Try this on for hypocrisy: Hip-hopper Kanye West, who attended an Occupy Wall Street rally in October, 2011, just gave rap superstar Jay-Z a $34,000 skull covered in 24-karat gold and red topaz gemstones. West even hired a private jet for delivery of the hand-finished gift from Lions & Sons featuring 1,680 star-cut red topaz gemstones. And he supports the down-with-the-rich Occupy movement?
Of course. And there’s no more deserving recipient of West’s largesse than the downtrodden Jay-Z, who owns his own record label and partial ownership of the New Jersey Nets.
This is the same Jay-Z who, after his T-shirt business “Occupy Wall Streets” drew a firestorm of criticism, said in December, 2011:
I think it’s saying a lot all over the world that people can get their voice out there and fight for a better world. I support all sorts of movements. There are so many different fights that we must take on – education and health care and poverty – there are so many different fights that we must take on. It’s good that young people are getting out and getting their voice heard, especially in this time of social media where that argument on the block or that thing that takes place in a small place or a small neighborhood is being viewed globally. You’re really getting to recognize the power of your voice.
Sounds mighty idealistic, but this was after it was revealed that Jay-Z didn’t intend to share the profits from the T-Shirts with the Occupy movement. Rocawear, which was selling the T-shirts, had issued a statement:
The ‘Occupy All Streets’ T shirt was created in support of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. Rocawear strongly encourages all forms of constructive expression, whether it be artistic, political or social. ‘Occupy All Streets’ is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement.
A $34,000 golden skull? And he supports the Occupy movement? That’s rich.