“‘Occupy All Streets’ is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement.” – A Rocawear spokesperson as told to Business Insider
If you’ve read the About page here you’ve seen that I do not care for Jiggahov and the Mrs. and in the past I have also been critical of Kanye West. So when I found out Jay-Z’s clothing company Rocawear was selling “Occupy All Streets” shirts with zero proceeds going to Occupy Wall Street or any of the Occupy movements I wasn’t surprised but I was still disgusted. Maybe more like revolted. Jay-Z has made a living off of rhyming about selling crack, destroying his community and being better than you. After releasing an album with Kanye West called Watch The Throne he has attempted to appropriate and capitalize on the Occupy movement which has as one of its main features a democratic assembly. Perhaps the correct thing to do would have been to go down to the assembly, offer a motion involving donating proceeds from the shirt sales, allow a vote to be taken and respect the final outcome from the assembly. Of course he couldn’t do that though!
It seems to me all Jay-Z has wanted to do for most of his career is represent wealth, capitalism, domination and a bunch of other things that are all heinous and far from the “Man Of The People” image he sometimes tries to portray.
Oh but Madam, aren’t you being a bit hard on him? Doesn’t he do stuff like handing out turkeys in the hood for Thanksgiving? I can only respond FUCK A TURKEY!!!
It’s time for people to be called out on the ways in which they profit off of things that harm the community and if you’re not helping…you’re hurting.
It’s been years of people sort of being on the fence about Jay-Z, that is, not willing to take any strong stance against anything he says or does. I’ve watched this man on Charlie Rose be asked by an audience member, “Why don’t you buy Marcy Projects?”, which is what it is as far as questions go but Jay-Z’s response was telling. He said he could buy Marcy Projects but it’s not about using money to help the people who still live in the projects he grew up in, it’s about the mentality of the people who live there, that’s what really needs to be changed. He was applauded for this!
No, Jay-Z is an elitist apologist for the status quo and would love nothing more than to be in the wealthiest 1% in this country so he can be as far away from your unworthy ass as possible. He has done nothing with his music to help change the supposed negative mindset of his listeners, including those in Marcy, with his music. He is a spokesperson for a neo-liberal agenda that promotes positivity as performance art and thinking “negatively” as the reason why you are in the 99%, why you got laid off, why your unemployment ran out and you can’t get called back for another job, why you got cancer, why you’re in debt, why your house was foreclosed upon when the actual evidence points to systemic, deep corruption in government and industry.
No, personal responsibility is not what’s responsible for everything that’s wrong in this country or world but making people think so is a good step towards privatization of everything, which will be a payday for some and misery for many.
We’ve already discussed the link between Wall Street, runaway capitalism and environmentalism in Is Wall Street The Primary Threat To Human Existence? I just think there is so much we leave unexamined, so many people like Jay-Z or Bill Gates whose intentions we have not been critical enough of because they have money and power. If we are willing to take a critical eye towards banisters we should have a look at these other people who hold so much sway in cultural and political spheres.
Really, what do you think Jay-Z means by wearing an ‘Occupy All Streets’ t-shirt and selling it with none of the proceeds going towards Occupy Wall Street in his home state of New York? Seems like a push for pure profit from a dude who stands to gain from Occupy Wall Street but doesn’t identify with its principles. Then again, if the awakening in consciousness and awareness of these occupations and environmentalism took hold on a large scale Jay-Z couldn’t peddle the crap that he currently gets away with peddling.
For now The Village Voice reports that shirts, which Rocawear stopped selling this weekend, are back on the Rocawear site, but they’re on backorder.