Long lambasted for his lack of interest in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, including the questionable move to sell ‘Occupy All Streets’ t-shirts without donating any proceeds to the movement from which the slogan was derived, the hip-hop legend finally opens up about the reason he didn’t throw his considerable weight behind the issues of corporate greed and capitalistic dishonesty:
“What’s the thing on the wall, what are you fighting for?” Jay-Z told The New York Times in a wide-ranging interview.
The Brooklyn-born hip-hop king said he made his feelings clear to Russell Simmons, who was a full-throated supporter of the Zuccotti Park demonstrators.
“I’m not going to a park and picnic — I have no idea what to do,” Jay-Z said, recalling a conversation with Simmons about joining the movement.
“I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want? Do you know?”
“I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true,” he said.
“Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad.
“Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.”
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Well, tell us how you really feel, Mr. Carter. Though it might be an unpopular sentiment, it is one that has long plagued the Occupy Movement, considered by many to have an impassioned, but hazy, uniformed agenda. Recently criticized by legendary activist and artist, Harry Belafonte, for his lack of “social responsibility” in being mostly silent on global humanitarian issues, Jay-Z has attempted to do his part in the struggle, which might explain his sudden need to criticize populism.
As previously reported by NewsOne, in addition to historic concerts at Carnegie Hall benefiting the United Way of New York City, he also founded the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation of which his mother, Gloria Carter, is president and CEO. The SCSF benefits those students with socio-economic hardships to further their education at institutions of higher learning. His philanthropy also includes toy drives, partnering with the UN in Africa to address the global water crisis, and his recent Made in America Fest in Philadelphia also benefited the United Way.
Even with these efforts, he is often criticized for economic greed, as well as turning his back on “the hood.”
So, does Jay-Z have a point? Is the blanket indictment of the 1-percent an attack on entrepreneurial and free enterprise?
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