Jay Z spoke up about his controversy with iconic singer and social activist, Harry Belafonte.

The beef started with Belafonte’s statement to The Hollywood Reporter accusing both Jay Z and his wife, Beyonce, of turning their back on social responsibility. Jay, not known for biting his tongue, fired back at Belafonte in the song “Nickels and Dimes” from his latest album “Magna Carta Holy Grail.”

Beyond that, here’s what Jay Z had to say when asked to expound on his stance:

“Yeah I’m offended by that because first of all…this is going to sound arrogant…but my presence is charity, just because of who I am. Just like Obama’s[Barack] is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything the hope that he provides for a nation and outside of America is enough. You know what I’m saying? Just being who he is. You’re the first black president. If he speaks on any issue or anything, he should be left alone. No, I’m not going to say anything bad about him. Of course we want to challenge him to do better but Belafonte went about [it] the wrong way. The way he did it within the media and then he bigged-up Bruce Springsteen. It was like woo, you just sent the wrong message like all around…You just bigged-up the white guy against me in the white media. I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m saying what it is the fact of what it was. – JAY Z ”

(Photo: AP and PRPhotos)

12 thoughts on “Jay Z Responds to Harry Belafonte Controversy: ‘My Presence is Charity’

  1. Sexy Leroy on said:

    Harry Belafonte is a loud-mouthed, has been. “We” kill each other every day over bullshiggedy and experience tragedy on the regular yet no one mumbles a peep- not so-called black leaders like Al Sharpton, not Jesse Jackson, not Obama and not Harry Belafonte. So, why is it Jay Z’s business to speak on anything? The man is a rapper, a music producer- not a politician, not an elected official. A private citizen. It was wrong for Belafonte to call ANYONE out on why they have not done. White folks just love when we do each other in!!!

  2. 55th st silverbacks on said:

    WE WILL NEVER BE RECIEVED AS SERIOUS , until we address the lives lost by OUR OWN HANDS. PLEASE listen to the words not just the music never did shawn carter proclaim to an activist , nor did he say he had respect for elders. trayvon is the marder for which he new movement to improve ourselves starts , and it starts with the understanding that are children are lost and we need eachother as the elders taught THE VILLAGE.

  3. Damn Jay, you sound less articulate than your wife. I am not a Jay-Z fan, but I am a Beyonce fan. One thing I have never done is put this couple out to be some super political force. Most of their actions show nothing but arrogance. This generation of successful blacks in music are all about themselves. As far as I can tell, they are totally removed from the blight of the black person. .

  4. the Timekeeper on said:

    Regardless of who you think is right on this issue, this is exactly what the Right Wing media take and runs with. This beef profits nothing and no one. The one thing Harry probably should not have said was the Bruce Springsteen statement. That was a bit too much over the top. If Trayvon’s death should do anything, it should be to unite not divide people. Yes, I too wish some of our Icons of today might be more vocal. This however Im afraid will make them even more cautious, not less.

  5. Chester Todd Jr. on said:

    Very immature statement. I thought more of J than what he just showed. I guess that’s what money does to a person. Remember Harry was in the fight before you were even thought of.

    • I agree with you. Jay-Z says he doesn’t want to appear arrogant by stating that his mere presence denotes charitably. Jay-Z further states that like President Obama, his presence rises to the level of charity. So in essence appreciate it, Jay-Z is in the house! Oooweee! Sounds like arrogance to me! Harry Belafonte is an elder who infused being Civil Rights” Activist with being a famous entertainer of his day. It would have been far classier if Jay-Z’s response in this matter was one of giving respect to an elder. I’m probably expecting too much, though. Often, when folks become famous with a huge fan following, making lots of money, in instances when poise and class is required, they seldom display controlled temperament representing the class their money says they are a part. How they lived and was brought up prior to their life of riches peeps through. If good manners, decorum, respect for elders was not taught. Old money always exhibits better than new money.

  6. Tyrone on said:

    JAY-Z; WILL SMITH; A. KEYS; J. LEGEND; etc., it’s as though that entire generation are AFRAID to speak out against the Trayvon Martin murder.

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