Yesterday it was reported by various sources citing the removal of the shirts (Occupy All Streets) from the Rockawear website that Jay-Z had caved and given into public pressure over the release of his Occupy Wall-street inspired Tees (after all, he is one of the 1% selling a 99% movement t-shirt back to them). That however, was not the case at all. If you go on the site today the shirts are not only back for sale, but also back ordered. The young hustler turned hip hop mogul hasn’t lost his hustle game one bit it seems.
In a way it makes sense in that Hip-Hop has always been one of those counter-intuitive art forms and which ever way the grain is going at the present time is exactly the opposite way hip hop will stream. As underhanded and slimy as it seems for a multimillionaire to be profiting of a movement that is against profits for multimillionaires by selling a product to the same people protesting; it has an air of brilliance to it. After consideration of what it is Jay-Z is doing, I say tough luck to those against it. We live in America (or Canada) and no one is forcing anyone to buy the shirt. The market is what it is and although Jay-Z will get some backlash for this; he is not being anyone that he hasn’t always been. The more people get outraged at the sale of these shirts is the more the youth and hip-hop fans will embrace it I believe.
Rappers always talk about keeping it real and although I fully support the concept and ideas of the Occupy Wall-street movement, I also have to keep it real and say that a hustler will always be a hustler. There is no difference between Jay-Z selling these shirts and Nike selling theirs, yet I don’t see anyone protesting outside of footlocker or the Nike store. In summary, I am a multifaceted human being with many ideas and opinions. I can be on both sides of the fence if I want and this is one of those cases.
Do that damn thing Jay, make that money and who knows I may even order one… If they ever get off back order…