Jay-Z calls out cancel culture: ‘It’s unbelievable’

"You can’t give someone a microphone for 24 hours a day and [have them] not think they have to use it," Jay-Z told The Sunday Times.

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Legendary rapper Jay-Z did a rare interview with the England’s Sunday Times style section in which he talked about how his family navigated the coronavirus pandemic, among other subjects. 

The 51-year-old rap icon was asked if he thought cancel culture would end anytime soon. 

“You can’t give someone a microphone for 24 hours a day and [have them] not think they have to use it,” Jay-Z told the Sunday Times, which noted the rapper seemed to “feel a bit sorry for the younger stars coming up today.”

Jay-Z attends last January’s Roc Nation THE BRUNCH in Los Angeles. The Sunday Times Style noted, from a recent interview with him, the mogul-MC seemed to “feel a bit sorry for the younger stars coming up today.” (Photo by Erik Voake/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

“These kids, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “Imagine having a microphone, and you’re asked about social justice questions at 18 years old? It’s like, ‘What? I’m meant to know the answer, and if I don’t answer the correct way, if I don’t say everything right, even if my intentions are right, and I don’t say the same right thing, it’s going to be everywhere.’” 

The rapper’s reference to social media is aligned with how he uses the platforms: He has a Twitter account he rarely uses and has only occasionally popped up on Instagram. 

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Cancel culture has increasingly become right-wingers’ latest societal complaint, whereas Democrats maintain that more people in high places are increasingly being held accountable for their actions. As previously reported, former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton called it “consequence culture” on The View this week.

“I think we have a consequence culture,” he asserted, “and that consequences are finally encompassing everybody in the society, whereas they haven’t been ever in this country.”

In the Sunday Times interview, Jay-Z said he and wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter spent time connecting as a family during the beginning of the lockdowns instituted during the pandemic. 

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“In the beginning, it was time for everyone to sit down and really connect, and really focus on family and being together, and take this time to learn more about each other,” he said. “And then, as it wore on, it’s like, ‘OK, all right, what is the new normal?’”

He also said he’s unsure when he will perform live shows again: “I’m not planning it, but I’m definitely missing it.” 

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The Carters, Jay-Z said, are focused on building a business and a legacy for their three children — “Just make sure we provide a loving environment, be very attentive to who they want to be. It’s easy for us, as human beings, to want our children to do certain things, but we have no idea. We’re just guides.”

He mostly goes to the gym, he chuckles, “just to be able to catch my children on the lawn. Those are my goals.”

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