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August 22, 2017 4:30 pm

Jay-Z Refutes Accusations of Antisemitic Lyrics: ‘It Was an Exaggeration’

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Jay-Z. Photo: Joella Marano via Wikimedia Commons.

Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z has slammed claims that lyrics on his recently released album included an antisemitic stereotype about Jews.

The controversial lyrics are on the track “The Story of O.J.,” in which 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. Financial freedom my only hope. F*** livin’ rich and dyin’ broke.”

In a Rap Radar podcast on Friday, the rapper said that on the track, from his latest album “4:44,” he deliberately exaggerated the connection between Jews and property in order to address the issue of stereotypes in general. Addressing the accusations of antisemitism he faced, he said, “It’s hard for me to take that serious because I’ve exaggerated every black image in the world.”

“Of course I know Jewish people don’t own all the property in the world,” he added. “I mean, I own things! It was an exaggeration. In the context of the song, I’m trying say, you guys did it right!”

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The rapper also urged his Jewish critics to recognize that the music video for “The Story of O.J.” solely focuses on stereotypes of black people. He explained, ” If even you, as the Jewish community, if you don’t have a problem with the exaggerations of the guy eating watermelon and all the things that was happening…If you don’t have a problem with that, and that’s the only line you pick out, then you are being a hypocrite. I can’t address that in a real way. I gotta leave that where it is.”

According to the song biography included with the album, “The Story of O.J.”  is “really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we’re gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists, especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger.”

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  • Sebastien Zorn

    He states flat out that all Jews are rich, that we control the country, that we did it by irresponsible speculation, he suggests we live only for ourselves — I wonder if he’s ever heard of Julius Rosenwald — he says we live for today on credit and don’t care what comes after. The song is so full of flat out hatred, and he is so disingenuous. He is an anti-semite. I wouldn’t forgive him even if he apologized — which is something he would only do out of fear of loss of popularity like Mel Gibson — so, who cares. I hope he is marginalized and forgotten. That’s all.

  • daized79

    Whatever communal wealth Jews have and to the extent they have it is not by “livin’ rich and dyin’ broke.” Even if you add the F-word.

  • Harry Harry

    Jews help each other. Blacks don’t.

    • daized79

      Eh. I’ve never been helped. But there is more of it. I’ve helped others.