Jay-Z Criticizes Occupy Wall Street, Russell Simmons Responds With Op-Ed

What’s that, you want yet another serving of politics with your hip-hop? Well we’ve got you covered! In a recent interview with the New York TimesT Magazine, Jay-Z questioned the Occupy Wall Street movement, saying “I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?” Hova stated a desire for more clarity and purpose from the movement. Well, ask you and you shall receive.

Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons posted an op-ed on Global Grind Monday (Sep. 10) titled “Jay-Z Is Right 99 Times, But This Ain’t One” (and then probably dropped the mic pen). Read on to see how Simmons articulated the goals of OWS in his response to Jay-Z.

Despite the incendiary title, Simmons’ column was non-confrontational and the mogul did seem to want to inform, rather than put-down, Jay-Z and others. He admitted that OWS is somewhat amorphous, but believes that is a strength, saying:

There was never an official agenda or media-friendly talking points. Zuccotti Park and the Occupy camps that sprung up around the country were places for any and every person to come and share ideas about how to better perfect our union…”

Simmons then laid out what he feels is the true mission of OWS. He lists what he says are the effects of money infiltrating our democratic system, concluding that:

…almost everything that disempowers the poor, is a result of money passing from lobbyists and corporations to our politicians. And that is what Occupy Wall Street is fighting against. It is a sad state that the politicians work for the people who pay them, not for the people who elect them. That is not democracy.”

Simmons finished off with the message that “We must take our democracy off the market and let the world know that it is no longer for sale! Mic check!”

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