Rap mogul Jay Z has opened up about his issues with political activist Harry Belafonte for publicly calling him and his wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter last summer.
In Hov’s opinion, Belafonte could have easily reached out to him personally rather than resort to making public statements.
“I didn’t think it was the correct venue [to speak out against me],” Jay explained in an interview. “If it was something, a real problem, you know I’m not very difficult to find, especially someone of that stature. He can reach out to me and we can have a conversation and we’ll do some good together. But you know, I just thought that sort of was a bit grandstanding to me and I didn’t appreciate that especially dragging my wife into it, that was a bit of a low blow.” (“Real Time w/ Bill Maher”)
Last month, Belafonte said he would like a chance to see the hip-hop couple face-to-face.
“I would hope with all my heart, that Jay-Z not take personally what was said because it was not said to him personally. …I would like to take this opportunity to say to Jay Z and Beyonce: I’m wide open, my heart is filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one to understand each other rather than trying to answer this question and answer these nuisances in a public place. I think it is not the right place for us to be having our exchanges.” (MSNBC)
Recently, Jigga spoke out on staying mum despite being criticized by Belafonte last summer.
“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,” Jay said in an interview. “Just being who he is. You’re the first black president. If he speaks on any issue or anything he should be left alone… Of course we want to challenge him to do better. I felt Belafonte 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…Bruce Springsteen is a great guy. 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.” (#FACTSONLY)
Last summer, Bey did not remain silent and responded to Harry’s comments.
In response to Belafonte’s words, Beyonce’s representative emailed what she called “An abbreviated list of the unselfish work Beyoncé has done and continues to do.” The list included co-founding The Survivor Foundation “a multi-purpose community outreach facility in downtown Houston”; donating “100K in 2008 to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund to aid Texas victims of Hurricane Ike”; performing in “MTV’s Hope For Haiti Now! Benefit in addition to making a generous monetary donation,” among many other charitable activities. (Wall Street Journal)
Check out Jay Z’s interview: