Like wife Beyonce, Jay-Z often addresses public scandals in new music rather than in the press. On his new album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” he talks about the backlash against his daughter, Blue Ivy, his beef with Lil Wayne and more. One of the more glaring situations he addresses is his conflict with Harry Belafonte.

In August of 2012, Harry Belafonte went on record criticizing Jay-Z and Beyonce’s lack of social responsibility. He said to The Hollywood Reporter:

“I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.”

The quote received a lot of attention, prompting Beyonce to respond in The Wall Street Journal with a short list of all the “unselfish” work she’s done. Jay-Z remained mum until now.

On a new track, “Nickles and Dimes,” he says:

“I’m just trying to find common ground/ ‘Fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a n*gga down/ Mr. Day O, major fail/ Respect these youngins boy, it’s my time now/ Hublot homie two door homie/ You don’t know all the sh*t I do for the homies.”

Read the full lyrics here.

It could be argued that both Belafonte and Jay-Z hit below the belt, but some felt Jay-Z went too far in his disrespect of the actor and social activist.

Single Black Male writes:

“The other thing that jumps out about this verse is how abrasive Jay is with Mr. Belafonte. Harry Belafonte is 86-years-old. At this point in his life, there shouldn’t be anything at all the aging gentleman could say that should warrant someone 40 years his junior rapping profanities in his direction. It’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s about respecting your elders. [...] Age aside – this is Harry Belafonte we’re talking about. This is a man who’s spent his entire life dedicated to causes of freedom, human equality and social justice. Calling him Mr. Day-O, a mocking allusion to his biggest hit “Banana Boat Song,” is wrong, calling him “boy” while urging him to respect you because it’s “our time now,” is dead wrong.”

There’s also the fact that racist white men often referred to black males as “boy” regardless of their age as a way to disrespect them and insult their masculinity. “Boy” is a weighted term for an older black man, and I’m sure Jay-Z is well aware of its significance.

What do you think, Clutchettes? Did Jay-Z go too far?

  • Anthony

    Jay-Z sounds like a man who was raised with no father figure, and who has no concept of respecting his elders.

  • http://gravatar.com/bornliberian bornliberian

    “RESPECT” u have to give it to get it. no matter ones age.(JMO)

  • GoldenGoddess

    Mr. Belafonte was old enough to do his fact checking before he denouced his own people while promoting Bruce Springsteen. That was ignorant and hurtful. Of all the people he could have named, those were the worst examples to use. He is 86, he doesn’t have dementia.

  • MimiLuvs


    I agree with you.
    My parents raised me with the idea of “respect is earned and no one is entitled to receive respect”.
    I had many encounters, where an elderly person thought that they could “speak any ole’ way” towards me and thought that they could get away with it because they were older than me.
    In regards to Jay-Z’s rebuttal, I hope he doesn’t apologize for his lyrics.
    I also find it a bit…disappointing that Beyonce had to recite all of the charities that she has been involved in, to prove that she does give back to the “black communities”. She didn’t have to prove anything to any one. If I was her, I would’ve gave Belafonte my own version of the middle finger, by not saying anything.
    I know a lot of people believe in the ‘respect the elders’, but do they also believe that these elders should know how to be respectful by now?

  • MimiLuvs


    His “Bruce Sprinstein is my kind of black” comment definitely caused my feathers to be ruffled.
    It reeked of the “white man’s ice is always colder” for me.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Jay Z being Jay Z instead of doing a whole song lyric maybe he should have picked up the phone and talked to the man. Maybe explaining to him in person what he does for the community.

  • Child, Please

    The story the Hollywood Reporter did on Harry Belafonte was a beautiful one and I wish that were being covered as opposed to harping on something he said about two people who get more coverage than necessary. I’m not sure if people read it, but social responsibility and giving charitable donations are not mutually exclusive. True, I’m sure both donate to charity, but do they speak about social injustice in their music? Do they go out their way to promote ways in which the black community can strengthen itself in the mediums in which they work in? While I’m sure there will be someone who’ll cherry pick the good they’ve done, how much of that translates into their music, which is just as important today as it was when Belafonte was coming along? What Belafonte meant was with great power comes great responsibility – not some dollars and cents attached to your name to throw around for recognition. What’s most troublesome is they were used as an example and don’t realize that they chose to focus what wasn’t said (praise) about them rather than following suit. If anything, them barking back was childish and showed their level of understanding for what social responsibility means and why it’s integral to not just read what’s said abut you, but digest it. And in their case, it would’ve been more beneficial for them to do just that.

  • Karyn

    Jay-Z IS a person that was raised WITHOUT a father figure.

  • Ms Write

    Jay Z was criticized and he had a right to respond so I don’t think it was too far. I really hate when we refer to people who do social activism as Black where does Belafonte get that from?

  • Ms Write

    Exactly. If you can crticize you can accept a rebutle, I think people need to leave their personal feelings for Jay Z out of this.

  • Ms Write

    Why does he need to explain himself to a man that went public in his criticism? Did Belafonte call him first before he made those statements?

  • Ms Write

    @SMH True!

  • Wanda

    Isn’t Jay Z in his mid 40s? He is a “youngin”?

    There certainly was a much more dignified way for Jay Z to respond to Harry Belafonte than to use the n-word and demean him. Not surprised at all.

  • angel

    Look. Jay-Z can give his rebuttal all he wants but his arrogance and lack of respect, while not surprising, is shameful. How dare you call a grown ass man a homie and boy. Have you no damn respect and appreciation for an 86 yo man who’s “day-os” helped lay the ground work for you to amass your wealth?
    Good grief I’m so damn tired of people defending this man.

  • angel

    I’m sorry, I have to some say something else I think is important Clutch:

    Our elders get a pass in my book often times.
    That means my grandma may she RIP may have times said some blunt things but you better bet that no one was going to call her out and try to come at her sideways with it. Not because they couldn’t but because being elderly (often times correct in her assertions) afforded her the right (in my family’s eyes) to be able to just say stuff.
    Cause when she was a young woman she couldn’t. She was a girl, a gal, a negra a nigger. she had to yes ma’am and scrub floor and iron people’s clothes. She survived a depression (and so did Mr. Belafonte) and came through. She raised a family on a dollar and 15 cents. She rode the back of the damn bus and I could keep going.
    So in my eyes, when I am around a senior statesman or woman, although I am a grown ass woman in my own right (professional, married, kids, taxpayer etc), I owe something to those before me. And in my eyes I will never be their equal. Deference is due. Its ok to be silent sometimes. And if you just can’t bring yourself to that level of humility then please don’t belittle our elder Belafonte in public. He already had to go through that in his lifetime by many whites who sought to suppress his talent, his manhood, his very being just because of his color. So how damn dare Mr. Shawn Carter who would not be here if not for Mr. Harry Belafonte try to do the damn same?
    My turn to be silent.

  • OSHH

    Jay Z is a corporate tool, who fronts like he is outisde the establishment but he is very much a part of the establishment and I”m over him and his wife

  • Megs

    If only Jay Z had a quarter of the grace and class Mr Belafonte has in his entire body. Jay Z is just cashing in on the N and B word. Belafonte walked with King. You do the math.

  • Clara

    Jay-Z did go to far. How dare him referring to that man in such a way. We have lost respect for the elders. This speaks so much of who Jay-Z is, and where he comes from. We all know when you grow up with you mother and father and grandparents respecting them is vital. They are your beginning, and they deserve respect. No matter what they say or don’t say. We are celebrating a bunch of people with no characters. Whatever they put out we accept. We are so much better than that. Sorry Jay-Z you time is up, karma is real.

