Written by: David Raskin
This album is too powerful to allow rational but misguided sensitivity to destroy its momentum.
First off, let’s get the prologue out of the way:
To the Jewish people listening to this album because it’s art — That’s a beautiful thing.
To the Jewish people listening to this album because someone hyped you up that this was an anti-Semitic shot — No, your source was wrong. Exit your media player and go back in to listen to the album for its artistry.
To the Anti-Semites who think the Jews control the world including your electric toothbrush and want to use the album as ammunition — No, take the tin foil way over there.
Now that the most close minded individuals have probably stopped reading, let me explain how the Jewish people reference should be digested from the song Story of O.J.
You want to know what’s more important than throwing away money at the strip club…credit/ You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America…this how they did it/ Financial freedom I only hope /Fuck living rich and dying broke /
I bought some art work for 1 million, two years later that shit worth 2 million/ few years later that shit worth 8 million, I can’t wait to give this shit to my children!
Regarding the Story of OJ, as a whole, the message brilliantly drives home the point to its Black American audience that society sees you a certain way and it’s destructive NOT to be aware of that bias, how it affects policy and how the combination of these elements can have serious ramifications on your life and legacy. Now, one can, and should, have a strong sense of individualism; the song is not arguing against this. It just takes us to the other side of the identity coin and articulates that when being a member of a group that’s been historically discriminated against, it is important to embrace the responsibility that comes with having the opportunity to be proud of a shared heritage.
“I’m not black, I’m OJ…. OKAY.”
O.J aka the Juice aka Orenthal James aka the perceived non-threatening black man exhibited a type of folly that came back to bite him.
We see what happens when a person thinks they are protected from society’s bias — O.J thought by shedding the reality of how Society sees the subjugated group he belonged to, he was somehow entitled to a privilege that was above even the law. The irony is, he became the proof of the incredulous, but believed, stereotype that, “no matter how docile they may seem, the black human is a savage in hiding.”
The mastery of Shawn Carter’s writing is especially shown in the segue into highlighting the anti-Semitic and inaccurate trope of “THE JEWS CONTROL THE WORLD” and how he uses the verbatim language of anti-Semites to quickly build up for the sake of dismantling that notion. In a few lines, he was able to show the destructive nature of financial illiteracy, and how an evolution to high financial I.Q will bring hate and conspiracy especially if the goal is successful group economics and unity, we need to prepare for such vehement bigotry.
The fact that Shawn Carter is suggesting to the listener that a particular group has a template of success renders an argument that something negative should be taken from it is preposterous.
This juxtaposition is evidence by the true story of how the famous Jewish screenwriter, #BenHecht, became a prominent leader in Jewish activism. In Hecht’s book #Perfidy, he explains that he never felt a strong attachment to his Jewish identity until #PeterBergson shook him out of his bubble of assimilation by suggesting Hecht ask three of his closest friends whether he was “a Jew or an American.” They all answered “he was a Jew.”
After a history of being the scapegoat chosen by some of the most evil men in history, it’s a part of the Jewish identity to be aware that Jews will be scapegoated so it’s never “I’m not Jewish, I’m Spielberg”.
They don’t hide from the collective and that’s how you build group power.
Jay-Z is letting HIS PEOPLE know: You will be assaulted by stereotypes no matter what, so once we get to that point of political and economic power, be ready to see those conspiracy theories about how “blacks have a blood libel, blacks control the world, etc”.
Hate by others is bred when the bigots can’t understand how their obstacles and stereotypes haven’t destroyed you.