Jay Z just released his 13th album ‘4:44’, and it has been received with high praises. Many are lauding this album as one of Jay Z’s most venerable and transparent pieces of work. However with all of the acclaim comes criticism as well. One of the most talked about songs off the album was ‘The Story of OJ’. It was a message towards the black community regarding wealth building and community uplifting. There are a couple of bars that’ve landed Jay in some hot water with the Anti Defamation League. He 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 Anti Defamation League has since come out and condemned Jay Z for those lyrics, stating that his generalization of the Jewish owning property and having financial control in society play “into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.”
“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.”
While I personally do no see anything in Hov’s lyrics to malicious or disparaging, I’m not Jewish, so I cannot speak for how a Jewish individual might perceive the wording. The spokesperson did state that the League does not believe that Jay intended to promote Anti-Semitism.
“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.
I personally think this a reach, but hey, every special’s interest group has a right to be offended.