  • Megs

    There is a way to retort without dissing the man in this way. How about releasing a statement? Calling him boy and taking a jab at his music? Classless. You can’t learn class though.

  • Megs

    Bruce Springsteen sang for Amnesty International, sang against Apartheid, has shown up each and every time supporting black causes. I think the point Belafonte was making is that Bruce should not be doing more publicly than our own stars. Jay Z and his wife donate money but they need to be in the trenches like Bruce. I am with Harry on this one.

  • Megs

    Right cause nothing speaks injustice song to me as a woman than a song that speaks of all the problems a man could have but I (a B) is not one. Watch out Angela Davis! Side eye in sarcasm.

  • Megs

    The Springsteen comment made sense to me. Springsteen sang with Amnesty International, sang against apartheid, has been in the trenches, always shows up to support black causes when he is asked. Jay Z and his wife do donate a lot of money but they have an image to uphold which prevents them for being in the trenches like Bruce is. Plus Bruce has been doing this since the late 70s. He has been consistently supportive of black causes. As for Harry, he is 86. That is like your grandpa. He walked with King. He fought for justice in a time when he could have been killed. I am sure he was called boy by racists whites. You never under any circumstances refer to an 86 year old black man as boy. Jay Z showed disrespect. He could have released a statement and a classy one. He has no class though. Money can’t buy that for you. 99 problems and a B ain’t one? Yeah, I am not a B My Jay. Neither is your wife or daughter. Also, please stop with the N word. haven’t you given it all the power you said you would already? Can’t you stop with it now?

  • enuffofdisfulishness

    You should respect your elders. Some things you have to rise above!

  • Cocoel

    Iagree with respect your elders but there was a way the elder statesmen should have handled himself in he media. The view that “blacks can’t sick together” is just as bad as Jay’s response. How are artist supposed to make money outside of music? This is another age. They were using musicians to sell there products without pay. They became wiser and now use it to their advantage. That is called good business. What concerns me is the constant barrage of “we never going to be happy” that comes from our race. He should have called them and spoke to them, elder or not. The problem is when you use the media to communicate personal statements; you cop out. You cop out because you can make untrue statements without the immediate debate from the accused. He wasn’t trying to have a conversation because conversing is a two way street. He didn’t give them the opportunity to have that. Nobody should have to answer for what they keep personal. If they had given millions of dollars in private, why should they have to tell us? Do, I tell you? I’m not rich but I have worked in the community for years. When you are older and wiser you do better. Both parties were disrespectful. That is why young people turn a deaf ear and believe me they do. Also, I was taught to respect me elders but I have also seen where that has gotten many families in trouble. Certain issues needed to be addressed, and due to many black families following that creed, certain issues hurt family relationships. Just saying….

  • Prissy1

    I think there was error on both parts. I mean just because Jay and B don’t “floss” their good doings, doesn’t mean it’s not done. I’ve learned that you do flaunt the good just to be showy. Jay could have ignored it and K.I.P.

  • Marketing Gimmicks

    It does reek of immaturity to be a 40+ year old man rebuffing a civil rights legend.

    I do get that some elders can ruffle our feathers with dated ways of activism (some elders tend to think that activism can only look one way) but Jay Z is a grown man, a married man and a father. Like someone wrote. He should of pulled a grownup move and simply called the man on the phone not put lyrics to a beat in the name of “creative license”….

    I expect that kind of ignorant disconnection from 20 something young ins…

  • lea

    let him have his taylor swift moment, he will learn…time is coming when he can’t rap forever. mr. belafonte paid dues….he was calling jay out to invest time as much as he does money, not only when he needs a photo op to prove he is besties with the president. obama can only have 2 terms not three. invest time back into the communities

  • RaiseTheBar


    You have summed it up — It’s CLASSism.

    Mr. Belafonte/Civil Rights movement fought against racism: no matter how much formal education or financial wealth you attained as a Black American individual, you were looked down upon as less than a fellow human being just because your skin was BLACK.

    I’m well aware no one likes to be criticized or judged, yet I find myself in agreement with Mr. Belafonte.

    Mr. and Mrs. Carter are no different than most in their economic and social CLASS; so I am forced to remind myself when the MEDIA puts on blast how much they paid for a baby’s crib or a painting for their daughter’s room, they are playing the CLASS card (the HAVES vs. the have nots or have very little in comparison)

  • Anthony

    SMH, Jay-Z had a right to stand up for himself, but one should stay classy when standing up for oneself.

    About six weeks ago, I was with my church as a musician (a bassist)
    Visiting another church. I was looking for a place to plug in my amp. I saw an outlet by the pulpit, and I asked some church elders if I could use it. When I was finished, I stepped over a barricade, instead of walking around it, and an old man grabbed my arm like I was a child and chastised me like a kid for not walking around the barricade. I guess if looks could kill, that former pastor would have been dead, because multiple people came up to me after church asking if I was alright. The next day, some said they feared I was going to hit the old minister (that never occurred to me, I would have killed him.)

    In reality, I simply made it a point to look the old man in the face the next time I plugged up and asked him loudly ” is this the right way to use the input?”

    My point is that even when you are grown ( I am 53,) it is easy to come off as the young person disrespecting the old man. I believe that we all have a right to speak up for ourselves, the key is to do it in a way that keeps the spotlight how we were wronged, and not the response itself.

  • http://rqs007.wordpress.com Thank, Q

    I don’t think Harry should have called Jay-Z out specifically. He could have made his point without using names. However, he’s right. Black people have the money and power to move nations, but we’re too selfish to do it. We can have $20 million, but we won’t do anything that will risk us making $40 million. People like Harry Belafonte didn’t do what he did for money. He did what he did just to be called a citizen. A lot of people born within the last 40 years will never understand or relate to that. If Harry had the money and fame that Jay-Z does with his current mindset, then there’s no telling how much more awareness black people would have. However, there’s a disconnect between the generations. The younger generation has basically said “thanks for paving the way, now get off the road” while the older generation is saying “you need to pay it forward.”

  • RaiseTheBar


    Rap then it later became the, “Hip Hop Culture” was looked down upon until mainstream recognized its lucrative exploitability.

    So neither Mr. nor Mrs. Carter as they are now have much to do with the music or the art form, it’s about the large $um$ of $ being made by them.

    FOOD for Thought: Why do our economically challenged communities spend our hard earned $s supporting the lavish lifestyles of the Carters, Smiths, PDs, etc. for feel good in the moment when that money should be $aved and invested in improving the QUALITY of our lives?

    I don’t want to allow myself to remember the number of times I was criticized for how I didn’t dress (women) who are smokers, declared(ing) bankruptcy, in trouble with the IRS, working 2jobs, health issues, about to have lights turned off or phones disconnected in their hot pursuit of feelin’ good in the moment.

    NO, Racism is NOT dead, but CLASSism (education w/money OR education—>money) is a bigger issue here in 21st century America. PD could never MIS-speak to or MIS-treat Ms. Oprah Winfrey the same way she would one of her Blacks to the Back/whites up front restaurant employees.

  • Angelique212

    Agreed. SHAME can be used effectively as a tool for good. Belafonte’s use was as a tool for good, while Jay-Z simply shows his continued immaturity.

