Jay-Z Talks Social Responsibility, Says His "Presence Is Charity"

Jay-Z says he didn't sleep for two days following the conclusion of the George Zimmerman trial, offers his thoughts on race relations in the U.S.

Following the announcement of a not guilty verdict in the trial of Sanford, Florida resident and neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, many who followed the trial, including rapper Jay-Z, were left with high emotions.

Jay-Z, who appeared at a Trayvon Martin rally last weekend along with wife Beyonce, says he found himself “really angry” following the announcement of the verdict and was unable to sleep for two days. The rapper also addressed race relations in the United States and stated that when it comes to issues concerning race we still have “a long way to go.”

"I was really angry, I didn't sleep for two days. I was really angry about it, that the thing that we all knew it was still a bit of racism in America, but for it to be so blatant,” said Jay-Z during an interview with Elliott Wilson. “If you just ask the question, ask yourself the question, 'Didn't Trayvon have the right to stand his ground?' He was being chased, he was being chased and fought back. You know, he may have won. That doesn't mean he's a criminal, he won. If you chase me and try to attack me and I defend myself, how can I be in the wrong? How is that right? This guy went to get some Skittles and go back and watch the All-Star game. He had plans…He had no intentions of robbing anyone's home. It’s just a thing where it’s like again a reminder of we still got a long way to go.”

Prior to speaking on the Zimmerman trial and Martin, the Magna Carta Holy Grail rapper gave his thoughts on comments made by actor Harry Belafonte last year. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Belafonte called Jay-Z and Beyonce out by name as he spoke on high-profile artists turning “their back on social responsibility.”

In his interview, Jay-Z revealed that he was “offended” by Belafonte’s comments and referred to his presence as “charity.”

“Yeah, I’m offended by that because—This is gonna sound arrogant, but my presence is charity,” Jay-Z revealed. “Just like Obama’s is. Obama provides hope whether he does anything. The hope that he provides for a nation and outside of America is enough. You know what I’m saying? Just being who he is…I feel like Belafonte he just went about it wrong.”

The full interview with Jay-Z can be found below.

RELATED: Jay-Z & Beyonce Attend Trayvon Martin Rally In New York

More Audio On HipHopDX


  • Chip thrips

    He sure gotta lot to say now that this project out,,,hope he kicks the Willie. On the reg,,,,,wanna here you build when there ain't no project on deck,,,,seem him rockin the universal flag.around his neck,,,,,the other day...he kickin that hot shit now,,,,,what you wanna kick knowledge now,,,,hahaaaaaa,,this nigga

  • xx004


  • xx004


  • da1

    I'm black but even I have to admit that I'm getting sick of this Travon thing. I'm also getting sick and tired of the immoral, bias, liberal, mainstream media. The same media that fans the fire of emotions in one case, but completely ignores other cases that are just as bad or worse. I heard of a case of an elderly man (who is completely white) shooting and killing a black kid just because he thought he stole from him. Turns out that kid didn't do anything. He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, just like Trayvon. It is unfortunate but stuff like this happens all the time. Why cherry pick one particular case over another one? Shouldn't all infamous muder cases be given the same amount of media coverage? You would think that but the drive-by media only chooses certian tragedies if they can get alot of ratings from it. It's also because of political correctness and double standards. We don't hear about atrocities that are commited by black people against white people much now do we? Have you ever heard of the story of a baby named Antonio West(white) who was in his stroller when he was shot in the face at point blank range by two black teens after they tried to rob the baby's mother? Im sure you never heard of that one, right? And there have been many others. Why is it always racist whenever a white(or half white) person fucks up? But whenever black people do the same thing then race didn't play a part in it. Get the fuck out of here!! I'm from Chicago where people get shot and killed every day. But since it's usually black on black the outrage is minor. Hell if it's black on white, which does happen too. That is also minor. But let it be white on black... That old white man killing the black kid is the only time I think something like that would go under the radar. And thats because the media itself is probably getting exhausted from this Trayvon thing. They won't invest their time and money on a similar tragedy. Thats because the Travon case is already oversaturated in the press. Why? RATINGS. Wake up and smell the coffe mothafuckas!!

