Jay-Z's newest album 4:44 has enjoyed immense critical success since its release last week, from both journalists and fans alike. One verse in the track 'The Story of O.J.' turned heads, however, when Jay mentioned a particular Jewish stereotype that had some claiming anti-Semitism.
Fellow Hip Hop icon and businessman Russell Simmons has now come forward to defend Jay, claiming that the rapper was simply trying to prove a point.
In the track, Jay rapped, “You wanna know what's more important than throwin' away money at a strip club? Credit/You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”
While it angered many, Simmons took to Twitter to try and clarify Jay's lyrics.
..."sameness of different religions and races." First, let me state that mischief makers would like to take Jay's statements about the...— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) July 4, 2017
...good business and financial well being is and has been a guiding light to the black and specifically the hip-hop community.— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) July 4, 2017
In fact both Jay and Simmons joined forces back in 2006 to address anti-Semitism in a heartfelt PSA.
"What's not cool is anti-Semitism. It's a long word for racism. Anti-Semitism and racism are the same thing," Simmons explains. "Don't be silent, remember: We are one, one voice," Jay Z said.
While it's unclear whether or not Simmons will help convince those who were offended, it seems clear that Jay doesn't hold the anti-Semitic beliefs some think the track represents.
See how Jay announced the release of 4:44 with BET Breaks, above.
(Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images)