But it wasn’t the rap veteran or his better half that drew eyes last week at the Barclays Center. According to the New York Post, it was a Five-Percent Nation medallion Jigga wore that had heads on notice. The golden accessory, which has been worn by Carmelo Anthony, features the Five-Percent Nation symbol — an eight-point star with the number 7 in the middle.
Best known for controversial beliefs that include black people being the fathers and mothers of civilization, white men labeled as the devil and the Christian god being nothing more than a ghost, the Five-Percent Nation was founded in 1964 in Harlem by Clarence Smith, a former student of Malcolm X who disagreed with the Nation of Islam over the nature of God.
According to the Post, Smith rejected the notion of a supernatural deity. Instead, he believed that all black men had God in them and that black women were “earths” who took on a complementary yet subordinate role to their gods.
Michael Muhammad Knight, an author who wrote two books on the Five Percent Nation, explained that the group’s beliefs go beyond the surface towards something that may raise an eyebrow for many.
“The rationale is that the black man is God and created the universe, and is physically stronger and intellectually stronger and more righteous naturally,” Knight told the Post. “Whiteness is weak and wicked and inferior — basically just an errant child who needs to be corrected.”
The number 7 on Jay Z’s pendant falls in line with the Five Percent Nation’s Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabet, tools used to decipher the meaning of the universe, the Post reports, adding that each letter and number represents a concept. In Jay Z’s case, the number 7 on his pendant stands for God.
Despite the display at the Barclays Center, Jay Z is not involved with the Five-Percent Nation. In fact, the rap mogul’s representation of the medallion has caused friction among some Five Percenters, who aren’t in favor of people using their flag to make a fashion statement as an accessory.
“Jay Z is not an active member — no one has vouched for him,” Saladin Allah, a representative of the group’s upstate region, told The Post. “It was always understood that you don’t wear the regalia if you don’t totally subscribe to the life.”