  • NeuronDamage

    His presence is charity? Talk about modesty.

  • imho

    jayz is really that arrogant his presence ..serious..why dont u throw a few scholarships at broke kids who want more than ballin, rapping or drug dealin so they can make it..you got a billi between u n beyonce. why not help out kids in your old hood.

  • Anonymous

    Jay Z is a liberated black man. That's what people don't understand. He sounds arrogant to the chained mind. I feel him 100%.

  • Mortis

    Stop Shammin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxMEaoIglGU

  • Anonymous

    "Damn it figures that Quoteman would be a Zimmerman advocate" I'm a truth advocate, and a jury found WWZ not guilty. I would have liked to hear Trayvon's testimony if he was alive.

  • Christina A. Wilson

    $60 AN hour! Seriously I do not grasp why additional individuals haven't tried this, I work 2 shifts, a pair of hours within the day and a pair of within the eveningAnd what's impressive is I'm engaging from home thus I purchase longer with my youngsters. Here is what I did...www.WORK70.com

  • Anonymous

    "it should be against the law to kill kids for no reason" It's againsn't the law to assault people just because they walked up to you.

    • Anonymous

      but its not against the law to be a wannabe cop and follow kids around and approach them because you think they look suspect?

  • Brooklyn

    Jigga...ha I dont mess with your music but your point of view is ill. Plus i still remember when u put that family in charlotte in a 400,000 dollar house..in 1998...yeah Shawn is true with his giving...and NO CAMERAS OR RADIO WAS AROUND. TRUTH

  • ONeil Parker

    Bob Marley's Music was banned in several countries and censored in others, because governments were afraid their people would hear the music, start a revolution and overthrow their evil empires. What is today's rap music doing for anyone?

    • Anonymous

      Yet do this day white poeple love bob marley ....LOL How did that help anyone? JAY-Z is role model for me man, dealer to businessman. I sold my last once three years ago bruh. ROLE MODELS < JAY-Z, OBAMA, WILL SMITH

  • attention whore

    Oh poor Jay-Z he could sleep because of the verdict. You are a liar!

  • attention whore

    This attention whore strikes again because he wants a attention for his album. he doesn care for Travyon Martin he only cares for money. Probably he is buying now some gold toilets because Kanye also bought them.

  • Gucci The Realist

    Gucci Mane = realest rapper ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - T.I. snitch to the feds - Young Jeezy was never bmf - 50 Cent snitch and was never in jail but a youthcamp - Game was never a banger but lived the life of his brother in his lyrics - Nas Escobar never sold drugs - Ice Cube never was a gangbanger - Dr Dre never was a gangbanger - 2pac was a ballerina and never sold drugs after he become famous he was doing some stupid stuff like beating and shooting at people because he though he could get away with it. Without Suge Knight 2pac was just a skinny motherfucker. Oh and i like his music so fuck you. - Mobb deep are the biggiest pussies - Jay-Z never commite4d a crime listen open letter.

    • Burmy

      Still no word on why you think Common, Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def, Talib Kweli or Black Thought are "fake."

    • Anonymous

      and when all those fake rappers are kicking back in their mansions enjoying their millions gucci gonna raping niggas in prison for dissing his ice cream cone tat

  • Anonymous

    "Obama provides hope whether he does anything. The hope that he provides for a nation and outside of America is enough." ha. Saying one thing and contradicting on the other doesn't follow up on the 'hope', bruh. No wonder why you and Obama click. Two big shots in America who are all talk.

    • Anonymous

      "white people will never understand" So sick of the racism double standard. Obama is half black half white but is considered black. Zimmerman is half hispanic and half white and yet is considered white. Grow up, the racism card is played out and only relevant today as a go to for people who do not have enough valid points to frame an actual argument

    • Anonymous

      ^ white people will never understand

  • COCA


  • JAY-Z

    "You know how I rep my peeps / Occupy All Streets" Yeah, I just thought that up in less than 5 seconds. Instant classic. My next album is gon' be hot. I recorded the whole thang in less than 24 hours. Quantity over quality, the ROC motto! Remember, you ain't rebelling unless you spend all ya money on jewelry.

  • dentaldamboy

    Birdman told me that Beyonce and Jay-Z are getting divorced. She's tired of being married to a gay man and wants to get fucked with a real dick instead of a strap-on. The reason her album has been pushed back is that she doesn't want Jay to get any money from it. So she will wait till after the divorce to drop it.

  • Anonymous

    Says the dude that got rich selling boatloads of cocaine.

    • imho

      boat loads--even jayz admitted him self he was nothign more than a nick n dimmer

    • Anonymous

      maybe you should go buy some gucci records instead of wasting your time posting that bullshit over and over, i think his last release sold less than 2500 copies first week

    • Anonymous

      Since u r perfect u allowed to pass judgement...............................

    • "it was called for" ITS WOOOOOP TIME!!!

      Guci Mane realest rapper outthere: - this nigga throws bitches out his car - shoot niggas dead - beat niggas up. Gucci aint no fantasy nigga like: - mobb deep, - nas escobar lol nigga only had a ticket for parking his car wrong - 2pac never gangbanged - rick ross - jay z never was a big drug dealer

    • Anonymous

      im aware of jay-z's full music career all the way back to hawaiian sophie, but he didnt get rich selling cocaine he got rich rapping about it, just like half of these rappers

    • Anonymous

      ^ you mustve missed the first half of jay-z's music career. he made a fortune telling the tales of drug deals. kinda shady how this dude only shows up to protests around his album drop too. where was he when derrion alpert got dropped, Oscar grant, bank bail outs, Chicago violence, Chicago school closings etc.

    • Anonymous

      jay got rich selling records fuck is you talking about


    This shit can't get any more unbelievable. I know (Con)Ye has been whacked out in the mind, but thanks for showing your true colors. And your album wasn't any better than ConYe's.


    lmfao unbelieveable...u hear this asshole? his presence is charity...give me a break

  • Marsha L. Burnett

    what Marie said I am taken by surprise that a mother can profit $9556 in a few weeks on the computer. did you look at this web site... WWW.CAN99COM

  • Trayvon

    Thanks for giving me an alibi Shawn. Actually, I was planning a car jacking later that night. Then if time permitted I was going to break into a school and steal some laptops, then finish off the night by holding a few tourists at gunpoint as I blew weed smoke in their face.

  • Anonymous

    "This guy went to get some Skittles and go back and watch the All-Star game. He had plans" I wasn't aware Trayvon called Jay that night and informed him of his plans. Chasing him? lol It should be againsn't the law to fabricate things during interviews.

    • Anonymous

      @ 3rd Anonymous, nailed it.

    • Anonymous

      what's wrong with having only 2 friends?

    • Anonymous

      If you look at what he just said, know him to be Quote-Man, you'll remember what he says about Ross, Wayne, Nas, 50, Kendrick, Drake, Nicki, every aspect of the recording industry, like they specifically call and inform him what happens in their lives. Dude just wants to be associated with everything that's "successful", and that's a sign of a mental and social disorder. The type of person who knows it all, but ain't never been nowhere and has 2 friends and even your two friends trip you up when you start that omnipotent BS. This character flaw is so blatant that race and gender don't apply.

    • Anonymous

      it should be against the law to kill kids for no reason

    • Anonymous

      Damn it figures that Quoteman would be a Zimmerman advocate. Not surprised in the least bit.

  • Drake runs rap

    for the hhdx faggot writers their day isnt complete till they post an irrelevent article about the camel jay z