    Jay-Z will never be worth the crust between Harry Belafonte’s toes, and one would have to be a literal fool to think otherwise. ONE would have to not know absolutely ANYTHING about the civil rights icon (not directed towards you).

    My husband and I used to say the same things about these modern day “artists” who don’t do sh!t for anyone but themselves. They were not MODELING (important!) altruistic behaviors… THAT was disgusting, but guess what,,, guess who is more involved now? That fact, Jay-z and B are becoming more involved in philanthropy, makes Jay look more like a punk for coming out with this verse NOW and not before. SUDDENLY, when those two finally get involved…Jay-Z’s got a mouth. So typical of the no responsibility culture we support for these perpetual boy rappers and wanna-be men… it’s manipulative and b!tchy. The opposite of being a real man, like Belafonte who risked his career and mainstream standing to stand alongside the other leaders of the civil rights movement.

  • BeanBean

    Without Mr. Belafonte, there would be no Jay Z, or any other wealthy black artist in general.

  • RaiseTheBar

    @Child, Please

    “…Belafonte meant was with great power comes great responsibility – not some dollars and cents attached to your name to throw around for recognition.”

    ‘nuf said.

    The Carters may be foolin’ $ome, but hopefully MOST of US recognize it for what it is. It’s like those “celebrities” and their “charities” that do nothing more than help them look less like the greedy, materialistic, self-serving, self-promoting individuals they truly are and pad the pockets of the organizers of the charity.

  • http://gravatar.com/jswindell Nean

    I have feeling that Blue Velvet or whatever her name is will be that karma.

  • http://gravatar.com/jswindell Nean

    I am blessed to have had an uncle who broke it down to me about being responsible in our communities. There is nothing wrong with having friends or good associates of other races and there is certainly nothing wrong with having a few dollars but we owe ourselves to represent better…and we seem to go in the opposite direction.

    I think Mr. Belafonte called him out because despite Shawn wearing the nice suits and is associated with many brands and seems to have control of business, he knew that Shawn would not be man enough to confront him face to face.

    Harry knew that this male would resort to grade-school BS and continue to talk about his possessions, which really belong to the White man. There was a recent post about why the Carters had to stay in the limelight almost 24/7, 52 weeks for the past several years and what it came down to is that there is too much overhead (possibly House of Dereon, Solange’s lifestyle and others in their camp who don’t perform but make more than most accountants). So its that paycheck-to-paycheck mentality that most of us from the ‘hood, or humble beginnings, tries to escape.

  • ruggie

    I just caught a flashback to ’93 with Rev. Calvin Butts vs. Snoop Dogg. When elders who have earned their stripes fighting for civil rights publicly go against the fragile egos of rappers it never ends well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarita.alexander Sarita Alexander

    Jay, respect your elders, first and foremost. Secondly, really? everything Mr. Belafonte said was correct, and as the saying goes, a hit dog will holler. If you were so sure that you’ve done so much, you would be secure in that and the record would show. All you’ve done is pimp your own ppl for profit. You will never be on Mr. Belafonte’s level. Hell, you’re not even on mine. You can repeat things as much as you want, it won’t change the truth, and you are far too old for this foolery. I guess it’s true – growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  • Margaret

    If Mr. Belafonte has issues with Jay-Z he should talk to him directly. It’s never a good idea to call people out in public, especially when you really don’t have all the facts.

    I don’t think just because you’re old you get to say whatever you want – how responsible is that? And what kind of modeling is that?

  • KKay

    I think their both wrong. I think Mr. Belafonte should have talked to them privately and addressed his issues. However, I doubt Jay-Z would have answered his phone call even if he tried to do. He has nothing to gain (financially) from speaking with Harry Belafonte. Jay-Z response is typcial for a rapper; respect and tact are not what they are known for (see their treatment of women and such).

    This just seems, I don’t know, weird to me. This so-called controversy happened almost a year ago, and it pretty much died a quick death. Why bring it up know? If it really bothered Jay-Z, he could have put a track out back then as he is known to do when something really bothers him (see Cuba track). I guess what I’m really saying is that he ran out material for his album and decided to pull this out to get folks talking about him. And as the great businessman he is, it worked!

  • KKay

    Please excuse the typos. they’re instead of their and now instead of know.

  • A

    Jay-Z not having a father figure is no excuse for his lack of respect and tact. His mother is just as responsible for the instilling of values in her child(ren)

  • Trisha

    Jay- Z was way out-out-of- line.

    Who does Jay- Z really think HE is? I know a lot of people reverence Jay-Z. But in my book, he doesn’t hold a candle to Mr. Belafonte. Mr. Belafonte is a LIVING pioneer – meaning he opened the doors for Jay-Z.

    So, this is why I ask the question. Yes, you are very successful. I respect your business endeavors/business mind/hustle. But we’re talking about [a caliber] of man who placed his life on the line for others – (not sure) if Jay – Z would have done that. However, we KNOW Mr. Belafonte did.

    Then you still refer to him as boy? Mr. Day O, major fail?

    Hmm… or did Mr. Belafonte push a button or two? Because it is YOUR time and YOUR wife’s (which is very admirable) – why respond in such a negative way to a living legend? I think Jay – Z‘s response is actually saying more than what his words are.

    Mr. Belafonte must have made Jay-Z look in the mirror and didn’t like (something) he had seen…
    Other than that, what has happened to respecting our elders? I think regardless of what Jay- Z felt, he should have taken the higher road. Those choices of words were more so against Mr. Belafonte’s character – downsizing him to a likes of a “boy”?

    When in reality Mr. Belafonte stated his personal opinion – he really didn’t attack Jay-Z’s manhood. And that is a huge difference.

  • Nadell

    Whatever happened to respecting each other?
    In the case for these 2, both need to show each other respect. Regardless of who has accomplished what and for what cause or the longevity of careers, or even a matter of age…..respect one another.

  • The Other Jess

    I mean, what do you expect from a former drug dealer? I like some things about Jay-Z, but it’s not as if many rappers have a sense of history or social responsibility. And yrs, the “boy” part was ridiculous.

  • Maude

    This THIS THIS THIS! Perfectly said.

    There’s a HUGE difference between charity and social activism and if Jay Z doesn’t understand that, he surely couldn’t digest Belafonte’s comments. And whether Jay Z’s wife donated her fee (only after being called out for it, but who hasn’t heard of Qaadafi???), a socially responsible artist would NEVER make the “mistake” of performing for a dictator. EVER. Belafonte’s point about Springsteen and race was significant–Jay Z and Beyonce use their fame to behave like wealthy people, not black people.

  • Angelique212


    There is a difference between activism and charity, Jay. Belafonte knows, now let Stevie show you how it is done. PUBLIC ACTIVISM models behaviors for the next generation, so talking about what you did around the block, while preaching, praising and practicing b!tch behavior will NEVER place you in the company of brilliant, powerful, responsible and community-centric MEN like HARRY BELAFONTE and STEVIE WONDER.

    The question is, will you ” youngins” EARN the respect instead of always demanding it… learn from the icons examples… will any of you have the GUTS to do what Stevie Wonder is doing right now or will it continue to be Hampton Charity functions with Gwenyth.

  • Kanei

    This is what happens when you give attention to an ignorant person. H.B. is the reason why Jay Z is where he is today and to disrespect him in that way ONLY proves how stupid he is. Jay Z is an arrogant, pompous ass that needs to go sit down somewhere.

