If ever there was a monument to crony capitalism and the 1% sticking it to the 99% it is the Atlantic Yards project and the Barclays Center arena. And it looks Brooklynites aren't the only ones planning on using the hype and hoopla of the 9/28 Barclays opening to draw attention to corruption and crony capitalism:
Hold it right there Hova. Surely, with Jay Z's 1/15th of one percent ownership of the Nets and 1/5th of one percent ownership of the arena the rap mogul is aware that his partners, Forest City Ratner with the help of a raft of Governors and Mayor Bloomberg used eminent domain against people to do just that—"take their home away from them"—all for the benefit of one of the ultimate one-percenters Mikhail Prokhorov. If he didn't know that, there is a movie he might want to check out if it doesn't conflict with his Barclay opening concert.
Jay-Z's Got 99% Problems, and a Barclays Center Protest Is One
The Atlantic Wire. David Wagner
Jay-Z has drawn the ire of Occupiers yet again, this time over quotes he dropped in his Zadie Smith-penned The New York Times T Magazine profile. This isn't the first time Jay-Z and Occupy have feuded. Last November, Jay-Z pissed off the Zuccotti Park set by selling Occupy Wall Street knock-off shirts without donating any profits to the movement. OWS called the rapper a "bloodsucker," but Jay-Z emerged from the spat mostly unscathed. After all, Occupiers were too busy trying to not get kicked out of their campsite to focus on Jay-Z too much. But this time, the 99 percenters have a more targeted plan of attack for shaming the rap mogul. They're taking their beef to Jay-Z's big opening-night concert at the Barclays Center, turf he partially owns.
Jay-Z has always seemed somewhat supportive of the Occupy movement in theory, but he questions its goals and rhetoric. "What’s the thing on the wall, what are you fighting for?" Jay-Z asks in the quotes that reignited the feud. "I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want, do you know?" As a firmly-established member of the 1 percent, Jay-Z is most bothered by Occupy's demonization of everyone in the top-tier. "Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad. Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on."
The article continues:
Occupy-affiliated group Guitarmy took to Tumblr to set Jay-Z straight about what they're working towards. They write, "We have spent one year on the streets organizing for exactly the things Jay rapped about in his early days, ending urban poverty, ending Stop & Frisk and police use of lethal force, of returning dignity and hope to the everyday people of New York City." Guitarmy plans to make sure Jay-Z gets the message by protesting his grand opening concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sept. 28th. It's is a particularly sensitive site for Jay-Z, who holds partial ownership of both the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, the basketball team that will call it home. As New York magazine's Will Leitch noted recently, the center is already pretty unpopular. With an Occupy Guitarmy concert and teach-in scheduled to disrupt its big opening night, the Barclays Center's image will only be tarnished even further.
Occupy aren't the only ones giving Hova trouble over his statements. Russell Simmons remonstrated him on Twitter:
Journalist Tim Pool called Jay-Z a hypocrite, referencing Rocawear's OWS t-shirt appropriation: