Anti-Defamation League Says Jay-Z Lyrics About Jews Play Into Anti-Semitic Stereotypes


On the popular track, he says, “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.”

Several Hov fans and Twitter spectators voiced their distaste for the line, with many finding it insulting, to say the least. On Thursday (July 6), a representative for the Anti-Defamation League reached out to Rolling Stone, and although they don’t feel JAY-Z’s intention was to promote anti-Semitism, they do feel like it plays into anti-Semitic stereotypes.

“The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money,” said the rep from the organization. “The idea that Jews ‘own all the property’ in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false. 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.”

On the flip, music industry insiders came to his defense, including Russell Simmons and Guy Oseary, who posted on Instagram, “If you read the lyrics out of context I can understand why people are jumping to that conclusion” before adding that he believes it was simply supposed to be taken as a compliment. 

Simmons interjected on Twitter Tuesday (July 4), and called those who saw a problem with the line “mischief makers.” “The fact is this culture that promotes good business and financial well being is and has been a guiding light to the black [sic] and specifically the hip-hop community,” writes Rush.

This isn’t the only issue some people have with “The Story of O.J.” Even rappers have found it offensive. Both Future and Blac Youngsta have taken to social media this week with their “money phones” as a response to the bars, “Y’all on the ‘gram holdin’ money to your ear/There’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here.”

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