  • Mark

    Belafonte is a hero of mine. I wish I had thought twice before giving Jay my money for “Magna” for this and other reasons.

  • Alisha

    I can’t with people and their defending of this individual they call Jay-Z. I was raised to always respect my elders. Even at 24 years old I wish I would refer to an elder the way he did in his lyrics. This is why I feel like I cannot relate to most people of today because a lot of the things that are praised in society like being disrespectful is not something that I was taught. Yes we are supposed to defend ourselves but there is a right and wrong way to do that. In this case Jay-z was wrong. Straight immature and wrong. But this is who people worship so I digress.

  • richard

    Jay z over the top

  • Anthony

    Let’s not drag that argument up again. There are some things that become much more clear for kids if men are around in responsible positions.

  • http://gravatar.com/jahlinx EnergyJah Linx

    Sorry Jay you seemed more intelligent than that. Figured you would have stepped back and taken a look in the mirror or asked the elder why would he say something like that. See with more 80 under his belt you don’t even know the half… Your making it hard for the Homies to respect you, Homie. After all your a boss of bosses you didn’t get there on ego, you used that beautiful brain of yours. Oh yeah and respect due, You got the intellectuals decoding you music on public radio. That’s Gangsta Homie. <3 Jah Linx, one-love

  • Fifi-Gongon

    Harry Belafonte put his life in danger protesting with the civil rights movement so that “youngins” like Jay Z could go wherever they wanted to, so that they could vote, speak freely…But he was far from thinking that some including Jay Z would take it for granted by giving us this male version of “bow down b****”

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheri.c.smith Sheri Cross- Smith

    The ultimate disrespect!!! Camel you have forgotten where you come from and those who paved the way for you and so many others………….smh

  • Solomon Boyd

    Jay feels more connected to Warren Buffett . If there was no “his” time there would be no “your” time, but that would require him to be responsible to acknowledge that. Talent doesn’t make you great unfortunately .

  • Diana

    I feel that anyone who speaks in public especially should speak only of themselves. That way there is no confusion to what is meant and also no room for outside speculation and rumor mongers. Too many times people reach a certain age or stage and feel they can say whatever they feel about others and like they used to say “don’t dish it out if you can’t take it”. Just like Mr. Belafonte said what he wanted he should be ready to hear what Jay and Bey had to say. Also Mr/Mrs Carter do a lot of “giving back” without advertising it. If they advertise then these comments would be about them tooting their own horns. Can people ever win, really?!

  • http://facebook paulette


  • Pooch

    Wow…No surprise. Money doesn’t make one intelligent. Ego as ridiculous as his is pathetic. You’d think with his ghetto crack dealing background he would take this moment in his life history and educate his audience about what the Harry Belafonte’s and Martin Luthar King’s went through so his “Negro” ass can be and do what he does. Especially now that he is a father! What’s he going to teach Blue? His history of gangster ghetto drug dealing life? I need to turn off the computer while I’m here trying to paint. The world is spinning backwards and it’s very frustrating.

  • Guestimator

    His first wife was Black and Native American. And, check your history, Paulette. If you believe in what Martin L. King stood for; for what Nelson Mandela stood for; for Black talent to be able to come through the FRONT door, as opposed to through the back door of theater’s and stages that they get to perform on today… then, you better believe you’ll be lead by the likes of someone like Harry Belafonte. He’s the one that negotiated the handshake between the Kennedy’s and Dr. King. He’s the one that brought to our pitiful awareness that apartheid existed in countries like South Africa, and that Nelson Mandela should be freed. HE, not JayZ or Beyonce or any other “hoodie.” So, get your facts straight, before you start spouting off a bunch of silly nonsense. Mr. Belafonte was also one of the pioneers to introduce rap and hip-hop to the American public with movies like “Beatstreet.” He broke barriers that would still be standing today. Barriers that would have the likes of most hip-hoppers and rappers stuck on the street singing their blues as opposed to making the millions they are off of ipod downloads.

  • RaiseTheBar

    “…his possessions, which really belong to the White man.”

    So CORRECT! Like when people would call me a “homeowner” I would correct them and say, “NO, the bank owns this house, I get to keep living here as long as I make those monthly mortgage payments”.

    “So its that paycheck-to-paycheck mentality that most…”

    “MOST” — it’s not a ‘hood thing — it’s a Capitalistic Corporate America mind control thing.

    Why US Exploited Blacks allow ourselves to “BUY” into this B*ll Sh*t is still a Mystery to me.

  • Luther McKenzie

    Ok, so Mr. Belafonte criticize J, but he did not disrespect him, perhaps his words were mis-guided or plain wrong, but lashing back at him in the derogatory manner in which J did was total disrespect, J should have shown Mr. Belafonte that he is a man of principle and although he did not agree with his statement, belittling the old gentleman was wrong. Love

  • Courtney F

    I’m really feeling a certain kinda way about rap in general. With this Zimmerman debacle, many are calling for us as a community to look within. The violence and degradation of our women, our people can not be ignored. Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and others disrespect our heritage by disrespecting notable figures like H. Bellafonte and E. Till who endured a level of racism we (hopefully) will never see.

  • Pat hansen

    So so sad when you hear of a role model like Jay Z teaching young people to disrespect their elders. Is he aware what Harry did during Martin Luther King era? Is he aware what he did for Miriam Makeba the Queen of African music? Is he aware of what he is telling his daughter? Sad. Harry is BIG on our continent in Africa- not because of his music but because he led the way for Americans to assist Africans in politics, activism, social support and the arts(music, dance, film, fine art). Get an education JayZ and respect your elders. Your day will soon come…

  • S Robinson

    Jay Z is ignorant. Does he not realise that Mr Belafonte paved the way for people like him. Plus saying the n word. No class.

  • Rob

    Jay-Z is a former drug dealer so I’m not shock.

  • https://www.facebook.com/muse.manning Muse Manning

    jay z’s idea of social responsibility is snappin pix w/ warren buffett & them while dissing an 86 year old civil rights OG. having a sit down w/ the elder ain’t much of a photo op moment. might as well just cuss him out in a wack song, hunh? an opportunist’s true colors always come 2 the fore.

  • Zaidi

    Last February 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot dead, while walking black in his neighborhood. His killer was released afterwards; dragged back into court by the Feds; and, last Saturday, was acquitted by an all white, female jury–save one–who saw Trayvon Martin as the one who was on trial. And how does Jay Z, our present day pied piper to virtually all black (and white), young people, respond? He writes a ditty on his new album that disses the esteemed Harry Belafonte for calling him a “boy.” The question is, will these nouveaux riches negroes follow the lead of Stevie Wonder in using their celebrity to repeal the “Stand Your Ground” law? Will they risk losing their Bentleys, Hennessey Venoms, gaudy gold chains, Cristal, perfume endorsements, private jets, big-ass-10-car-garage homes, and other material swag to fight for justice? The bigger question is, are they our enemy too?

  • Nell

    Jay Z is ignorant, arrogant, full of himself and lacking in inherent regard of elders that the rest of us civilized, respectful and humble people have and know better than to ever forget! His album sucks – on a hundred different levels. He’s become a punk to the purse controllers and quite frankly, he needs to sit down.

  • Lulu

    Jay should know better. What’s he all defensive about? Chill, bro. And Belafonte saying because Bruce has a social conscience, he thinks he’s black is just laughable. These two take themselves way too seriously.

  • StrangerDanger

    I’m no Beyonce stan, but I think she took (a closer variation of) the high road. Just like in the Taylor Swift vs. Kanye debacle, Beyoncé had a more tactful, appropriate, response than her male counterpart. her husband really should have followed suit.

    First off, the Carters’ charitable donations pale in comparison to Mr. belafonte’s social activism. If they opened wikipedia, they might have learned that.
    Somtimes silence and reflection is the best defense. If they really felt compelled to make a statement, a timely, joint response from the couple about the “work” they’ve done and an acknowledgement that there is more to do would signal maturity and respect.
    “They’re too classless to do that!” You say. That’s what the PR machine is for.

    Mr. Belafonte’s comments were a level-headed and valid challenge for the pair to do better. Jay’s response was immature, demeaning, and plain old ignorant, not to mention late.

    I’m utterly disgusted

  • https://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    Jay-Z and Beyonce are complete jokes. Why don’t the King and Queen of New York stand up and tell their best buddy, Mayor Bloomberg, to stop his city hall sanctioned police harassment of black and brown people. All that “power” they claim to have and yet they do and say nothing about Stop and Frisk as it happens right in their own backyard.

  • Marcell

    I agree with Harry. Jay Z is praised bc he is ruthless and beyond selfish, he keeps millions of men minds immature and stalemate and we praise him for it. NO LEADER IN BLACK HISTORY! Martin Luther King, Bobby Seale, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Paul Roberson, C. K. Steele, Huey Newton, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois would have praised his damage and his ridiculous wife. We get so pathetically happy because a black person is making money that we don’t care how. EVERYDAY I have to hear other cultures around me site lyrics like his and laugh at us. He is banned on numerous radio stations in Africa as he should be. He has used his own people since his teen age years to get ahead. I dare you Jay Z to talk about what you’ve given to the “Homies”. seriously. The question is how much have you taken from us how much have you cost us? There are over 62 scriptures in the Bible that come to mind when I think of this joker, over 12 in the Quran, at least 20 in the Torah, and 20 in The Pali Cannon. I DARE ANYONE of us to play anyone of his albums for our children’s kindergarten class bc of course WE WOULD NOT. He brags consistently on street hustling NOT Education and maturing, having millions of young black men follow his LIES! 97% OF ALL street hustlers average $3.85/hr over a 10 year period of hustling. A freaking McDonald’s worker makes 2.5X more than 97 of street drug dealers over 10 years and a college grad averages 7X more over 10 years than the 97% of so called “dealers” so what is this fool rapping about, NOTHING! So what is he doing as millions of these guys land in a cage (jail) and have that on their records for 7+ years trying to live out his LIES! More importantly why do we buy and support this nonesense, he could not do this unless he had folks paying for his thoughts. He’s such…………..may God have mercy on us all (Luke 17:2).

  • Angelique212

    Yes, @Marcell… yes.

    Jay Z who took JACKIE ROBINSON’S name and turned it into the following lyrics.

    “I father, I Brooklyn Dodger them I Jack/ I Rob/ I sin, Ah man, I’m Jackie Robinson cept when I run base, I dodge the pen Lucky me, Luckily they didn’t get me…”

    … needs to slow down.

  • http://Twitter.com/verityreign Verity Reign

    I’m so late as this was posted two days ago. But anyway, was Jay-Z’s response the most tactful? No, especially to such a respected activist as Mr. Belafonte who’s done so much for humanity. Now that we all agree on that, I will say that all the jabs at him and his wife not doing enough are a little bit much. Why are we holding them responsible for saving our community? Because they’re rich and high-profile? That’s unfair. We have to realize that service itself–just like singing, acting, painting–etc, is a gift. Everyone is not going to me a MLK Jr. or an Oprah or Bono or a Mother Theresa. Not to get preachy, but those individuals were called to a life of service. Jay-Z was called to be a business man and game-changing lyricist, while his wife has an undeniable calling as an entertainer. They do pay it forward and just because it’s not to our expectations, that doesn’t make them bad people. Not to mention, of all the people commenting on how little they do, when’s the last time you did something? Volunteered at a soup kitchen? Gave a few bucks to the beggar on the corner? Donated to the Red Cross? Payed for a stranger’s groceries? It doesn’t take millions in the bank account to pay it forward. If you’re truly a giver, you will do so regardless of your means. Half of these people criticizing Jay and Bey barely give back now, and they’d continue that same barely give back pattern if all of sudden tomorrow they had the same funds as Jay and Bey. We all have a responsibility to do our part. Some people’s part is bigger, or different I should say, than others.

  • lulu

    woah i read this comment and got confused because I did not remember writing.

  • RaiseTheBar

    “…when’s the last time you did something?”

    All year round with causes and people I believe in whether or not I have income coming into my home at the time (borrow from creditors).

    PERSONALLY: The posts on Clutch are an opportunity to interact with other Blacks in a much more meaningful exchange of thoughts and ideas.

    The word “judge” gets used too often to describe what seems to be individuals expressing their opinions, beliefs and values based on their personal life experiences.

    When MOST/more of our communities get economically/financially savvy and have our hard earned $s support our words, then we will be “judging”; for now, communally speaking, we’re just “venting”.

  • Angelique212


  • Mack

    @ Marcell… My thoughts exactly! Preach!

  • http://Twitter.com/verityreign Verity Reign

    On your personal giving, good for you. On judging, I’m confused a little because I didn’t say the word “judging” on this comment. (Now that you mention it, though, some of those comments, not all, were very judgmental so had I said it, it wouldn’t have been a bad word choice.) But I said “criticizing” and there were plenty of people on here critiquing J&B’s service to our communities. And I totally get you on “venting” because I too vent on here quite frequently. But in “venting” I think we should first know the details of what we’re venting about. “Venting” without researching the facts is assuming. How many people “venting” knew that Beyonce donated her “Cadillac Records” salary to open a cosmetology school as part of The Phoenix House for recovering substance abusers? No, they’re not perfect & I definitely have my issues with them at times (Loreal commercial where she mentioned being part French as if a nationality had anything to do with complexion), but I feel like so often the Clutchettes attack them over every little thing, particularly her.

  • Angelique212

    @Verity Reign – When people make this argument of questioning personal giving, especially on a site for Black people, I often get annoyed as it is insulting to that audience and often reveals more about the writer than the reader. The audience has to, in fact, ask what kind of world and people is the writer “surrounded by” to make the kind of argument where “giving” is so foreign that it is regarded as rarity amongst their peers.

    The “Well, what do you give as a regular person?” is patronizing and shockingly false, as the Black community in the U.S., as low as their individual “networths”, are not acknowledged as but ARE some of the most giving and their giving is often directed towards the in need their communities, so is it okay if they don’t go to the Hampton’s for a Red Cross Fundraiser dressed in white?

    Try Googling Reuters: (Reuters) – “African American donors give away higher percentages of their incomes than white donors, according to a new study.”


    “Despite the challenges presented by that image problem, blacks do play a major, growing role in philanthropic circles. Each year, black donors give away 25 percent more of their incomes than white donors, according to a report released last month by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

    “Nearly two-thirds of black households make charitable donations, worth a total of about $11 billion a year, the report said.”

    “The report cites black churches as a historically important repository of giving, but notes that other important causes are coming to the fore.”

