Jay Z Five Percenter medallion*Jay Z turned some heads (while sitting next to Beyonce) during a weekend Brooklyn Nets game for the medallion around his neck.

The medallion is in affiliation with Five Percent Nation  — causing some controversy with the group who said Hov isn’t a practicing member.

But Jay’s association with the 5 Percenters is nothing new nor is it new for the radical Islamic group to be associated with hip hop.

The group mixed Islamic teachings with black empowerment and social justice. They believe they’re the five percent teaching the truth while 10 percent control the untrue teachings taught to the other 85 percent.

“You’re coming up in a time when a lot of blacks were experiencing resistance from society,” said Sha Mell, a Brooklyn-based cultural critic and member of the 5 Percent Nation.

Sha Mell told theGrio because of the group and hip hop’s presence in New York City both parties intermixed.

“You gotta remember, it’s like you had family members or relatives that type of insight, or a neighbor who had that knowledge,” he said. “It was getting spread around like early hip-hop.”

Many hip hop artists were connected to Five Percent Nation including Big Daddy KaneWu Tang Clan and Nas.

“The 5 percent of any group is the nucleus. Of anything, any company, of any congregation, they are the keepers of the standard. That’s why KRS-One, Rakim, and Public Enemy and others were so powerful back then because, they could rap about anything, including the positives and negatives in the community.”

The cultural critic believes critics of Jay are misinformed and he has the right to wear the medallion — as it’s telling of aspects of his life.

“The piece that he has wearing represented the sun, which was known as a great power in the universe. It has a seven [considered to be a divine number] a moon and a star in it,” he said.

He continued with:

“That represents the man, woman and the child. So that piece on his chain represents that the family is a great source of power. And it’s him, Beyoncé and the baby, and if you notice he didn’t start wearing it till after they had the baby. He’s probably just wearing it to say he’s proud of his family.”