Thousands gathered in more than 100 cities across the U.S. Saturday to protest Stand Your Ground laws and to show support forTrayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager shot and killed last year by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who wasfound not guilty by a jury in his murder case July 13. And Beyoncé and Jay-Z were among them.
actually most people I talk to say few people showed up…
….from what I’ve heard of the gathering in NYC this is not true. People are starting to become embarrassed by this story and narrative. Most admit behind closed doors that Trayvon was not the dead icon they had hoped for….
(Atlantic Yards Report) OK, Jay-Z may be “bulletproof” in the music market, as some experts say, but some remember lingering taint from the role the hip-hip entrepreneur and cultural force played in the building of a certain Brooklyn arena.
From NPR, 7/19/13, Getting Real On Race After Zimmerman Verdict…MARTIN: …But before we go, we do want to talk about Jay-Z’s album “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” There’s new criticism – now people might remember that the singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte once said that Jay-Z and Beyonce need to take more social responsibility. Well, Jay-Z’s talking back on this album. I just want to play a short clip.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: I’m Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it’s time for our weekly visit to the barbershop, where the guys talk about what’s in the news and what’s on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week – our writer and culture critic Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. Fernando Vila is the director of programming for Fusion. That’s a joint venture between ABC and Univision. He’s with us from Miami. Sportswriter and professor of journalism Kevin Blackistone is here in D.C. And also here in Washington this week – Mario Loyola. He’s normally with us from Austin, where he is with the National Review magazine and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, NICKELS AND DIMES”)
[I’m just trying to find common ground
‘fore Mr. Belafonte come and chop a nigga down
Mr. Day O, major fail
Respect these youngins boy, it’s my time now
Hublot homie, two door homie
You don’t know all the shit I do for the homies]
MARTIN: Oh, I had missed that lyric until you all pointed it out to me. Ouch, Kevin what are you saying? Is he overstepping? Is he giving his props to the elders? What’s up?
BLACKISTONE: Yeah, he’s overstepping. I mean, come on you can’t go after Harry Belafonte even though he went after you. Look, you are doing your thing, but we also know you don’t have the history and the narrative of Harry Belafonte. You know, you didn’t learn at the knee of Paul Robeson. You know, you didn’t write the check to get MLK out of the Birmingham jail. I mean, you didn’t do all of those sorts of things. You didn’t march on South Africa.
You know, you did “Big Pimpin,” which a lot of people would say is a misogynistic album, OK. I mean, it may be funky, but at the end – you know, you can look at the lyrics for yourself. And, you know – and most recently, with the whole Barclays Center up in Brooklyn, there’s a whole documentary out called “Battle of Brooklyn,” which shows how Jay-Z and Beyonce were kind of used as pawns to help the developers just steam roll over people in the Atlantic Yards neighborhood so that they could build that sparkling new arena there. So, you know, lay off of
I’m not sure why I’m bothering to reblog this. The economy is in shambles. Men are out of work… the feminists deny it… and people are worried about Jay Z getting clearance from a guy who said Ayers was just some guy in his neighborhood.
**Written by Doug Powers (Michelle Malkin)
After it was reported that Jay-Z and Beyoncé traveled to Cuba to soak up some warm Havana weather and maybe get a chance to meet Jimmy Carter, even some of President Obama’s fellow Democrats, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz, were critical of the fact that somebody in the federal government gave the couple permission to make the trip (rumor has it Beyonce was asked to leave Cuba after being caught lip-syncing El Himno de Bayamo).
Thursday, Jay Carney insisted the person who ok’d the trip was from the Treasury Department, and not a certain White House resident who likes golf and just happens to be good friends with Jay-Z:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today denied the White House had any involvement with their trip, saying the Treasury Department handles all clearances for travel to Cuba.
“I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury,” Carney joked.
In the song, Jay-Z also recounts a conversation he had with President Obama about his trip. “Obama said, ‘Chill, you, gonna get me impeached… We don’t need this s-t anyway, chill with me on the beach,” he raps in the nearly three-minute song.
Carney dismissed the claim. “It’s a song,” he said. “The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.”
Carney said it was preposterous to think that the White House was involved in Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuba trip, which might be true. Jay-Z could have given himself permission from the Situation Room for all we know.
I haven’t seen anything like this since Marlin Fitzwater’s flat denial of reports that then-President Reagan gave Run DMC permission to perform in East Germany:
The blog Naked D.C. performs a more in-depth analysis of Jay-Z’s “Open Letter” here.
Oh, and North Korea might have nuclear weapons capable of being delivered by ballistic missiles. Hopefully at tomorrow’s presser Carney will be asked what Beyoncé thinks of that.
**Written by Doug Powers
(hoops) Brooklyn Nets Release Logo, Color Scheme: The Brooklyn Nets today introduced their black and white color scheme and logos as the team prepares for its move to the Barclays Center next season.
Created by Jay-Z, the Brooklyn Nets’ brand identity incorporates a timeless black and white color palette of the old New York subway signage system, including its clean “Roll Sign” typeface. The treatment celebrates the history and heritage of the city by drawing upon the familiar signage from when Brooklyn last had its own major professional team in 1957.
