Home Culture Why We Shouldn’t Expect More from Jay-Z

Why We Shouldn’t Expect More from Jay-Z



By now you’ve heard about the Barneys fiasco involving two young Black adults being stopped because they made pricey purchases that staff found crime-worthy. I won’t rehash that. I’m writing because of the public outcry for Jay-Z to opt out of his partnership/arrangement/situation/thing with the store. This would signal his (our) intolerance for retail racial-profiling and other unjust shenanigans. Well, he hasn’t done that. And his name has been all over the place as a result. Even on the cover of major newspapers. He didn’t make a statement until this past weekend, which was met with mixed reviews. And while the statement was a source of anger for many, I found a truth in his message. Here’s the snippet from that statement that resonated with me.

I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?

You can read the full statement here.

Amidst all the outrage, the potency behind this will go overlooked. But it says a lot about his business mind and what it takes to be successful. And that’s coming from someone who isn’t a supreme Hov fan. I think it’s important that we isolate the role of emotion in our decision-making. Besides, in situations like this, what’s the rush? We’re not gonna undo racist tendencies in a week.

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I can’t help but think how many of us make impulse decisions and how often that leads to a bad outcome; whether it be sex we shouldn’t have had, a place we shouldn’t have went, or a card we shouldn’t have swiped. Solid business people don’t make major decisions based on emotion. They make them based on facts and data. So having read what Jay said, I can’t be mad at him…even if someone on his PR team wrote the statement. At the end of the day, Jay-Z is a business man, not the melanin delegate. We can’t force him to represent us because we say so. That’s just not how life works. And honestly, I don’t think its his job.

Imagine if we all made decisions based on what people we’ve never met had to say? We’d be broke. Opportunities missed and bridges burned because we acted based on the impulse of people we’ve never seen or heard. And let’s say you make a bad decision because of them. Are they going to reimburse you for whatever you lost? Probably not. But hey, you appeased them. That’s what’s important right?

Admittedly, where we are is far different from where Jay-Z is, but let’s not forget he’s a person with self-serving interests just like the rest of us. He’s gonna do what’s best for him and who/whatever he’s affiliated with first. This isn’t a bad thing. At least not to me.

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What about you?


This article originally appeared on The Freedom Chase: Career Advice & Everything Life. Join the Freedom Chase Family on Facebook by clicking here.


  1. I have no problems at all with him just waiting on the facts of the issue as a whole. Furthermore he says he isn't making money from this line and that the money goe s to barneys and 25% of it goes to his foundation. So if he wants to wait…let him wait! *James Earl Jones voice*

  2. I probably will be criticized for this but i see this "issue' like I see a Child being born out of a Rape- a Good Thing out of a Bad Association. BEAR WITH ME PLEASE:

    Like a Child to a Rapist, the Shawn Carter Foundation has a relationship with Barneys, which has been racial profiling Many Black folks since last week's reporting; to Criticize Jay Z for his foundation's Association is like Demonizng a Child because his/her Father/Mother sexually assaulted his/her Mother/Father and they are the Result of it. These Poor kids of Hov's foundation have Nothing to do with Barneys NOR Anyone having the money to buy $350 belts or $2,999 purses…..

  3. I don’t have a problem with his approach. People always can tell you what to do with your time, money, or business. Are there any other black designers/ business people in Barney’s? If so, are they making the same demands of them? If not, this is pointless and they’re just calling for actions of someone they recognize—> Jay Z.

  4. I don’t understand what facts he is waiting for. Two black people were wrongly accused of fraud/ stealing from the same damn store. The situation speaks for itself. Furthermore, had he said something from the beginning, I would be more inclined to believe him. The statement honestly just seems like damage control for his image because he realized it wasn’t just going to blow over. Whatever.

  5. Eh. I really don't care what he does, to be honest (yes I've noticed I am taking the time to comment on an article I took the time to read about someone I claim to be indifferent on). Buuuuuut…. this kindof sounds like the runaround we're getting for the Redskins. Just say, "I don't want to reneg on something I'M benefitting from until I have no other alternative", which is what it is. I don't recall people being so "objective" when it came to where their money is being SPENT, such as Tommy Hilfiger or Cristal.
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  6. It's not a bad thing to me either. Jay-Z isnt Ralph Abernathy or MLK. He's a hustler who moved from the streets to the boardroom (sidebar: which I believe many of our local trap stars have the talents to if they refocus).

    Assume Jay-Z sticks with the deal… I'm curious as to the sales numbers. Matterfact, I had no idea he even had a deal. I might venture in to check it out. OHHHH!!! I got it! Drum up publicity. That Jay-Z is a smart man.

  7. Lol since when do ni**as disagree with Jay Z?…can't ever disagree with Jay!

    If Jay Z punched a fan people would be like "what would you do??" lol ya'll will suck him off forever

  8. I have to say Maris have made a great point. Granted JayZ is gonna "do him" before anything else but at the same token, those two victims, (like Maris said in so may ways) their money was green just like JayZ's and as JayZ is not getting treated like shit, neither should those two individuals who worked just as hard to have made that grip they then turned around and spent in that store. The next step is for those two individuals to take their "business" elsewhere and let JayZ not care from a distance while they are in another business like Tommy or Cristal getting treated like they should….

