Lupe Fiasco Goes Off on CEO of Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt
Update (Dec. 14, 5:47 p.m. EST):
The ADL has now released an official statement, deeming Lupe’s “N.E.R.D.” lyrics as anti-Semitic. Read the statement below:
The lyrics about artists being robbed by “dirty Jewish execs” are offensive. These lyrics reinforce the anti-Semitic myth of Jewish control of the music industry, a stereotype that has been exploited in recent years by well-known hatemongers. It is irresponsible for a recording artist to perpetuate the hateful anti-Semitic stereotype of the “greedy Jew.” Even if Lupe Fiasco has concerns about exploitation of his artistic output, it’s deplorable to stigmatize an entire group in response. Fiasco has a well-earned reputation as a highly respected hip-hop artist. At a time when there are significant divisions across the country, we are disappointed that he has not chosen to use his platform and voice to promote a more inclusive message.
On Monday (Dec. 12), Lupe Fiasco released the controversial song “N.E.R.D.,” which features the line, “Artist gettin’ robbed before they publish/By dirty Jewish execs that think his alms from the covenant.”
Many people found the line anti-Semitic, and, as a result, the Chicago rapper announced that he won’t be releasing any more music. Then, on Tuesday night (Dec. 13), Lupe got into a Twitter argument with the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt. You can view the series of tweets in the above gallery.
Greenblatt started the conversation by typing, “@LupeFiasco You have a stage to promote inclusivity. So why promote hurtful #antiSemitic stereotypes?” Lupe fired back about an hour later, quoting the tweet and adding, “Sorry Massa….i’s do better next time, fuck outta here.”
Things snowballed from there, with Fiasco and Greenblatt going back and forth trying to explain their respective opinions. “I didn’t call [music executives] dirty because they were Jewish I called them dirty because their horrible fucking human beings @JGreenblattADL,” Lupe said at one point. Fiasco went on to post photos of his merchandise, which clearly promotes anti-racism and anti-Nazi images.
It’s an interesting and complex debate. This entire situation is clearly not black-and-white; there are a lot of factors at hand.
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