Jay-Z Has Doubts About Occupy Wall Street

Jay-Z Has Doubts About Occupy Wall Street

Rap mogul questions the purpose of anti-capitalist protest movement.

Published September 10, 2012

Though his friend Russell Simmons was a staunch supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Jay-Z says he never could get behind the grassroots anti-capitalist protests that swept the country one year ago.

A "one-percenter" if there ever was one, Hov told the New York Times Magazine that he declined an invitation from Simmons to attend a protest because he thought the message of the occupiers was either unclear, misguided or both.

"I'm not going to a park and picnic — I have no idea what to do," Jay said, recalling a conversation he had with Simmons about the protest. "I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want? Do you know?"

Jay's comments come just a week before the one-year-anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, which takes place on September 17. In the millionaire mogul's view, it's important to distinguish between those with power and money who are hurting the country and those who are trying to do some good.

"I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly because when you just say that 'the one percent is that,' that's not true," he said of the "We Are the 99 Percent" ethos.

"Yeah, the one percent that's robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that's criminal, that's bad. Not being an entrepreneur," he continued. "This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on."

It's not the first time Jay has butted heads with Occupiers. At the height of Occupy mania last fall, the rap deity drew criticism when his fashion label Rocawear began selling T-shirts that read "Occupy All Streets." Deemed profiteering and opportunistic by observers online, the shirts were quickly pulled from sale.

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(Photo:  Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Written by Reggie Ugwu


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