    Also try Googling: Black Churches and $420 Billion.
    The real problem is that the community is often taken advantage of by their secular and entertainment based churches.

    The ultimate problem with your argument is that you are not giving the audience credit and that, is offensive.

  • Angelique212

    @Verity Reign – your assumptions are not based in any fact.

    Please research Black Giving… Blacks, on average give 25% more of their income than Whites totaling 11 Billion dollars a year despite Blacks significantly lower networth. in the U.S.

  • http://gravatar.com/enevola enevola

    Must disagree that just because Mr. Belafonte is 86, it gives him “carte blanche” to disrespect JayZ and Beyonce without full knowledge of their social contributions. Many celebrities do not advertise their donations and good work. Mr. Belafonte just picked on them because they were the most popular black couple in entertainment. JayZ had every right to respond, in the manner he chooses. And to also question their “blackness” by comparing them to Bruce Springsteen was just as hurtful as any profanity JayZ used. While acknowledging that Harry Belafonte is a well documented humanitarian and civil rights advocate, he is hardly a senile old man who just spews wisdom. He is quite vocal and still has his faculties, therefore if he publicly takes strong unsubstantiated jabs at another celebrity he must expect a response. Jay is just making his response be financially profitable.

  • RaiseTheBar

    “I’m confused a little because I didn’t say the word “judging” on this comment.”

    YES, I realize I should have prefaced the “judge” comment by first stating that you did not say it nor do I mean to imply that’s what you were saying.

    “…but I feel like so often the Clutchettes attack them over every little thing”

    I haven’t been here with Clutch for very long, but so far I find I have a lot of respect for the individuals here, based on their comments, whether I agree with the comment, in part or not at all – their abilities to disagree without being disagreeable.

    I believe it all comes down to perspective and perception. To me and for me an INDIVIDUAL is not clothes, hair, makeup, cars (his/her material possessions) but he/she is the embodiment of his/her deeds for others. NOT how much he/she gives to others (materialistically) but the QUALITY of what is being given. The Clutchettes have HELPED me, by way of their posts, find WORDS to express EMOTIONS.

    Where Mr. & Mrs. Carter are concerned, “I” knew I didn’t like them as fellow human beings but I couldn’t put my finger on “exactly” what it is I disliked about them. By no means did I ever think either of them to be “bad” or “horrible” or anything along that line, but this Clutch Post and its comments helped me to get a clearer understanding about me with regard to them and OTHERS (family, associates, co-workers, paula.deen, the Smiths (Will, Jada), etc.).

    I’ve come to understand, know (FEEL) that I am judgmental and it’s my challenge to find and keep the right balance when interacting with others.

    I do NOT believe the Carters, Smiths, etc. are “RESPONSIBLE” for “Saving/Rescuing ” the black communities nor am I perceiving that from any of the comments I read. I do believe they are “Responsible” for giving back to the communities in a meaningful way (i.e., QUALITY not quantity(materialistically)). I dislike “celebrities” giving turkeys on Thanksgiving / Toys for xmas type events; it’s Charity=hand-out, NOT a hand-up (i.e., “Give a Man a Fish, Feed him for a Day, Teach a Man How to Fish, Feed Him for a Lifetime).

    It’s like one comment I read that said Mr. Belafonte’s words may have been food for thought for the Carters with regard to the QUALITY of their contributions (me paraphrasing). I listened to a portion of a Jay-Z video where he questioned whether his giving was out of “guilt” (survivor’s guilt) rather than true altruism (QUALITY vs. quantity).

    I HATE the MEDIA fueling a “Class” war by informing struggling working class individuals how much the Carters paid for a baby’s crib or a painting for their daughter’s room; they’re not running for “public” office nor are they doing anything different from others in their socio-economic circles.

    I like the Carters far better than I do the self-proclaimed “representatives of ALL Blacks” will and jada smith.

  • Angelique212

    Not only THAT, but you can pay off your mortgage and STILL not own your home. If you have a bad year and can’t afford your TAXES, even after you’ve paid off your mortgage, that State can take that house right out from under you.

    Nobody own ANYTHING in this country.

  • http://gravatar.com/enevola enevola

    The best way to “tell Mayor Bloomberg” that you are unhappy with his work, is to vote him out of office. Instead of questioning Jay and Bey’s power to influence an elected official, the better question is what do you do to help this situation. Do YOU take the time to volunteer for voter registration drives and get involved in the community. We all have that responsibility and voting is one way. This policy has been around long before they became the “king and Queen” of NYC.
    Just another example of people bestowing celebrities with some imagined omnipotence to cure all the world’s ills.

  • jflo

    If you listen to the song “Nickels and Dimes” where Jay-z spits the lyrics mentioned in the article, he comments on the truest form of giving being anonymous. We don’t know what the Carters contribute to socially that isn’t reported by the press, but we, and apparently Harry Belafonte, think we can judge them. It’s pure self delusion. If you have nothing better to say, keep silent Harry, Jay lyrics were abrasive, but at least spoke facts and didn’t make any assumptions.

  • Slim

    Jay-Z has berated younger artists in the same manner. Karma maybe?

  • http://gravatar.com/addassamari addassamari

    Two wrongs does not make a right. But for the record, Mr. and Mrs. Carter started and support the Shawn Carter Foundation, an organization started in 2003 by Shawn when his mother retired; she is the CEO. Their stated mission is: is to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning.

    I am by no means a Jay-Z or Beyonce fan and while I do agree that his lyrics in reference to Mr. Belafonte are disrespectful (which I have no doubt that was the intent), by the same token, Harry should have checked his facts and he would have found out that Jay-Z and his mom has been involved in this low key but helpful organization. Not everyone advertise their good deeds and maybe it is not some big flashy organization, it has a clear mission and is serving a purpose.

  • Madhouse24

    I think Mr. Belafonte’s comments weren’t just about money but actually being an activist for your community. I believe he was saying that in his day he not only gave money to support the community but actually participated in its causes for advancement of the entire race. I believe his reflection was one of asking “where are those kinds of people today”?? Personally I looked at his remarks as more of challenge to not only Jay and Bey but to the entire industry that money is not enough because the struggle is not completed

  • J

    I am going to take a stab at this probably at my own peril, but here goes…

    I don’t think that Harry Belafonte should have made the comment about Jay-Z and Beyonce. He has issues with the level of high profile black celebrities that are not very active in the community and I get that but to make that comment and to use Mr. and Mrs. Carter as examples was wrong, especially not knowing about them on a personal level. If it bothered him that much, he should have reached out to them personally and maybe got them on board on one of the causes he supports. Yes he is older than Jay-Z and yes he has earned his stripes but being someone’s senior doesn’t give you the right to disrespect them on ANY level in ANY way. He was very active during the civil rights era and I’m sure he has been disrespected on many levels back then so I would expect his treatment of another individual to be paramount in all situations. Take the celebrity, achievements and money away and it comes down to one man disrespecting another and his wife and that man retaliating in the same way.

    That being said, I don’t give Jay-Z a pass for doing what he did. He has never been one to release statements or have press conferences on he say/she say stuff. He has always let that stuff play out in his music. A lot of people making comments and getting up in arms about what he said in the verse. I am going to break it down from my perspective:

    “I’m just trying to find common ground before Mr. Belafonte come to chop (disrespect, talk about) a n*gga down (n*gga in this context meaning man, brother, person, guy, etc). He’s basically is using the word (I know we don’t like it but if he chooses to express himself and use it in his music, so be it) in reference to himself. He did not use the n-word to reference Harry Belafonte at all (clearing that up because I read a few comments saying he called him a n*gga and that wasn’t true.

