Jay-Z’s new album “4:44” might have enjoyed massive sales since its release last week, but the music icon hasn’t exactly earned raves from the Anti-Defamation League.
The ADL issued a statement calling out Jay-Z’s lyrics for the song “The Story of O.J.,” suggesting that the rapper is trading in anti-Semitic stereotypes.
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.”
“The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money,” the ADL said. “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 the concern over the lyrics, the ADL stopped short of branding Jay-Z an anti-Semite.
“We do not believe it was Jay-Z’s intent to promote anti-Semitism,” the organization added.
“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,” the ADL said.