  9. This is why our generation and the ones to follow suffer so much from not being around during Civil Rights. We have misconceptions about where our principles lie. We continue to ingratiate ourselves to a system that only acknowledges our financial prowess and not our people. AS long as our principles and values continue to be for sale, these issues will never come to a halt. The outrage comes off as insignificant because it doesn't come from our most influential. We can't keep waiting for another Martin, Malcolm, Mandela, etc. Our talented tenth who have the ear of the oppressive status quo have to use their voice if not, they epitomize the definition of those who truly "sell out."

    1. Agree. I hear "educated" black people talking sometimes and I wonder if "education" isn't just brainwashing. They regurgitate stuff white folks fed them, and then think that makes them educated.

    2. Can you post this like….everywhere. Like everywhere because people don't seem to get that. And why should let the situation get so bad a MLK, Malcolm and Mandela have to emerge. Those types of individuals are borne of terrible circumstances, that's what great about them. You wouldn't these people if the higher ups took more time care and nip the issue in the bud rather than let it gain momentum. But as sheeple love say "money rules everything around me."

  10. I think this shows the lack of solidarity that has constantly plagued the black community. Shop-and-Frisk is old news but now a couple of high profile cases has given us the opportunity to bring the discussion front and center. Jay-Z refuses. It's clearly about the money. Jay-Z and Barney's both stand to lose. Of course a portion of the revenue and the donation would help potential low income college students, but in the long run it wouldn't matter because the extra money these students could make isn't good at every store. They'd graduate, get better jobs, and still be discriminated against. I would love to be able to blow $350 on a belt, but I would love it more if I could shop where I want without being accused of stealing because of my skin color. We can make the latter a reality if we don't let these incidents go unpunished. We can speak out. Jay-Z was in the best position to say something because of his wealth and status. Yeah he didn't choose to be the spokesman but if he truly cared he would have said something.

  11. People have been kiss'n Jay-Z's butt for so long now they see that the only thing he cares about is covering his butt and his money. I'm not suprised at Jay-Z's response to the situation, I mean this is the same guy who lied about selling crack when it was his friend who did all the selling and all J did was run errands. At the end of the day Jay-Z is a puppet or errand boy for the powers that be. I put it to you this way if Malcom X was alive he would go off on Jay for not supporting his people. But then again, I don't think we are his people anymore lol. Ask Irv Gotti, Dame Dash, Suge Knight, and J Prince about how he snitched on them when they tried to do something positive, and in return he was given Roc-a-fella Records. (Just saying)

  12. So the same people who are point at J for doing him, are the same people who do tons of things that wrongs others in the name of "getting ahead", "looking out for self", and oh my favorite "i'm doing me". Until black people as a collective group pull our resources together, we shouldn't be quick to jump on others because they are doing, what others who are not famous in our community is doing. When things become famous that are viewed as racism we are quick to jump on that bandwagon, but yet not enough of our are working with our people to help create better thinkers, creative people, independent people. We have a short term memory (I.e. Trayvon Martin blew up everyone's facebook page, but nothing has been on our radar since) Instead of continue to promote and ride on the coattails of what people are doing wrong, we need to continue to push what we are doing right. Do I think Jay-Z should stop f**king with Barney's? No. How many of you have quit your job because someone was fired on some B.S that you didn't agree with or seemed wrong? Not unless you have other income to supplement or you have a plan of action, you won't take the drastic of a step. I think that A.Jay-z should wait for the facts, because too many of us do jump first and look last and we have landed in a pile of sh*t. B. Use this platform to talk more about racism.
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    1. I get what you're saying to extent I can agree. I don't think should stop holding each other accountable as cure for the self-serving opportunist mindset everyone has. That's like saying you can stop a water if you don't build a dam. I DO agree that we need to hold everyone accountable big and small. The big examples like celebrities and politicians need to be handled first since they are the most visible example and what most people emulate. Everyday Joes and Janes pull these stunts because they see people with more doing it and getting ahead. So why shouldn't they advance their circumstances when there's even less people to see? Can't let anyone slide. I have my favorite celebs too but I'm not so star struck to excuse them when they are in the wrong. I see bullshit on sides with celebs but people let it slide because they are emulating them, to say that they are is glean that you are wrong for following suit. And you are. The accountability has to be for everyone IMHO especially celebs since they have greater exposure.

    2. My point is that Jay-Z has the platform and the voice to evoke change. That's what our brightest and best did in previous generations. Now we are willing to exchange what's right for what's going to get us ahead individually. While I agree that the fight for equality must always have a grassroots foundation, It is our people in the so-called "spotlight" who have to speak out against the entities that continue to oppress and marginalize us.

    3. You can believe that "it's not their job" if you'd like, but guess what, the establishment couldn't care less about your voice and mine in these matters. We average Joe's/Jane's have to be there to hold up our people who can effectively influence change by both supporting them and being lovingly critical of them at the same time. Today the movers and shakers of our society aren't the pastors, educators, etc., they are the athletes, entertainers, and the like who have the followers all over the world on social media, who influence culture and economics through their "gifts", and who can change the course of history with the decisions they make. We can't continue to complain about the wolf, if we continue to permit our "shepherds" to sleep as we are "lambs" to the slaughter!

  13. I know that everyone is saying that they respect his position, I would too. You should definitely stop and think before you act but what was there really to think about? The store stopped two people because they felt they couldn't possibly afford these items so something criminal has to be going on. Based on what exactly?…I'll wait.


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