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Music

If you think that Jay Z's lyrics in the 'Story of O.J.' are antisemitic you are missing the point

 

The Story of O.J. From JAY-Z's new album, '4:44' 

Elliot Leavy

Hadley Freeman's article yesterday (The Guardian, 05/07/17) 'Sorry, Jay-Z – saying that Jews own all property in America is antisemitic' is not only an attack on one of the best songs of the year but another example of the Left's complete identity crisis.

Whether it be the completely nonsensical nature of stating that the Hijab is a now a symbol of feminism or the acceptance of Kathy Griffin's beheaded trump photograph, the Left is showing itself as completely out of touch with the space it wants to inhabit. Freeman's article is proving this once again, attacking a section of society that it has traditionally been a supporter of, Black America.

The lyrics in question:

You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money in the strip club? / Credit / Ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? / This is how they did it.

I'm not sure if it's the condescending nature of the article that drove me to write this piece, (littered with aggressive rhetorical questions and sarcasm) or whether it is the fact that once Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, came to Hov's aid:

He’s attempting to use the Jewish people in an exaggerated way to showcase a community of people that are thought to have made wise business decisions,

Freeman lambasted his suggestions as "endeavours of telling Jews they should be flattered by antisemitic stereotypes." 

Oseary is not only right, he's Israeli. So now Freeman's gone from hating probably the year's most potent piece of music detailing the condition of the African-American youth to calling a Jewish man antisemitic. 

Even if you disagree and think that Jay Z's lyric isn't politically correct, consider this: non-politically correct is shifting sands all over the world at the moment (albeit for the bad), and the Left's complete inability to deal with it is putting them on the backfoot. African American situation could do with a shift, and if a strongly worded lyric is the only way to get through to youths who would otherwise be throwing their money away, instead galvanising them to climb the ladder in a society that is in many ways biased against them, that, for me, is a good thing.

The lyric in question is simply a sad truth that for the Jewish population one of the main avenues they could use to garner respect and live their lives free of repulsive hate was through ensuring themselves financially. Yes, this has lead to more hate and ungrounded stereotypes of global domination, but that is not at all what Jay-Z is alluding too here. The song is partly about emanating the improvements in the Jewish condition in the context of the African American one.

The song: in the words of Hov himself is that he's "Trying to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99" to a population with the lowest GDP (Jewish American's are 87 positions above African Americans when it comes to average household income - but that's not really the point) and levels of incarceration completely off the charts in comparison to their overall population. Instead of actually listening to the song, the Left has only heard what they wanted, which is, sadly, the complete opposite of the actual song in question.

There is also a lack of awareness of who this song is targeted at. Even if the racists that perpetuate the nasty stereotypes suddenly start to listen to Jay-Z, (because I doubt that they do, though I will admit the world is a weird and wonderful place) I would still enjoy seeing a black man capitalising off of their money. It's ultimately the Left who is making an issue of racism here, I haven't seen any KKK members giving a shoutout to 4:44 on Twitter yet anyway, even though 'The Story of O.J.' is flooded with negative black stereotypes.

All this being said, the song is a masterpiece and is a rewarding return to hip hop's roots. I'll personally continue to enjoy it and reflect on why songs like this are still needed today. Sadly, for many on the Left, they are unable to respect it – showing the blinding nature of their contempt of what certain people are saying, never looking into why they might be saying it.