Jay-Z is defending his use of allegedly anti-Semitic lyrics on his new album 4:44.
The lyrics in question come from the track “The Story of O.J.”, where 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 is how they did it.”
Speaking to Rap Radar, the Brooklyn-born rapper thinks the accusations levied against him are blown way out of proportion. “It’s hard for me to take that serious because I’ve exaggerated every black image in the world,” he said.
“Of course I know Jewish people don’t own all the property in America,” he explained. “I mean, I own things! So I know that they don’t own all of the property in America. It was an exaggeration.”
Jay-Z argued people are being selective in what they find offensive. “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 [in the ‘Story of O.J.’ music video], if you don’t have a problem with that, and that’s the only line you pick out, then you are being a hypocrite,” the 47-year-old mogul said.
“I can’t address that in a real way,” Jay-Z continued. “I got to leave that where it is.”
Not only does he think people are overreacting, but the rapper said his lyrics are being taken completely out of context. “I pretty much said, ‘If you want to be good at property and things like that, follow this pattern,'” he explained.
“It’s almost like saying, ‘Kobe Bryant shot a lot of shots.’ If you want to be good at basketball, practise your thousand shots and do what he did.’ And then Kobe Bryant comes out and says, ‘Whatchu trying to say, all black people play basketball?'”
“That’s how ridiculous it is… C’mon, you know I didn’t say that. Context is everything.”