*Jay-Z’s recently released album “4:44” has run afoul of the Anti-Defamation League.
The Jewish organization has a problem with the track, “The Story of O.J.,” which has already come under fire from folks on social media who took the lyrics as anti-Semitic.
In “The Story of O.J.” he 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 track sparked debate on social media about whether or not Jay-Z was promoting harmful stereotypes.
“We do not believe it was Jay-Z’s intent to promote anti-Semitism,” a rep for the ADL told Rolling Stone. “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.
Still, the group said his lyrics perpetuate negative biases. “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.”
As previously reported, Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary, who is Jewish, recently defended the song and argued the lyrics, in context, are not anti-Semitic.
“If you listen to the song in its entirety you will hear that the whole of the song is based on exaggerated stereotypes to make a point,” he wrote on Instagram, adding, “I’m not offended by these lyrics. I hear them the way he intended them to be heard.”
Russell Simmons also defended the track earlier this week. “The fact is this culture that promotes good business and financial well-being is and has been a guiding light to the black and specifically the hip-hop community,” he tweeted.
Watch the video for “The Story of O.J.” below: