The track sparked debate on social media about whether or not Jay-Z was promoting harmful stereotypes.
The Anti-Defamation League responded to the accusations on Saturday that U.S. rapper Jay-Z was anti-Semitic for his lyrics, "Jewish people own all the property in America", stating that it did not believe it was the rapper's intent to promote anti-Semitism, but was cause for concern.
The lyric from the "The Story of O.J.,' the second track from Jay-Z's latest studio album titled 4:44 reads: 'You wanna know what's more important than throwin" away money at a strip club?
JAY-Z's controversial lyric about Jewish people has reached the Anti-Defamation League (ADL): Representatives for the civil justice nonprofit have expressed concerns about Jay's message. "This how they did it".
A representative for the ADL told Rolling Stone they believed the lyric is problematic because it "does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money". The idea that Jews "own all the property" in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false. Credit/You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America?
The spokesperson continued in the statement to say that the organization does not believe JAY-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, actually meant to promote Anti-Semitic views with the polarizing lyrics, but the league denounced that portion of the song nonetheless.
An ADL representative told Rolling Stone in a statement Thursday, July 6 the organization doesn't feel Jay meant 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". "This how they did it", Jay-Z raps.
Russell Simmons defended Jay on Twitter Tuesday, July 4 applauding the Jewish culture as a "guiding light" for hip-hop and the Black community.
Jay also found an ally in Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary.
"If you listen to the song in its entirety you will hear that the whole of the song is based on exaggerated stereotypes to make a point", he wrote on Instagram, adding, "I'm not offended by these lyrics".