and internalized oppression there is a ton at play with situations brought up in this article and I think it is everyones job to be aware and educate each other of what is at play and organize ourselves in that regard.

  20. I think this article is not very thorough. 1) There is the concept of breach of contract. People can’t walk away from contracts without severe legal consequences. 2) If we really want to make an indictment of Jay-Z ‘s charity or lack thereof we have to look at everything rather than a few perceived anecdotal wrongs. A more thorough examination would undoubtedly include some of the positive impacts he has had and weigh them. I’m not saying the premise is wrong, just saying doesn’t seem like there was enough research.

  21. can you tell me how many black men and women that jay-z has put thru college ? after you find that out , can you tell me how many black women and men you have put thru college ?

  22. I respect holding people accountable. However this poor journalism is the real facade. This person she is attacking is not a civil rights activist like Harry Belafonte. The article just so happens to leave out the statement Jay-Z issued stating that he will in taking a leadership role on racial profiling issues that occurs at these stores.Instead her holding the company accountable we attack the one black person within the company like he was doing the racial profiling. Harry Belafonte also backtracked on his statement saying that he should not have made those comments. So I honestly think the author could have did a better job. She mocks that he use to sell crack, would she prefer to him be still selling it?

  23. unfortunately charity is the most self serving, promotion vehicle. If you really want to make a difference donate and share your wealth unanimously.

  24. Seriously, he is a product of what ppl have made him. If they did not like what he had to offer,he would not have “made it”. That being said,he capitalized on the great “American Dream”. Make your $ & live. Those who cant, stay in the bucket and scramble. Leave the man alone. All this talk,he is home sipping on juice and counting his money. He owes no one anything. If ppl dnt like it, dont patronize him. Ppl cant talk about the monster they have created,it makes no sense. He has achieved his dream.My advise? Ppl should start realizing theres and make a difference if you are so inclined.

  25. People must understand that money talks and most celebrities could care less about their fans as for him quitting his ties I don’t think he should just quite. My personal recommendation to you (If you dont like this store ) is don’t buy anything from that store.

  26. People love to tell you what to do with your money when they ain’t tell you how to get it. How about you aquire your own fortune and do all the things you want to force Jay Z to do since its as easy as you explain it and stop trying to pull the next man down. Crabs in a barrel, wow.

  27. I think the company was trying to get Jay-Z to back out of its contract and in return sue him for all he have, smart move on Jay-Z’s part. Like that young man We to get so mistreated at some of those small department and groceries stores but we still give them our monies because we cannot afford barney’s. Anyways I believe Jay-Z gave a generous contribution to the Presidential election and attended other white house functions. People have different ways of giving and handling racism. I just thank God that all that money Jay-Z have is not buying drugs or anything harmful to our youth someone has to make legal money, and he is giving back by creating jobs, paying salaries and I pray with benefits. I am quite sure that they have rewritten Barney’s store policy and set them in place. Mr. Harry Belafonte I thank you sir, and all the Elders before me for all they have done and continues do for this country. I say thank you Because the Elders are my History, books lie and they surely cannot tell nor take me to where my Elders have come from, been or for that matter where they’re going. Our Elders carried and carries a light that can only be seen by Love. We are the world song.

  28. Man has his right to do whatever he wants with whatever he made from his success. Who’s to say he not going to be more involved once he retires officially? We are so quick to judge what ppl do with their money and not take in consideration ITS NOT OUR BUSINESS. Thats like, expecting Bill Gates to loan each American $ 10, 000 to help with debt in this country because he can afford it. What gives one the audacity to even question someone about their money? Even if he does’nt pay dues to church, its his choice.

  29. The truth is that Jay-Z and a lot of black stars seem to have lost their way, and therefore their roots. listening to Kanye’s latest statements is a clear indication and reflection of selfishness. That ‘I made it to the top…’ ethos does nothing for our race. There is nothing positive to draw from their success except opulence and disconnect to what really matters. The truth of the matter is that only a certain number of coloured folk are allowed to make it to the top. They are embraced by the white society, and told that they are different to other black folk. I think Jay-Z; Kanye and few others fall under this umbrella. Personally, Jay has not never been a hero of mine. I don’t think his music talks much about true street life or what it is to be a person of colour,at least of recent and therefore lacks the social bearings of black America. This will always be the difference between him, Tupac and Nas, to name a few. A classic case of a tree without roots, which history will judge in time. In my opinion he is more hip pop than hip hop!! Only time will tell. Life is more than the champagne, cars and the superficial. We need to empower each other to rise as a people and kill the image of being a disenfranchised people.

