Jay-Z ruffled a few feathers in the 99 percent camp when Rocawear, a clothing company he co-founded, began selling $22 shirts inspired by Occupy Wall Street that will not monetarily benefit the movement.
Artist Daniel Edwards has put his feelings about the controversy into a new sculpture that places the rapper at the bottom of a totem pole with TV misers Mr. Burns and Scrooge McDuck, as well as Richie Rich.
Edwards, who has also depicted Britney Spears giving birth and Paris Hilton undergoing an autopsy in his previous works, told XXL, “I think Jay-Z has made himself a face of Wall Street that Occupiers are protesting against. ... Rap stars who turn ‘Scrooge’ have to suffer some damage to their street credibility.”
The artist said he chose the piece’s shape because it resembled the number one, as in 1 percent.
Russell Simmons would most likely not be a fan of the sculpture. While the Def Jam mogul has been a vocal supporter of Occupy, he defended Jay-Z’s right to show solidarity with the movement by selling the shirts.
“What's wrong with selling goodness? There's nothing wrong with it,” Simmons told Billboard. “You should sell things you're happy about. You should sell products that you're inspired by, that promote lasting and stable well-being. ... Jay-Z didn't make a T-shirt [that said] ‘[Expletive] Bums on the Street.’”
(Hat tip Gawker)