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Archived: Why Jay-Z Told David Letterman Some Good Has Come from the Trump Presidency

Hip-hop icon and businessman Jay-Z sat down with former late night host David Letterman where he referred to the presidency as “actually a great thing.”


“I think that what he’s forcing people to do is have conversations and [forcing] people to band together and work together, you can’t really address something that’s not revealed,” Jay-Z explained. “He’s bringing out an ugly side of America that we wanted to believe was gone, and it’s still here. We still gotta deal with it.”

The two entertainment legends grappled over the idea of white privilege and how it plays a role in modern American society. Critics of Jay-Z called this hypocritical as Jay-Z is worth over $3 billion.

This is not the first time the rapper has expressed discontent with the 45th president, previously calling him a “superbug” and a “joke.” Jay-Z also has spoken recently to BBC Radio 1 about the negative effects of a Trump presidency, saying, “We are all linked some kind of way. So if you oppress a certain people, everyone is in danger, karmically and in real life.”

Jay-Z has also used his creativity to comment on society, most notably in his recent project “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,” which is set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York later this month. After the festival Viacom will air it as a six-part series on the new Spike channel, which is set to be rebranded as the Paramount network. The series will be based on the book written by the parents of the 17-year-old boy who was gunned down by George Zimmerman, who was exonerated for the murder of their son in 2012. The acquittal led to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Jay-Z’s claim that Trump is forcing the nation to confront its racial undertones should not be construed with his presidency being positive for the country. Ever since his inauguration, Trump has continuously ostracized minorities, notably with his Muslim ban and persistently using divisive language throughout his presidency to instill fear into those who don’t look like him or share his views.

Letterman chimed in with his own social commentary, adding that “we don’t need more evidence” to decide whether Trump himself is a racist. “You’re having a debate over whether a guy is a racist, chances are that guy’s a racist,” he remarked.

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