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Jay Z responds to critics of his Barneys collaboration


Just days after critics attacked Jay Z for his partnership with Barney’s, the rap legend released a statement defending his actions. As we reported earlier this week, two young blacks, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, were racially profiled at Barney’s this year. Fans later questioned Jay Z’s loyalty and challenged him to step away from the deal.

The Roc Nation CEO recently collaborated with Barney’s on a line of clothing and accessories inspired by his lifestyle. A $70 T-shirt, $675 rain coat, $2,500 bag and $33,900 Hublot watch are just a few pieces that will be available for sale on Nov. 20.

Check out what Jay Z had to say concerning the situation:

This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.

I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.

I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter

Well that about settles things. But is it enough to settle the social media bashing? – ruthie hawkins/@ruubaie


  1. Robyn Howzell on October 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Jay Z, please tell the whole story, you’re going to profit. It’s an investment … Even twenty years down the line. It’s not always the dollar. You have a child that can profit too. Educate the people with the truth. Stop blowing smoke. Just write the CHECK if there’s no profit. It’s an investment a finacial vehicle. Stop blowing the smoke Jay Z … like all orher rich folks. You’re doing what most rich prople do …Keeping the government out of those pockets.

    • UncleChuck2 on October 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      “…you’re going to profit down the line.” In order for you to make a statement like that we’d have to assume that you are one of the few who either negotiated, or wrote, or filed or had access to his contract with Barny’s. So what else does the contract state?

  2. GetReal on October 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Ok, when confronted by Harry Belafonte about his obvious opportunistic GREED! He says “My presence is charity…I don’t have to do anything…I’m like Obama…” Oh! Now he’s just a caring guy….Bwwwaaaahhhhh!!!!
    Lying camel!!