Rap mogul Jay Z has finally come to a conclusion regarding his business relationship with high-end retailer Barneys after catching heat for not falling back when multiple racial profiling cases recently surfaced.
Young Hov issued a public statement to the masses via his lifestyle website Life & Times heading into the weekend.
“In the past several weeks two separate investigations were launched as a result of the wrongful detention of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. My team has been privy to the status of the Barneys third party consultant investigation. In continuing our research, we also contacted the New York State Attorney General’s office for the status of their investigation into both Barneys and Macy’s. Those findings are not yet available. While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling. I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.” (Life & Times)
Jigga also emphasized his collaborative effort will fully go toward supporting the Shawn Carter Foundation.
“As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC. Along with 100% of sales from the collaboration, the Foundation will receive an additional 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on November 20th. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter” (Life & Times)
Recently, Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart showed no mercy going in on Jigga Man over his Barneys situation.
Let’s hope the suddenly silent rapper Jay Z hasn’t lost his sense of humor. The 43-year-old hip-hop mogul got the full “Daily Show” treatment Wednesday as host Jon Stewart addressed racial profiling allegations at Barneys — and hit Jay Z hard for his continued relationship with the luxury department store. Jay Z being caught in the middle of the controversy is “not as awkward a position as sitting handcuffed in the back of a police car wearing the $300 belt you just bought,” scoffed Stewart. He then turned it over to “Daily Show” correspondent Larry Wilmore, who spoofed Kanye West‘s infamous comments about George W. Bush by saying, “Jay Z doesn’t care about black people.” The once outspoken rapper’s newfound silence was a sign of his success, Wilmore explained. “He’s got a multimillion-dollar brand to protect … He’s not Jay Z, he’s Jay Z Penney!” (New York Daily News)
After an in-person discussion with civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, Barneys CEO Mark Lee addressed the racial profiling situation last month.
“No one, and I mean no individual, should go through the unacceptable experiences described by Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips,” Lee said Tuesday after an hour-long sitdown with the Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem headquarters of his National Action Network. “We offer our deepest sympathies to both of them.” Sharpton and his National Action Network demanded a face-to-face with Barneys brass- and threatened to put shopping at the high-end retailer “on hold” — after Christian and Phillips accused Barneys of sending cops to question and detain them after they made big-ticket buys at the Manhattan flagship. (New York Post)
The Barneys head also offered up some words for new business partner Jay Z.
Barneys’ Lee also apologized to music mogul Jay-Z, who is slated to launch a clothing line with the retailer in November, and has charity dealings with the store. “We deeply regret that these recent events have distracted from the great work of the Sean Carter Foundation, and we offer our sincere apologies to Mister Carter.” Lee said. “Our collaboration together is based on the shared mission of helping individuals facing socio-economic hardships.” (New York Post)
Jigga released a statement last month and questioned being targeted over the situation.
“I move and speak based on facts and not emotion,” the statement said. “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?” he said, referring to local newspaper headlines. Jay-Z said in this case, he’s still trying to find out what happened –which is why he was silent. “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,” he added. (Boston Herald)
Hovi also denied making big bucks off his Barneys partnership and explained why he would not end the relationship prematurely.
“This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning,” he said. “My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.” Jay-Z said he understood what it felt like to be racially profiled — but also didn’t want to jump to unfair conclusions. “I am against discrimination of any kind but if I make snap judgments, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles?” he asked. “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.” (Boston Herald)