These days, it’s rare that we get a feature from Jay-Z like the four minute long verse recently released on DJ Khaled’s “God Did” track. Even more rare is a public appearance from Hov in the way we witnessed his participation in Twitter Spaces last week. During the chat with Genius’ Rob Markman, the 52 year old was asked to speak on his track record of Black billionaire-making including mega stars Rihanna and Kanye West.
“We not gone stop,” Jay said during the talk. “Hip-hop is young. It’s still growing. We not falling for that tricknology the public puts out there now. Before it was the American dream. ‘Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You can make it in America.”
While the crowd was with him for a while, it was his next set of comments that had Twitter in a frenzy.
“All these lies that America told us our whole life and then when we start getting it, they try to lock us out of it,” he said. “They start inventing words like ‘capitalist.’ We’ve been called ‘n—ers’ and ‘monkeys’ and s–t. I don’t care what words y’all come up with. Y’all gotta come with stronger words.”
As a kid growing up in Bedstuy’s Marcy Projects, Jay-Z (like many rappers raised under adverse conditions) flaunted his newly acquired wealth in his song lyrics, and the sh*t talking only escalated with the more wealth he amassed. Despite the growing movement to undo capitalism however, Hov says he’s not going to be bullied into feeling bad about his hard work and success.
According to Billboard, the rapper shared that nobody should be made to “feel ashamed to be successful in a place that set up a system for us to be dead at 21… Y’all locked us out. Y’all created a system that, you know, doesn’t include us. We said fine. We went our alternate route. We created this music. We did our thing, you know, we hustle, we f—ing killed ourselves to get to this space. And, you know, now it’s like, you know, you know, ‘Eat the rich,’ and, man, we’re not stopping.”
Regardless of what side of the argument you’re on, valid points were made on Twitter by both those for and against Jay-Z’s comments.
“You make millions of dollars in America you’re a capitalist,” one user wrote. “Jay-Z too old to not know this, in the raps talking about buying paintings, properties and reselling them and making investments, this is literally what a capitalist does.”
Another tweet read, “No, Jay-Z, we didn’t make up the word capitalist to make you feel guilty. We say capitalist to describe who owns capital and exploits our labor to get it. It’s not guilt we want you to feel. It’s fear. We’re coming to expropriate what’s ours so we can build a socialist world.”
What are your thoughts? Is Jay-Z spitting, or are y’all trying to play this one on mute?