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Jay-Z Ruffles Feathers of Anti-Defamation League Over ‘4:44’ Lyrics About Jewish People

Some have a problem with Jay-Z’s lyrics about how Jewish people “own all the property.” (Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

Jay-Z’s “4:44” album has been celebrated for its candidness but the Anti-Defamation League has taken issue with “The Story of O.J.” for lyrics that the Jewish organization says advocates anti-Semitic stereotypes.

“You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit,” Jay rapped on the song. “You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”

An ADL representative told Rolling Stone in a statement Thursday, July 6 the organization doesn’t feel Jay intended to tout an anti-Semitic message since he is “someone who has used his celebrity in the past to speak out responsibly and forcefully against the evils of racism and anti-Semitism.”

However, they do have a problem with the stereotypes the lyric espouses.

“The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money,” the rep said. “The idea that Jews ‘own all the property’ in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false. Yet, such notions have lingered in society for decades, and we are concerned that this lyric could feed into preconceived notions about Jews and alleged Jewish ‘control’ of the banks and finance.”

Others have also weighed in on the intention of the lyrics since “4:44” was released June 30.

Russell Simmons defended Jay on Twitter Tuesday, July 4 applauding the Jewish culture as a “guiding light” for hip-hop and the Black community.

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