August 3, 2013


Jay Z Discusses Harry Belafonte Controversy

Prince Williams/Getty Images
Prince Williams/Getty Images

Last night just before the world premiere of Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film, Jay Z made an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher to discuss several things. Most notably, his ongoing beef with civil rights leader Harry Belafonte.

The malice between the two men started back in 2012 when Belafonte called out Jay Z and Beyonce in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter for turning "their back on social responsibility."

When asked about the Belafonte remark during an interview with Rap Radar, the "99 Problems" rapper replied:

"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."

Belafonte then released an open invitation via an appearance on MSNBC to formally meet with Jay and Bey and maybe hug it out or something.

It seems the Carters never took Belafonte up on his offer as HOV was none to pleased with the outspoken activist during his interview last night. When asked about Belafonte's remarks, Jay replied:

“I didn’t think it was the correct venue. If it was something that was a real problem I’m not that difficult to find. Especially to someone of that stature. He can reach out to me and we can have a conversation and we can do some good together. It was a bit grandstanding to me.”

He also explained (kinda) why he compared himself to President Obama. According to Jay, all is fair in the strive towards greatness.

“If you have the audacity to compare yourself to any of the greats that came before you, if you say, ‘Just like Obama I’m this, or I’m like Picasso,’ it’s almost like blasphemous for you to say," he said.

"What are we doing this for? You want to be known as the great. You want to be known as the greatest of all time. That’s never going to happen if you don’t see yourself first.”

Also, Jay Z wants Obama to induct him into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame whenever the rapper becomes eligible.

So, pretty much, rappers are arrogant and water is wet. If HOVA would just put it that way, we would all probably stop talking about it…