Jay-Z's new hit album "4:44" has come under fire from the Anti-Defamation League for one of the tracks, "The Story of O.J.," that the group views as anti-Semitic.
The offending lyric comes in a song that decries racism and discrimination, asking "You wanna know what's more important than throwin away money at a strip club? Credit / You ever wonder why the Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it / Financial freedom my only hope / F**k livin' rich and dyin' broke."
An ADL spokesman told "Rolling Stone" the group does "not believe it was the rapper's intent to promote anti-Semitism."
"On the contrary, we know that Jay-Z is someone who has used his celebrity in the past to speak out responsibly and forcefully against the evils of racism and anti-Semitism," the rep said, adding, however, "The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated, anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money."
"The idea that Jews 'own all the property' in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false," the representative said. "Yet, such notions have lingered in society for decades, and we are concerned that this lyric could feed into preconceived notions about Jews and alleged Jewish 'control' of the banks and finance."
In a radio interview, Jay-Z said the song is "really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we're gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type of success, to transform that into something bigger."
Israeli-born Guy Oseary, a manager for Madonna, U2, and Amy Schumer, came to the rapper's defense in an Instagram post, saying, "If you listen to the song in its entirety you will hear that the whole of the song is based on exaggerated stereotypes to make a point. I'm not offended by these lyrics. I hear them the way he intended them to be heard."
The album gained platinum status in less than a week after it was released June 30, Variety reported.
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