Less than a week after its release, Jay-Z’s “4:44” has already been certified platinum. This is Hov’s 13th platinum plaque, more than any other artist in history. And while it seems amazing that the album could achieve platinum status in under a week, there was a similar situation with the release of Jay’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” album back in 2013. With its pre-delivery to over a million Samsung users, the Recording Industry Association of America had to change its rules to allow an album to be certified platinum the same day it was released.
4:44 has been hailed as the most “woke” album the rapper has ever released. He talks about financial freedom, buying within one’s own community, responsibility to family, banding together within the hip hop community, and a host of other issues. However, Jiggaman has received some backlash and accusations of Anti-Semitism with these lines from “The Story of OJ”:
“You wanna know what’s more important than throwing money away in the strip club? Credit / You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it”.
The stereotype of the “penny-pinching, business Jew who owns the world” is one that many say have long been used to hurt the Jewish community. But, some others have spoken up to attempt to clarify Hov’s stance.
Guy Oseary, an Israeli American talent manager who has worked with Jay in the past voiced his opinion on what the rapper meant in an Instagram post:
“Jewish people do NOT ‘own all the property in America’. Jay knows this.. But hes attempting to use the Jewish people in an exaggerated way to showcase a community of people that are thought to have made wise business decisions.. As an example of what is possible and achievable.… In my opinion, Jay is giving the Jewish community a compliment.. ” Financial freedom” he mentions as being his ONLY hope.. If you had to pick a community as an example of making wise financial decisions achieving financial freedom who would you choose?.. I’m not offended by these lyrics.. I hear them the way he intended them to be heard.. Giving “credit” to a community that supposedly understands what it means to have “credit”.. I’m good with that..”
Russell Simmons also took to Twitter to defend the lyrics:
“…mischief makers would like to take Jay’s statements about the culture and practices that exist within some parts of the Jewish community… The fact is this culture that promotes good business and financial well being is and has been a guiding light to the black and specifically the hip hop community.”
Fortunately, Jay keeps an arsenal of powerful people in his corner to have his back in times like this. And what would platinum certification be without a little controversy? Although I am curious to know what Hov himself has to say about all this…
Congratulations, Jay, on your 13th platinum plaque.
– Simone Hawthorne