    Mr. Day O, (Yeah, Mr. Day O was definitely a shot at his ego).

    Major fail (meaning that he was not only wrong to make the accusations about him and his wife, he made the situation worse by doing it publicly. He probably didn’t expect something like that from Harry Belafonte).

    Respect these youngins boy, (now I honestly do not believe Jay-Z meant this in a racist way or tone). What I got from the word ‘boy’ is that Jay-Z way using it in the same way he would use it when he talks to guys in his circle or on the block. The same way that guys use the word ‘homeboy’ but have reduced it to just the word ‘boy’. Harry Belafonte is not a guy from around the way and definitely not one of Jay-Z’s peers but he spoke to him in that line in a similar way that a lot of us have done when we are shocked by what someone has done and we had to extinguish the situation and bring the wrongdoer back to reality. It’s like when someone calls you out your name and you stop and say, “Hold up homeboy, who you think you talkin’ to?”

    Hublot homie, two door homie (Hublot is a watch, the ‘two door’ is in reference to a sports car-this line is in reference to some expensive things he owns). You don’t know all the sh*t I do for my homies. The last line goes without saying but to break it all down, he is saying “I’m a dude that has expensive stuff and substantial wealth but in spite of that, I do a lot of things that you don’t even know about with my wealth.”

    I don’t know everything that Jay-Z has done but I do know about him getting villages in Africa clean drinking water and I do know about him donating all of his concert earnings to the victims of the Columbine massacre when he performed the night or the shootings and I do know about him donating money to Katrina relief (he even spoke about that on his Kingdom Come album and how he wanted to do more because he saw the situation being far worse than what it was). Many people are saying donating and activism are two different things. Some people have more time than money for a cause. Others have more money than time. I think the most important thing is that the needs of the cause are met regardless of what you have to offer. Every bit counts.

    And in all fairness, let’s be realistic. What if Jay-Z or Beyonce showed up at one of Harry Belafonte’s events? It would be a press-populated, fan-frenzied, paparazzi madhouse. The event and it’s cause would be quickly diminished by their level of celebrity. Then people would complain and talk about that.

    The bottom line is that these are two great men who I admire and I would like to see this situation squashed and both move on. Maybe they can rally together for a common cause, maybe not. At the end of the day, no matter how much money and celebrity one has, he/she has the right to support whatever cause they see fit. If they choose to never support anything but themselves, so be it. They’ve earned it so they have the right to do whatever they want with their money.

    I noticed that a lot of commenters have issues with names being called, words being said yet I’ve seen a whole bunch of name calling and bad word usage in the comments. Classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Lead by example, people.

  • http://www.sexyfocusedambitious.com Lauryn Doll

    Everything she said!

  • http://gravatar.com/moudou moudou

    I expect better from Jay-Z. He’s not a boy. He could have shown some class.

  • RaiseTheBar

    “…probably at my own peril”

    NOT from me.

    I made the time to read your entire comment.

    Jay and Bey are two of the top beneficiaries of the “Hip Hop/Rap” Culture. A culture where “Materialism” (i.e., buying Designer Name Brands is the GOAL) — the end all, be all; I did not know what Hublot meant until reading your comment nor did I understand the reference to 2-door.

    They were both once part of an “art form” now they are both extremely well off economically/financially. So both are in difficult positions because the art form promotes, “Live Large “materialistically” by any means necessary or you ain’t livin’ and you’re nobody.”

    It’s one thing when it’s at the level of an anti-establishment art form; but when the mainstream (Capitalistic Corporate America) embraced it because of the large sums of $s they get from partaking of it, it’s at a whole new level. It ‘s at the insidious level that exploits it’s core support group for whom the art form was an expression of the frustrations of generations of Oppression.

    My Perspective: Each commenter’s “Opinion” is based on his/her beliefs and value system.

    My belief and value system tell me Mr. Belafonte/ Civil Right Movement says: No matter your socio-economic class WE are 1.

    The present day Hip/Hop / Rap / “Reality TV” / Social Media mindsets say: ME and mine to Hell with You and Yours.

    So while Jay and Bey may NOT be “greedy” , selfish individuals they in all fairness hard pressed to prove it given promoting this mindset and behavior is how they earned their billion/ millions of $s.

    They BOTH have a “Responsibility” as do ALL of US to give back in meaningful ways to our communities — to pick-up and continue where Medgar, Martin and Malcolm left off — to leave the world a better place for future generations.

  • G

    Mr Belafonte has dedicated his life, at great peril I might add to help our people!

    Young African American celebs, are not known for taking any political “risk”. Yes the donate money (of which they get a nice tax break I might add . . . so this in itself is still very self-serving) which is good and more than likely has helped many of our people as well as others.

    At this time we are moving into a “new era”, the passive activisim of the young African Americans will and should be questioned. They have been made wealthy by a public who more than likely will suffer from the changing political environ.

    Harry would have made a statement about the VRA or the sad criminal trails that are revealing the injustice in our society, in the treatment of African Americans.

    As far as I know only Stevie Wonder (who is very middle age) and Mary, Mary have dared to take the risk of losing money and/or damaging their careers to take a stand for what they believe is right.

    Where are Chris, Riri, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Drake, Kanye and the rest of their lot? Strangely silent.

    I hope in the coming weeks this may change.

  • http://www.37thstateonline.com KEX

    In this day an age it is more powerful to be an icon and a pioneering person of colour and to inspire change through your actions e.g Beyonce, Jay-Z, Obama, Oprah as opposed to shouting about civil rights from a pulpit. That’s an older brand of activism that doesn’t hold weight in today’s society. And that is what Mr. Belafonte fails to recognize and Jay-Z is pointing out. If Jay-Z goes all old school activist on us, most people will tune out, myself included.

  • BlaqueM

    #teambelafonte!!! I feel having a voice and spreading a message surpasses monetary donations at the end of the day. That’s probably what Harry Belafonte was getting at. Hell, even Nino Brown passed out Thanksgiving turkeys. I feel Jay-Z and Beyonce do not take a stance on many social issues in comparison to what Belafonte and many entertainers of his time contributed civilly.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

  • J

    I understand your perspective and respect it. I do believe we all have a level of responsibility to give back. I just don’t feel that any individual has the right to demand how we should go about it.

    In my opinion, I don’t invest much more than what I get from an artist, individual or a company. I bought an album from Jay-Z, I listened to the songs, I like most of them (11 out of 16), and that’s it. I don’t feel like he ‘owes’ me something because I bought his album. He sold me something, I decided to buy it and it was a conscious choice. What he chooses to do with the money is on him. He can squander it, spend it on material stuff, invest it, or donate it. He’s done all of the above. Most of us have to some level.

    We complain about Jay-Z but we don’t pay attention to things that really affect us at the ground level. Most people would agree that cigarettes are bad for your health and have campaigned against the ads and placing them in plain view of children. Most people don’t know that two thirds of the products stocked on grocery shelves are owned by the cigarette corporations. These are the things that we should be up in arms about and affecting at the consumer level yet we are too busy worrying about who has what and how much this person is giving or what that person has done for the community. Worry about what YOU’RE doing and the change that YOU can make.

