Jay-Z defends deal with store accused of profiling

NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z — under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers — said Saturday he’s being unfairly “demonised” for just waiting to hear all of the facts.

The rap mogul made his first statement about the controversy in a posting on his website. He has come under fire for remaining silent as news surfaced this week that two young black people said they were profiled by Barneys after they purchased expensive items from their Manhattan store.


An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating this week, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys for the holiday season, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.

But Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — defended himself, saying that he hasn’t spoken about it because he’s still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

“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 demonised, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?” he said, referring to local newspaper headlines.

The two Barneys customers, Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, said this week they were detained by police after making expensive purchases.

Christian sued Barneys, saying he was accused of fraud after using his debit card to buy a US$349 Ferragamo belt in April. Philips filed a notice of claim saying she would sue after she was stopped by detectives outside the store when she bought a US$2,500 Celine handbag in February.

As the criticism grew, Barneys said Thursday it had retained a civil rights expert to help review its procedures. The CEO of Barneys, Mark Lee, offered his “sincere regret and deepest apologies.”

Kirsten John Foy, an official with the Rev Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, said he would meet with Barneys officials on Tuesday to discuss the racial profiling allegations.

Jay-Z — who rose from a life of crime in Brooklyn to become one of the most heralded rappers and one of entertainment’s biggest superstars — has in the past called for a boycott of labels perceived to be racist, and has become more political in recent years, from speaking out about the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin to campaigning for President Barack Obama.

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.

He also dismissed reports that he would profit from the collaboration. He said he’s “not making a dime” from working with Barneys. Instead, his Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides college scholarships to economically challenged students, will get 25 per cent of all sales from the collaboration.

“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.”

He also said that “making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter but all the people that stand a chance at higher education,” he said. “I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.”

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.”

33 thoughts on “JAY-Z PLEASE

  1. what you mean please met? so the man must start act like a idiot and start diss barney without getting the facts? he is a man, we are not driven by emotions like women. there is two sides to a story, if you had a store and 100 chineyman commit a crime consistently, you would also develop a stereotype and pressure chineyman more than other groups.

    i have been to america twice and i am sorry but i find it hard to defend blacks there without getting the facts, american blacks are some of the wuss blacks you will find anywhere in the world, me naw tek back me chat either. there is a shitload of credit card fraud going on and the worse ting is, at least the thiefing whiteman or chineyman use his scam to build empires, these idiots are buying $300 belt and $2500 handbag.

    1. I said please because if fire never light under him skin he wouldnt have talked about investigating… he wouldnt have said a word

      1. Why would he say a word?
        The fact is if black people want to stop being profiled we would stop buying boosted clothes. Theres a whole ghetto economy of stolen goods and Jay-Z and everyone else knows it. if you saw someone buy a $2500 dollar bag and they look less than middle class you would come to the same conclusion. In fact thats all this website does 24/7 is make unsupported conclusions and spread rumors. Jay-Z did the right thing. He’s not the Ghetto representative you want him to be.

  2. dem need to leave the man alone, he has done nothing wrong. long before this people were on jay-z back, this is just another reason to hate the man. everybody love act like malcom x when it convenient, when the real malcolm x would have warned them about this obsession with living above their means and pouring billions into companies owned by other races and not their own. that is the real issue here, not because some fool who spend $2500 on a bag and then walk to the bus stop(lol) bawl racism.

    1. and this is why we will never be better..no unity change cannot come if we are not on one accord..he should not be pressured but all a whey u seh really dont have nothing to do with the real issue..It dont matter what the bag costs, it dont matter why the person bought it…all of that does not matter..what matters is that honest money was used to buy it and the last time mi check people can buy what they wanted to and should not be discriminated against because of their color…so because we black we must only like ”black price items”? :travel

      1. and because someone may not drive or buy a car dem nuh fi buy an item 1/10the the cost of a car?…black people should stop supporting those designers because they do not support us…but that aint it..we shouldnt be treated any kinda way because of our color

  3. Met good morning.
    I agree Jay-Z shouldn’t be pressured to make a statement
    On this. They need to leave him alone.
    What if him did start rail up himself
    & when yuh look dutty Kayla & the Faggot
    Did use someone card (which btw I think took place)
    Especially Kayla purchase .. I think they did use ppl shit
    Dem need fi guh sit down! Bout she aguh sue .. She need fi Gwan a school
    N left d ppl dem Celine bag ! Now Jayz would just look like
    A BIG FOOOL & then he would have to sue Kayla’s ass lmfao
    So staying quiet is the right thing to do. It wasn’t drastic & no one was harmed
    & the 80% possibility that they might be in the wrong you just
    Can’t say shit on it as yet.

