Today on Power Talk, one of the hot topics was rapper Jay-Z’s response to actor Harry Belafonte’s remarks regarding the rapper’s social responsibilities. Belafonte had stated in an interview last year that powerful celebrities, such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé, “turn their backs on social responsibility.” He then compared them to Bruce Springsteen, who is heavily active in humanitarian efforts, saying, “Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.”
Recently, in an interview with Rap Radar, Jay-Z responded to these comments, saying, “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.”
He added, “I felt he just went about it wrong. Like the way he did it in the media, and then he big upped Bruce Springsteen or somebody. And it was like, ‘whoa,’ you just sent the wrong message all the way around… You’re this Civil Rights activist and you just big upped 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.”
What do you think about this whole situation? Do celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyonce neglect certain social responsibilities? Should celebrities even have social responsibilities? And, more importantly, is Jay-Z’s presence really likable to that of the President of the United States?
You be the judge! Listen to Jay-Z as he graced Rap Radar‘s Elliot Wilson presence in the interview below: