If you haven’t been following the beef between rapper Jay Z and civil rights-era icon Harry Belafonte, it seems it’s not too late to start. For those who haven’t been watching the spat, the feud began with awkwardly quoted statements made by Belafonte about the role and responsibilities of black celebrities today.
…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.
Jay Z responded on his recent album “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” telling the widely-venerated 86-year old to “Respect these youngins boy, it’s my time now.” He followed that up in an interview to Rap Radar with the following explanation.
I’m offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. Just like Obama’s is. Obama provides hope.
Now, Mr. Belafonte has clarified his position in an interview with “Only the Uber Urban.” However, this clarification doesn’t soften the historic figure’s position one bit. He has the same message for modern black celebrities, and the Carter clan, as he has from the start. Check out the video to see what Mr. Belafonte has to say, and let us know what you think of this slow burning feud in the comments. Will Jay answer back? Is Belafonte right about today’s black celebrities?
Photo from AllHipHop.com.