For some, Jay-Z’s new album 4:44 seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. Just this morning, many fans lost their minds over the realization that Jay's 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy is featured rapping on a bonus track called "Blue's Freestyle/We Family," which is only available to Tidal subscribers. However, 4:44 isn’t only receiving glowing reviews. In fact, a backlash over alleged anti-Semitic lyrics is growing.
The alleged anti-Semitic lyrics appeared on the the track entitled, “The Story of O.J.” In the song, 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 how they did it.” Soon after the album's initial release, many took to social media to express indignation over these lyrics, including the director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, Oren Segal. Segal wrote in a tweet, "As a NYC Jew raised on hiphop I have dismissed many hostile lyrics. But I'm older now & this line on Jews from Jay Z's album is NOT OK w/ me."
Several hours ago, a rep spoke out about the lyrics on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish NGO known for fighting anti-semitism and hate. The rep told Rolling Stone, "The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money. 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."
Despite this statement, the rep says that the ADL does not believe the rapper was intending to promote anti-Semitism with this song. The rep explained, "On the contrary, we know that Jay-Z is someone who has used his celebrity in the past to speak out responsibly and forcefully against the evils of racism and anti-Semitism."