  30. Wow this article sucked balls. What a knocker. Jay Z is doing so much right there in his art. Yes he is an artist/performer not an activist. That means he has much more scope to change the world. You don’t have to believe it, but Jay Z is empowering so many people with his words and actions. And just because some employee ‘allegedly’ acted very wrong does not automatically extend to the entire organization and Jay Zs business ventures. Just because the media says something also does not mean it I s true. I don’t believe most of what is written here, and the accusations in this article are ugly simple and lame. Shame. Shame.

  31. There’s this misconstrued notion held by the general public that anyone we label as “famous” becomes responsible for providing moral leadership, and the expectation is that they are to give up their hard-earned wealth for “worthy” causes. I’ve had arguments with people that felt that anyone on the Fortune 500 list should automatically become a philanthropist.

    I think this idea is ludicrous, and I think it’s more so when pertaining to someone that started with as little as Jay-Z did; do not expect such a person to willing part with wealth that they worked so hard to attain. True philanthropists and moral leaders don’t beat the drum of their own charitable exploits, for they do not do them for attention, they do those things because they feel morally compelled to do so. Because the news will rarely share anything of this nature, unless the celebrity themselves mention it, their charitable acts often go unnoticed. I actually knew someone that was angry with Michael Jackson for not doing more for charities, as an example.

    Getting to the point; I feel like Jay-Z is trying to walk the line between performing the role of Moral Leader thrust upon him by his fans, while at the same time keeping to his financial strategies that have amassed the wealth and power now has. The issue there is, one must commit to a course, or the course can never be fully realized, as you point out in this article. It’s difficult to make money when you’re giving a lot of it away.

    Jay-Z could absolutely be doing more for the cause of improving race relations and the like, there is no question. What I question is whether he should; if he’s not going to be any good at it, I think he should be simply left alone to make his music, clothes, and fortune, and leave the job of changing the world to more willing people.

    1. Clearly you missed the point of the article. Nobody is holding him to any “misconstrued notions” when it comes to philanthropy– we just don’t like it when he is a jackass, such as cashing in on the Occupy Wall Street movement by selling t-shirts. That’s just something any decent person (celebrity or not) wouldn’t do.

  32. Never had any respect for his “Jazz-y” Ass. Never will. Have you even seen the absolute rubbish he claimed to have written? It is an insult to even the ABC book I read in basic school. It would make bookworms squirm. Then, to think that this social cur, would have the nerve to call the civil rights giant, and world class singer, Harry Belafonte, a “boy”, gets my goat. This Johnny-come-lately, likes to hang with old moneyed people like Warren Buffet. What he does not realize, is that the likes of Mr. Buffet, tends to be humble, and respectful of others. Especially, those who have truly earned a place in the annals of time. Mr. Buffet should remind, this “krud” , that money comes – and goes

  33. He is a joke Does very little if anything to lift his people up Hell his songs promote only his wealth and the crap it can buy I liked him in the early years…A lot but not anymore Please no more pics of him and B Tired of both I like her as well but the same ol is getting old!

  34. what do you expect? he got his fat lips so far up the Illuminati’s anus’ that when they fart, he farts as well. This is what happens when you sell yourself to the white devil you sellout POS. Jay is pathetic.

  35. ​I enjoyed both the “KANYE’S FRANTZ FANON COMPLEX” and the “HARRY BELAFONTE WAS RIGHT ABOUT JAY-Z” articles. Both were right on point!! Unfortunately, I don’t think Kanye, as intellectual and he trys (or not) to be, will get your points. He’s so disconnected from the real issues, he will never see or understand how his influence will always outweigh his wealth.

  36. “The African American community has to get beyond this belief that just because someone from our community attains fame or wealth, that they’re somehow intellectually superior, a role model and someone to be admired.”

