Russell Simmons Says Jay-Z Isn’t Anti-Semitic

(Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

There’s a line in Jay-Z’s new 4:44 album that some people feel reeks of anti-Semitism, but some of his closest friends are now speaking out in the rapper’s defense.

In “The Story of O.J.,” he raps about Jewish people and money: “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.”


Some say that the verse perpetuates a stereotype about Jewish people being financially conservative and “having all the power.”


But Russell Simmons, who worked with Jay-Z on an anti-Semitism PSA, says that his friend’s lyrics should be a “guiding light to the black and specifically the hip-hop community.”


Israeli-American talent manager Guy Oseary also came to Jay-Z’s defense and said that the rapper was giving the Jewish community a compliment.


Will Jay-Z address the criticism he’s received? Or just point people to his 2006 PSA?

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Yesha Callahan

Bye, Kinja! It's been fun (occasionally).