    Once again, I may ruffle some feathers with what I’m about to say but this is very similar to what I see with these TV pastors and mega churches. You join a church, you have to bring them financial statements and tax returns and they decide based on your income, how much you tithes you need to give. Then the ones who have more money or donate more are promoted as ‘better’ by having closer parking spots and getting seats in front. Sorry, but I have a problem with that. If you are a believer in your faith and you aren’t doing all you possibly can to help someone or your community, your maker knows and you will be judged according. I don’t believe a man, pastor, famous activist or celebrity has the right to dictate that and to be everyone’s personal judge.

    “The present day Hip/Hop / Rap / “Reality TV” / Social Media mindsets say: ME and mine to Hell with You and Yours.”

    For the most part, you’re right however if you dig deep and weed through most of the b.s., there are some individuals that are using these avenues to promote good things.

    Like Charles Barkley said, “I’m not a role model.” Jay-Z shouldn’t be expected to do any more than anyone else because of what he has or who he is. If we are going to past that type of judgement, look at guys like Jesse Jackson. He has done an enormous amount for the African American community yet he let his personal life take a toll and tarnish his record and image. Should I hold him to a higher standard because he marched with King AND is also a pastor or should I just judge him based on what he has done that actually affects me and the community? Do I hold him to a higher standard because he is a pastor or do I judge him as a man and let him be because he made a mistake a stepped out on his marriage? Do I judge Al Sharpton for dating a woman 20 years his junior? Does him having a perm take away from the good things that he has done?

    I tend to judge a man on his actions and the present tense.

  • J

    Not sure if your comment was directed at me but I’m a guy…lol!

  • http://gravatar.com/upandcomer upandcomer

    The problem with all of you is that you think being elderly affords you the ability to say any and everything. This very article is incendiary in that it takes Jay-Z’s words out of context. He did swear at him, his entire verse was about trying to find a balance in where he should be as a philanthropist before someone like Harry comes out of nowhere and chops him down. Harry as an older person should have called the younger Jay-Z, but he felt the need to try and publicly give them a tongue-lashing, something people from their era knew not to do to someone else of color. You think it didn’t hurt Jay-Z for a Civil Rights legend to try to publicly degrade him. You’re all so consumed with the fact that it’s Harry that you miss the most egregious offense. He sat there and tried to quantify their “blackness.” He said Bruce was “blacker” than they were. Ultimate disrespect. Something another person of color should never do to another person of color. I personally would never say anything to him, but he we wouldn’t get a word from me after that. The problem with our elders is they think being elderly gives them free reign to disrespect us anyway they choose. No one is exempt from being cut off. The biggest irony in all of this is that he mentions Springstein who holds concerts and raises money for causes. Jay-Z and Beyonce do the exact same thing. That is most of their giving, so if he wanted to use someone as an example, that’s a terrible example. I would love for them to speak up more, but every single entertainer does not have to be that person and the fact that we’re still looking for entertainers to be that in 2013 speaks more to the fact that African-Americans have not come as far as we thought. No white person is looking for Justin Timberlake to be their voice. The rest of this discussion is filled with a bunch of people acting upon their suppositions. “They’re actually corporate” “They’re this and that” “We don’t know about their charities, yet their giving is so that they can look good.” It’s foolishness. But go ahead you can all come and “chop a nigga down.”

  • Annoyed

    I really wish the President would disassociate himself from the Carters. After JZ dissed the President over the Cuba trip, I would have hoped the Obamas would be over the Carters.

  • Wanda

    A hat tip to my son for letting me know about Jay Z’s anti-Black women rapper lyrics.

    It is beyond my comprehension why he is given such a pass. His wife too, for being an enabler.

    “Girls, Girls, Girls”

    ‘I got this Spanish chica, she don’t like me to roam
    So she call me “cabron” plus “maricon”
    Said she likes to cook rice so she likes me home
    I’m like, “Un momento, mami, slow up your tempo”
    I got this black chick, she don’t know how to act
    Always talking out her neck, making her fingers snap
    She like: “Listen, Jigga Man, I don’t care if you rap
    You better R-E-S-P-E-C-T me”
    I got this French chick that love to French kiss
    She thinks she’s Bo Derek, wear her hair in a twist
    “Ma cherie amour, tu es belle”

    So we don’t know how to act like other types of women, huh? And has the nerve to talk mess about the LEGENDARY Harry Belafonte.

    He is the son of a Black woman, he is married to a Black woman and he is the father of a future Black woman. He should have been SERIOUSLY challenged for this!

  • G

    so voer them . . . way too self important . .

  • G

    More like a lost middle age man . . .didn’t Ann Romney say it was their time?!

  • RaiseTheBar

    “I just don’t feel that any individual has the right to demand how we should go about it.”

    AGREE. Don’t believe Mr. Belafonte words were “demanding” just fatherly and based on his life experiences.

    “I may ruffle some feathers with what I’m about to say but this is very similar to what I see with these TV pastors and mega churches.

    I’m not a “religious” being. I consider myself a “spiritual” being so, I wholeheartedly agree with anyone’s outrage with these Religious institutions fleecing the members of their flocks.

    In my vigilance, I’m concerned with ALL that hinders my communities from being the Healthy, Happy productive, well-rounded individuals WE can be.

    I can imagine where some may feel he/she has the right to live his/her life the way he/she chooses. Unfortunately, my personal life experiences tell me too many take advantage of the rights WITHOUT assuming the responsibilities that go along with them. So if Mary, Dick or Jane wants to emulate a Jay, Bey lifestyle on a working class income, they are well within their rights to do so but because they are not doing so judiciously and LIFE happens (i.e., Hurricanes, Earthquakes, illness, job loss) they too often don’t take RESPONSIBILITY for their predicaments — someone or something else is to blame. So it becomes the fault and responsibility of me, the Government, etc. to fix the selfish, feel good in the moment life choices and messes they’ve made in their lives.

    MAYBE mary, dick and jane should know better, but based on end results they don’t. So Jay, Bey and Others have a huge responsibility finding the right balance between enjoying the fruits of their labor and giving back in meaningful ways to the communities that enabled them to get where they are now.

  • J

    No disrespect but what does your comment have to do with the issue being discussed?

  • http://nmygoals.wordpress.com nMyGoals

    Jay Z is the perfect example of what is wrong with young people today…no respect for the elders who paved the way for him to even be able to rap. Harry Belafonte has always been a distinguished man, whose presence is inspiring because of his work in civil rights. Jay Z is arrogant to think that he can put himself in the same category. He is a talented rapper, but he is also self centered. When will he grow up?

  • kofi bombolo

    How dare that bad-looking little squirt even presume to diss Harry. Who cares about his money? His music sucks and it is an indictment of good audio taste that his junk is bought by people. He never experienced “we don’t serve your kind here,’ He is just a leech getting fat on the misdirection that has befallen black people. With all his money, he will never be fit to clean Harry’s toilet.. Glad that I have never listened to his music.

Latest Stories

Cheers! 30 Not-As-Obvious Occasions That Call For Champagne


Maker of Infamous ‘Sizzurp’ Takes it Off the Market


How To Rock: Black Women In Orange Lipstick


Newsflash: Most People Aren’t Down With the ‘Swirl’

More in harry belafonte, jay-z
Yes She Can: 16-Year-Old Wondagurl Produces Song On Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’

Foxy Brown Opens Up About Dark Skin Insecurities, Daddy Issues and Jay-Z and Beyonce Rumors