The Nets have two primary logos. One features a shield to symbolically identify the team with the strength and character of Brooklyn, and serves as a salute to the shield in the Nets’ past logo. The circular portion of the logo incorporates a prominent ‘B’ inside a basketball to proudly express the team’s new home borough, and includes the word Brooklyn below the shield. The other logo features a basketball with an iconic ‘B’ inside, along with a ‘Brooklyn New York’ mark surrounding a basketball.
“The Brooklyn Nets logos are another step we’ve made to usher the organization into a new era,” Jay-Z said. “The boldness of the designs demonstrates the confidence we have in our new direction. Along with our move to Brooklyn and a state-of-the-art arena, the new colors and logos are examples of our commitment to update and refine all aspects of the team.”
“Our black and white colors speak to Brooklyn’s strong traditions and grittiness and convey an uncompromising confidence,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark said. “With its daring color display, the Brooklyn Nets logos are the new badges for Brooklyn and who better to design them than one of the world’s top tastemakers and Brooklyn’s own JAY Z. We are thrilled to launch our brand and to introduce the Brooklyn community to its new team. It’s an honor to bring major professional sports back to Brooklyn and to become part of the fabric of this great borough.”
With Arena, Rapper Rewrites Celebrity Investors’ Playbook
The New York Times
by David M. Halbfinger
It’s a broadsheet war! Not to be outdone by today’s puffball Wall Street Journal interview with Bruce Ratner, The Times counters by tickling Jay-Z with feathers.
Mr. Ratner may have thought he was getting little more than a limited partner with a boldface name and a youthful following that could prove useful someday. But Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago. His influence on the project has been wildly disproportionate to his ownership stake — a scant one-fifteenth of one percent of the team. And so is the money he stands to make from it.
Now, with the long-delayed Barclays Center arena nearing opening night in September and the relocated Nets bidding in earnest for Brooklyn’s loyalties, Jay-Z will perform eight sold-out shows to kick things off. But away from center stage he has put his mark on almost every facet of the enterprise, his partners say.
He helped design the team logos and choose the team’s stark black-and-white color scheme, and personally appealed to National Basketball Association officials to drop their objections to it (The N.B.A., insiders said, thought that African-American athletes did not look good on TV in black, an assertion that a league spokesman adamantly denied). He counseled arena executives on what kind of music to play during games. (“Less Jersey,” he urged, pushing niche artists like Santigold over old favorites like Bon Jovi.)
He even coached them on how to screen patrons for weapons without appearing too heavy-handed. (“Be mindful,” he advised oracularly, “and be sensitive.”)
NoLandGrab: Silly us! Here we were concerned about the arena’s security plan, when Hova had it under control all along.
Atlantic Yards Report, NYT: Jay-Z & Nets have “written a new playbook for… strategic celebrity investor” (and generating unskeptical publicity)
“Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago,” the New York Times observes in a none-too-tough profile just posted, adding that “he and the Nets have effectively written a new playbook for how to deploy a strategic celebrity investor.”
The Times reports:
Mr. Carter’s involvement frustrated opponents of Mr. Ratner’s development plans in Brooklyn who saw the arena and proposed residential and office towers as a subsidized land grab that could ruin the neighborhood….
“Bringing in someone who grew up in public housing, with a rags-to-riches story, who could identify with Brooklyn and African-Americans, that was slick,” said City Councilwoman Letitia James, a critic of the project. Mr. Ratner played down Mr. Carter’s importance in overcoming opposition. “Had Jay-Z not come along,” he said, “we’d still have an arena.”
Ratner’s right. Jay-Z wasn’t important in overcoming opposition; actual full-time Brooklynites like the leaders of BUILD and ACORN, signatories of the not-so-credible Community Benefits Agreement, were far more important, given that they brought people to rallies and public hearings.
Jay-Z was important in generating publicity, and in getting journalists/tv hosts like Rosanna Scotto to turn into simpering fans. And he’s still generating publicity, as with this article.
That missing disclosure
I don’t know what the Times’s policy is any more: do they no longer feel obligated to disclose the parent company’s business relationship with Mr. Ratner? Wouldn’t that prompt readers to be a wee bit skeptical?
no doubt government infrastructure has always had fascinating logo designs. It’s how they sell the lies. It is a post modern irony here. A sports team paid by the public dollar trying to look like New Deal era type font.
Michael D. D. White, in his Noticing New York blog, suggests that Jay-Z’s take from Forest City Ratner might be going up because of a “reverse morals clause” triggered by the company’s questionable behavior.
Perhaps, but Jay-Z himself is hardly pure, not merely his unquestioning endorsement of Atlantic Yards, but the $50,000 fine the Nets recently incurred because Jay-Z inappropriately visited the locker room of the Kentrucky Wildcats.
Ultimately, I suspect Jay-Z’s fine with it all as long as he can open the Barclays Center with some hugely promoted concerts.