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Madonna’s Manager Guy Oseary Defends Jay-Z’s Use of Anti-Semitic Stereotypes: ‘I’m Not Offended’ by His Lyrics

Variety logo Variety 7/3/2017 Variety Staff
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Guy Oseary, manager for Madonna, U2, and Amy Schumer, is defending Jay-Z’s use of Jewish stereotypes in the song “The Story of O.J.,” from the rapper’s just-released “4:44” album.

The lyrics in question include the lines: “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? / Credit / You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it / Financial freedom my only hope / F— livin’ rich and dyin’ broke”

Oseary, who was born in Israel, posted a photo on Instagram of himself with Jay-Z on July 1, accompanied by his interpretation of the song’s message. Addressing purported anti-Semitic lyrics, Oseary wrote: “If you read the lyrics out of context I can understand why people are jumping to that conclusion. But if you listen to the song in its entirety you will hear that the whole of the song is based on exaggerated stereotypes to make a point.” He goes on to note that “there are African American stereotypes throughout the song.”

Addressing a centuries-long bias, Oseary explains that Jay-Z is “attempting to use the Jewish people in an exaggerated way to showcase a community of people that are thought to have made wise business decisions. As an example of what is possible and achievable. Yes, the ‘rich jew,’ the ‘business jew,’ the ‘jew that owns the world’ is a stereotype which has been repeatedly used with the wrong sentiment. Meant only to harm the Jewish people.”

Oseary, who released a book in 2000 titled “Jews Who Rock,” ultimately defended the rapper’s lyrics as “a compliment,” adding, “I’m not offended by these lyrics. I hear them the way he intended them to be heard.”

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