In Jay-Z’s latest attempt to “sell water to a well,” the rapper plans to sell “Occupy All Streets” t-shirts through his Rocawear brand as a show of support for Occupy Wall Street. Only problem? Occupy Wall Street is a movement against capitalism, making Jay-Z’s plan to create t-shirts and pocket the money against everything the movement represents.
Nonetheless, the company has released a statement saying the shirt is their way of ‘supporting the movement’ and “‘Occupy All Streets’ is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street.” Confused, yet?
In addition to the fact that the t-shirt capitalizes off a movement against greedy capitalist practices, many find Jay-Z’s support of Occupy Wall Street hypocritical given his involvement with the Brooklyn Nets as the government has allegedly pushed residents out of surrounding neighborhoods to prepare for the new stadium. He isn’t the first celebrity to embrace Occupy Wall Street: Russell Simmons is organizing a rap protest and Kanye West lent his support by appearing at the protest.
What do you think? Is Jay-Z’s way of showing support problematic? Should he make a more tangible contribution to the movement? What do you think of the t-shirt? Can wealthy celebrities effectively support a movement against capitalism?