    1. what we are to hit out on are blacks who use fraudulent credit cards…all the issues surrounding kayla right now really dont have anything fi do wid what they did..that can be addressed after the most important issue is addressed..the racial profiling

  4. this is really a double edge sword cause these store have been profiling us for years, yet we still go up in there purchasing. Barneys can’t get my money I don’t shop there but guess who is paying for the lawsuit for the cops?? the poor tax payers like myself. Good morning all.

  5. Dem ppl yah weh a penalize di ppl dem be cuz of wat dem need fi shut di f**k up unu full up a to much hate….as long as dem earn dem money legally dem free fi spen it pon wat eva dem want, unu are di same ppl dat wud blame a rape victim for wearing somthing too skimpy are say she deserve it cuz she is a stripper kmft…..JZ shud look in to di matter an get di facts.

  6. all who a defend barney and jay z. think them better than fi dem people.if unno read di story then unno woulda understand the facts.until it happen to unno r unno family then unno will wake the fu@k up.unno cant see sey as time goes a so the discrimination a tun up.black people cant walk inna dem neightborhood in peace without pow pow a harass them .now u cant shop a high end store without being discriminate against.mi na support no ne a dem f**krey.

  7. Gm Met i don’t think JAYZ should take no action cause they were not buying his brand belt or bag, we always run and buy the ppl dem tings weh dem nuh mek fi black ppl

  8. Me jus wah know wen jayz tun to ny mayor him is a ghetto yute n make sumthin of himself dat alone me respect but as for them idiots weh ah buy up mortgage money items widout ambitions dat should b da real issue

  9. MET me wouldnt like deh inna none a dem store deh and some fassy haul me off and embarrass me like a likkle squawps squawps when me a spend my owna money. when people a spend money buy somen the ongly important colour should be green or pink or whatever colour money spend inna unnu country. but if yuh have all these hood niggas, nasty naygahs and others inna the people dem store a scam out dem daylight de people dem must haffi start penny all a who come in deh. yes missa chin, the hispanic and whitey nuh romp fi tief but a black people me support so f**k dem.

    so MET weh yuh want Jay z fi do?

  10. Meez a likkle suspicious of dat bag purchiss. Tax refund she seh?? She know seh a September? She seh she a watch di bag from when, anna now fi har tax refund reach?….I only hope she knows they are going to investigate her finances to the fullest. She best be CLEAN widdout wan skelintan inna har klazit.

  11. met look jay-z is being smart here ok, he can’t jump to conclusion and make a statement when it first happened until he get the right facts and he is watching what’s happening with the situation. he was not profiting from this venture its for a good and better cause than these two people who are saying stuff. lots of blacks shop there and nothing happened so why are we to jump to conclusion. The other blacks and Jamaican who got caught can’t come out and make a statement cuz they are in jail and lots of people been caught like that b4.the company was trying to protect themselves these are the two that were working hard and they got profiled because of other blacks b4 them that continue to make it bad for the rest of us

  12. we been pon jmg fi years a point out all a de known dancehall clutchas/scammers. is not like a fiction nuff a dem walk into the people dem store and tief. some get ketch and still go back over and over. the rest a unnu haffi go bear the embarrassment cah me nah go in a none a dem store deh anyway.

  13. His statements is politically correct. He must get the facts before he makes a decision. We are not in his shoes or have millions of dollars invested in a company. Jay-Z , whether you agree with his rise to fame or not, have pulled out and stand for what he deems are racism against our community. Not all issues Al Sharpton stands by, he has to have the full story before he stands behind a person or family wronged. Give him a chance and don’t just rush to judgement of him Met.

  14. what a mix up if it turns out she a scamma lol met me naw swear fi nuh american black as me say, always end up looking foolish trust me. one accord is not supporting someone purely because they are black, if so be the case why we dont support the black rapist too, after all is a brother right?

    im sorry but brands like celine dont give a shit about black people, just like cristal said they didnt want rappers drinking their liquor its the same but nooooooooooooooo blacks want run eeen pon dem brand.

  15. I guess mr z put a lot of power into his words everybody believe him hype…him coulda review di facts a million times ,,,,he cannot get out of that contract …he has to play into this like he is a boss but he knows his place ….

  16. Jay Z only out to line his pockets u know how much white people scam ask the sales associates them inna Miami
    While we may not agree with type of purchase they are honest people who were treated with very little respect since when is it a crime fi mek huge purchase

  17. Thanks Anonymous2. I joined Met’s site to learn to read and write patwa…..but mi speak it very fluent.

  18. I’ve learned from the Tawana Brawley case not to jump to conclusions when ‘alleged’ infractions are committed against ‘us’. So mi nuh wrong Mr. Carter. So yes… facts over emotions must stand.

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