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Jay-Z Comments on 'Shithole' Remark, Trump Responds

The rapper said the remarks were "disappointing" and "hurtful."

Jay-Z sat down with CNN's Van Jones for an interview on Saturday. Among other things, Hova discussed his family, the #MeToo movement, and of course Donald Trump calling African nations and Haiti "shithole countries."


The rapper said the remarks were "disappointing" and "hurtful."

"Everyone feels anger," Jay-Z said. "After the anger it's really hurtful because he's like looking down on a whole population of people, and you're so misinformed because these places have beautiful people and have beautiful everything. This is the leader of the free world speaking like this."

Hova, just like many of us, was of course not surprised by the president's remarks, and he then went on to talk about closet racists.

"But on the other side," he said, "this has been going on. This is how people talk, this is how they talk behind closed doors."

While commenting on America's ways of quelling racists, he made an analogy with spraying bugs as not eliminating the root of the problem. He referred to Trump as a "superbug."

"Donald Trump is a human being, too," he added. "But somewhere along his lineage, something happened to him, and he's in pain, and he's expressing it in this sort of way."

Read: Your Ideology Is A Shithole

Jay-Z was also asked if Trump were to increase the employment of black people, would he be a good president?

Jay-Z answered: "No, because it's not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn't equate to happiness. That's missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings. That's the main point.

"My problem with government is I think they forget it's real people behind these decisions that they're making–people going through real time in real pain. When you ignore that pain for so long, people act out and want to see something different, and that opens the door to what we're living through now."

The US president didn't waste time. He took to Twitter to defend himself against Jay's comments. "Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!" he tweeted.

You can watch Jay-Z's full interview with Van Jones below.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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