Today after NY Times journalist Zaldie Smiths feature story on iconic rapper Jay-Z was published. A few comments made by Jay-Z during his sit down with Smith raised eyebrows from fans and critics alike. They concerned the political stance of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, a movement that was highly publicized last year.
In the interview Jay explains that he doesn’t understand what the movement is really about and that the ambitions and goals of OWS need to be refined, as a blanket attack on the 1% in America is inaccurate and unfair. His honest admission on confusion and lack of knowledge on the movement has prompted Russell Simmons, who was one of the major supporters of the OWS movement to pen a letter informing his fellow mogul on the desired outcome and help needed in an attempt to change Jays mind over the situation.
This letter comes as an extension of a conversation that Jay-Z had with the Def Jam Founder about the movement last year when he attempted to sell OWS inspired T-shirts via his Rocawear clothing line free of any intention to donate to the protest itself, this resulted in their discontinuation after the big backlash. This new admission from Jay-Z only adds to the growing criticism on black celebrities and their role in upholding social responsibility and activism within the communities they once lived in. Civil activist Harry Balfonte recently name checked the rapper and his wife in an interview discussing this very issue and public enemy’s Chuck D has also been vocal on the rappers position in the community saying that along with Kanye West, ‘sometimes I don’t know who they’re here for other than themselves’.
You can read Russell’s full letter titled ‘Jay-Z is right 99 times of the time but this aint one’ here