I’m offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. Just like Obama’s is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough. Just being who he is. You’re the first black president. If he speaks on any issue or anything he should be left alone…I felt Belafonte he just went about it wrong. Like the way he did it in the media, and then he big’d up Bruce Springsteen or somebody. And it was like, “whoa,” you just sent the wrong message all the way around…Bruce Springsteen is a great guy. You’re this Civil Rights activist and you just big’d up the white guy against me in the white media. And I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m just saying what it is. The fact of what it was. And that was just the wrong way to go about it.—Jay Z responding to Harry Belafonte’s comments on celebrities ignoring social responsibility.
Harry Belafonte was on the front lines with MLK throughout the Civil Rights Movement and was at Coretta Scott King’s side at his funeral.
Just yesterday, 86 year old Belafonte joined the Stand Your Ground protests in Florida…Belafonte put in work for years, not just photo ops, behind the scenes and even in 2013, he stay doing shit when he could have shut it down years ago.Meanwhile, not that there’s anything wrong with it, but you rarely see Jay Z doing that sort of thing and that’s cool. But when, on those rare occasions that he comes down from the mountaintop to mingle with the mortals, like showing up at one Occupy Wall Street rally…to sell Roc-a-wear t-shirts or have a couple of photo ops with Trayvon Martin’s parents (and Al Sharpton *eyeroll*)
and he feels that warrants him more respect that Harry Belafonte? Seriously?
The real “issue” is that Jay-Z feels disrespected that Belafonte isn’t one of his Yes People who agrees with everything that he does and doesn’t question him on such things like going to Cuba on vacation…
or just kissing his ass in general.
Belafonte’s comments about Jay-Z and Beyonce happened in August 2012:
Are you happy with the image of members of minorities in Hollywood today?
Belafonte: Not at all. They have not told the history of our people, nothing of who we are. We are still looking. We are not determinated. We are not driven by some technology that says you can kill Afghans, the Iraqis or the Spanish. It is all — excuse my French — shit. It is sad. And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.
And while Beyonce (okay, her representatives) responded, shortly there after, in that great outreach to Black America, The Wall Street Journal, all the charities she and hubby give to *ahem*, Jay-Z’s initial response came nearly a year later, in classic rapper beef style, on a track from his mega corporate sponsored album Magna Carta…Holy Grail On the track, “Nickles and Dimes,” he says:
“I’m just trying to find common ground/ ‘Fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a n*gga down/ Mr. Day O, major fail/ Respect these youngins boy, it’s my time now/ Hublot homie two door homie/ You don’t know all the sh*t I do for the homies.”
Well Goddamn! Mr. Day O? BOY? This coming from the brother who said that Belafonte went about it the wrong way?
I’m not going to re-hash what Harry Belefonte has done, his record speak for itself. No “beef”, no selling T-shirts at the March On Washington, no press releases to the Wall Street Journal. None of that bullshit. We owe Belafonte, if nothing else, respect. You don’t have to be the next great Civil Rights leader, but you can lead by example and be civil, right?
Fuck Jay Z.