Jay gives Harry Belafonte a seat!
Harry Belafonte recently lashed out at superstar couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé and other black stars about not using their fame and fortune to aid the greater good of the community and spark social change.
Jay Z finally responded in an interview with Rap Radar and says his presence enough is charity because it inspires black boys:
“I’m offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. Just like Obama’s is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough. Just being who he is. You’re the first black president. If he speaks on any issue or anything he should be left alone…I felt Belafonte he just went about it wrong. Like the way he did it in the media, and then he big’d up Bruce Springsteen or somebody. And it was like, “whoa,” you just sent the wrong message all the way around…Bruce Springsteen is a great guy. You’re this Civil Rights activist and you just big’d up the white guy against me in the white media. And I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m just saying what it is. The fact of what it was. And that was just the wrong way to go about it.”
Harry Belafonte has responded to Hov’s comments and says his intial comments were never meant to hurt or disrespect the couple…
“I would be hard pressed to tell Mr. Jay Z what to do with this time and his fortune. All I can be critical is of what he is not doing. This conflict that is emerging was not from me as a direct attack on Jay Z or Beyonce. I was at a press conference in Switzerland. Questions were raised by the international press. They asked about the artists and the social engagement of the past based on a film we were watching…and how artists responded earlier in my life and how they responded today.
“And I made the observation that the highly powerful voice that our community has – Black America has – there is so much celebrity power that it was sad to see that the collective of the celebrity power had not been applied to bring consciousness to the inequities that we face.
“Artist that heard that responded in a very strong way. You’ll find that Jamie Foxx, you’ll find Chuck D [of Public Enemy]…you find that any number of highly profiled people have taken that critique and called for [a meeting]. We’ve sat. We’ve talked. And I will tell you now that these people that I’ve just mentioned are officially behind Dream Defenders. They are prepared to come down. They are prepared to perform. I would hope that Jay Z would not take personally what was said because it was not said about him personally.”
Belafonte says he would rather talk in private:
“Having said that, I would like to say to Jay Z, to Beyonce: My heart is wide open and filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one. And lets understand each other rather than try to answer these questions and these nuances in a public place.”
Hit the flip for the full video interview!