Jay-Z has never shied away from his aspirations of accumulating wealth and power, and he’s attained them throughout the course of his career. However, the rapping mogul recently took issue with being labeled a “capitalist,” and equated the negative connotation of the term to a racial slur, particularly the N-word.
During a Twitter Spaces chat discussing his verse on DJ Khaled’s “God Did” on Wednesday (Aug. 31), Hov spoke on the plight of minorities in their quest for financial freedom. “All these lies that America told us our whole life and then when we start getting it, they try to lock us out of it,” the billionaire hitmaker said in the audio chat hosted by Khaled and moderated by Genius’ Rob Markman. “They start inventing words like ‘capitalist.’ We’ve been called ‘ni**ers’ and ‘monkeys’ and sh*t. I don’t care what words y’all come up with. Y’all gotta come with stronger words.”
The entrepreneur and artist encouraged minorities to embrace the success, security, and lifestyle that comes along with it. He drives his point home by accusing society of attempting to make minorities “feel ashamed to be successful” while acknowledging the traps set in place to derail and impede the progress of Black and Brown youth.
“Y’all locked us out,” he said. “Y’all created a system that, you know, doesn’t include us. We said fine. We went our alternate route. We created this music. We did our thing, you know, we hustle, we f**king killed ourselves to get to this space. And, you know, now it’s like, you know, you know, ‘Eat the rich,’ and, man, we’re not stopping.”
The 52-year-old also touched on the growth and evolution of Hip-Hop and the growing number of billionaires the culture has produced. Kanye West and Rihanna, both of whom began their career as artists under the tutelage of Jay-Z, both have followed in his steps in becoming billionaires, per Forbes.
“We not gone stop,” the rap legend said adamantly. “Hip-Hop is young. It’s still growing. We not falling for that tricknology the public puts out there now. Before it was the American dream. ‘Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You can make it in America.’”
Listen to a clip of Jay-Z’s thoughts from the DJ Khaled, Lenny S, and Markman co-hosted Twitter Spaces conversation below. You can also hear DJ Khaled’s full Twitter Spaces recording here.