In a glowing new Vanity Fair profile, Obama supporter and hip-hop superstar Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z, once again touches on his drug dealing past.
Rather than expressing sincere remorse for his acts, however, this time Carter explains his previous ‘job’ may help him in his new role as a sports agent, saying:
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.”
Hmm. Some of us just take an accounting course, or buy a good calculator at CVS.
Perhaps most interesting is that Carter essentially admits he did not sell drugs out of sheer necessity or to put food on the table, as is often assumed, saying:
“We were living in a tough situation, but my mother managed; she juggled. Sometimes we’d pay the light bill, sometimes we paid the phone, sometimes the gas went off. We weren’t starving–we were eating, we were O.K. But it was things like you didn’t want to be embarrassed when you went to school; you didn’t want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes over again.”
So, selling drugs in order to have the best kicks? Got it.
In addition to drug-dealing, Carter had a violent history well past adolescence (a past that is often toned down in softball, fawning features such as this), reportedly stabbing a record producer in 1999 (at the age of 30).
Carter even fails to express any significant remorse for selling crack cocaine to his community. The article reads:
Jay tells Robinson he sold crack but never used it, and when asked if he ever felt guilty about contributing to what was becoming an epidemic, he says, “Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community.”
But what has Carter, whose net worth is an estimated $500 million, done to atone for this? Surely funding a rehab-center would be far more effective than generous donations to the Obama campaigns (or, both — he can afford it). Aside from a $1 million donation in 2005 for Hurricane Katrina relief, there isn’t much philantrophy by the Democrat Mr. Carter. Notable names in the black community have criticized Carter, arguing, for instance, that the mogul made over $60 million in 2011… yet gave a paltry $6,000 to charity. (Look up Carter’s charitable donations for yourself. It will not take long… precisely because there isn’t much.)
Carter’s extreme ‘limousine-liberalism’ is already hard enough to stomach. But his reckless remarks regarding his former drug-dealing years — whether by showing little remorse or ridiculously touting its ability to teach business skills — is beyond the pale.
And yet, the American mainstream public continues to lap it up.