Jay-Z’s lyrics referencing Jewish stereotypes in “The Story of O.J.” have him in hot water with the Anti-Defamation League.
In the song, Jay 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.”
It doesn’t seem too harmless to us, but the Anti-Defamation League — a non-profit Jewish establishment — officially condemned Jay’s of these lyrics on Thursday in a statement, arguing that the rapper’s generalized wording seems 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,” a spokesperson for the ADL told the magazine. “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.”
The spokesperson continued in the statement to say that the organization does not believe Jay intended to promote Anti-Semitic views with the lyrics, but the league denounced that portion of the song nonetheless.
“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,” the statement continued.