    Sean Carter isn’t required to become an activist once he has passed a certain income bracket. No man is. It’s funny that he wasn’t tapped to lead the movement when he released ‘Reasonable Doubt.’ African Americans expect the wealthy of us to carry the weight and burden of a movement while they stand behind these icons/figures shielded from the rocks and slander being thrown. That’s BS. Sean Carter is a corporate mogul, his first priority as a mogul is profit. Profit is the purpose of starting and running a business. Those who think otherwise are sadly mistaken. Now Carter should have kept his mouth shut or, even better, laughed it off when Belafonte mentioned him, that is just simple respect for elders.

    Movements are built through grass root efforts. Celebrity endorsement should be the last thing any movement seeks because last time I checked, the revolution was not meant to be televised.

  37. All you MothaFuckas are crazy.. All of the these subjective opinions are thrown out there and made to believe Factual…. Jay-Z is the man…People basically is hating on the man cause he aint given enough of his money away….BS!! Chuuuuch!!

  38. I don’t think Jay’s wrong for maintaining his relationship with Barney’s. it was a Jay Z thing… it was for the SCF and the Brooklyn kids that will have a chance at college thanks to the money generated by the sales of the partnership…And even if it were his partnership and he did profit, who are we to encourage him to take money out of the mouth of his family to prove a point. If folks really wanted to kill the partnership, they should’ve started a kick starter to raise 1 million dollars to donate to the foundation in exchange for Jay killing the partnership.

  39. Jessica,

    Thanks for the piece. Glad you wrote it. That said, I could not help but let out a deep sigh after reading it.

    You say in your piece:

    “Yet this is someone people expect to fully grasp or care about race related issues?”

    The African American community has to get beyond this belief that just because someone from our community attains fame or wealth, that they’re somehow intellectually superior, a role model and someone to be admired. The same can be said for Russell Simmons with his Rush Card, Blood Diamond, and Harriet Tubman controversies. And Kanye West, who often laments about racism but strives to uphold the same materialistic values that help drive economic disparities. Do you really expect any of them to be deeply invested in activism against a classist system from which they benefit?

    “Harry Belafonte was right. Jay-Z isn’t genuinely standing up against racism or classism because this activism may affect profit margin (something he learned while selling crack).”

    Don’t we already know this? So why are we and specifically, you writing this story??? Unless you consider yourself a current member of the “African American community that has to get beyond this belief that just because some from our community attains fame or wealth….”??

    Finally…when I think about people that were most influential in fighting against racism, superstars don’t come to mind. MLK. Malcolm. W.E.B. Frederick Douglass, yes. But Harry Belafonte? Love the man, he did a lot, but not every successful black musician needs to become a social activist like him. The fight for equality in this country unfortunately means accepting the fact that you’re fighting for the right for people to choose to not to fight that fight and do for self.

  40. This article is shamefully ridiculous. I won’t call it poor journalism, as someone else said, because that would be an attack on journalism in itself. First off, Harry had not simply “called on Jay-Z to play a more active role in social movements” to which Jay Z responded by calling him “boy.” What you’re saying is bullsh*t. Give an accurate and thorough account of what Harry actually said, the fact that he insulted Jay Z and his wife right out the gate: Quote: “…One of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists… they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce… Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.” Nowhere in that quote do I see an innocent and respectful request to another adult to help with social change. The point is that one cannot start a productive dialogue or relationship by insulting someone and their family and then expecting them to ignore that because you took some stance some decades ago and sung a popular song about bananas. Nonetheless, there’s so much wrong with this article, from the blatant sensationalism to the obvious effort to appeal to ignorant folks who don’t read much, that I’m just gonna let this mess be.

  41. This is why Tupac was such a great man, love him or hate his music, he spoke up for black people and the oppressed and poor.

  42. We can say this and we can say that, at the end of the day it’s about the almighty dollar. Jay-Z will only defend something if it affects his money or his family. What he should have done is used Barney’s to his advantage, print something on the t-shirt that has something to do with the black community, racisim, a positive message, if Barney’s regected the idea (Which I doubt they would) they then would have to deal with the backlash from the public people, Black and White.
    Once you loose your title within the media or public it is very hard to come back, and Jay-z and Beyonce are the king and Queen of rap and will do everything to maintain that title, so pulling out on a deal with Barney’s one of the top high end stores would not be a good move financially for him.


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