5 Black Celebrities Who Disrespected Black Leaders and Cultural Icons


jay Jay Z

Rap megastar Jay Z responded to a challenge by entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, who in 2012, called on rap artists to tighten their lyrical content to accurately reflect the historical struggle of Black people.

Jay Z lashed out last year on his now multiplatinum album “Magna Carta… Holy Grail.”

“I’m just trying to find common ground
‘Fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a n*** 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** I do for the homies”

There were a few critical responses to Jay Z’s lyrics, including one from Belafonte himself. He called Jay Z an abandoner of social responsibility who was less conscious than Bruce Springsteen.
Dr. Boyce Watkins,  author of the lecture series “Commercialized Hip-Hop, the Gospel of Self-Destruction” also weighed in.
Watkins was particularly appalled at Jay Z  for calling Belafonte, 87,  a “boy.” Watkins penned an article calling out Jay Z for his  disrespect for a man who marched alongside civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.,  and  spearheaded many philanthropic efforts for Black people.
 “I am about the same age as Jay-Z, and I see it as entirely appropriate that we look to our elders for guidance when we think about what to do with the opportunities and blessings in front of us,” Watkins wrote. “Our job is to take the baton and run with it, not to throw the baton on the ground and pretend that we are only accountable to ourselves.”
Jay Z  responded in a #FACTSONLY  interview:
“I felt Belafonte … just went about it wrong. Like the way he did it in the media, and then he bigged up Bruce Springsteen or somebody. And it was like, ‘whoa,’ you just sent the wrong message all the way around. … Bruce Springsteen is a great guy. You’re this civil rights activist and you just bigged up the white guy against me in the white media. And I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m just saying what it is. The fact of what it was. And that was just the wrong way to go about it.”





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