Rapper and business mogul Jay-Z questioned the thinking behind the Occupy Wall Street movement and defended entrepreneurs in an interview with the New York Times on Sunday.
The part-owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets team, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, wondered what the protest was really about.
“What’s the thing on the wall, what are you fighting for?” Jay-Z told the Times.
Occupy Wall Street, the global movement against inequality, among other things, ignited in Manhattan last year. It subsequently sparked protests against income disparity, bank greed and corporate abuse from San Francisco to Hong Kong.
Jay-Z told the Times that said he told business magnate Russell Simmons, a supporter of the Zuccotti Park demonstrators, that he wouldn’t go “to a park and picnic — I have no idea what to do.” Simmons had asked him to support the protestors.
“I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want? Do you know?” Jay-Z asked Simmons, according to the Times.
Jay-Z, who was born in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood and went on to build a music and business empire, took issue with the Occupy movement’s demonization of business.
“I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true,” he told the Times.
“Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad,” he said.
“Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.”
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