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Jay Z had all these white creatives create sambo art in ‘The Story Of O.J.’ video


Jay Z had all these white creatives create sambo art in ‘The Story Of O.J.’ video

…and none of y’all said a thing… K.

Nobody is going to read this because nobody cares about my opinions when it comes to their favorite rapper but y’all don’t ask reasonable questions when it comes to yall favorites anyway.

I mean, the internet usually goes into overdrive if Jay Z tweets or uploads new music and while we play his music and videos millions of times over and over, we collectively never question his creative process. After I heard The Story of O.J., I was nodding my head and couldn’t wait to see the production credits. I mean, after all, Shawn Carter wouldn’t employ a bunch of white artists to re-create sambo art, right?


I don’t think white people should be creating sambo art unless they are being taught some valuable tools about how art and anti-blackness were used to not only humiliate and embarrass black people but also used as marketing tools in media. But leave it to Jay Z to use his platform to not just hire a majority all-white team of artists who have no idea what the fuck sambo art is, but to use it as a platform to talk to niggas like he has all the keys to the game. What kind of jig is this?

Maybe Jay Z is all the niggas he described in the video?

Sambo art shouldn’t be created by white people in 2017

Don’t laugh, but think about it.

Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga
Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga
Still nigga, still nigga

Maybe it’s a reminder to himself?

House nigga, don’t fuck with me
I’m a field nigga with shined cutlery

Then he raps about passing the opportunity to buy property in Dumbo, Brooklyn which he reflects is now triple the worth he could have gotten it for previously. Field niggas mad they couldn’t make a profit off of gentrification? Cool story, bro.

Look, this isn’t a reach I’m putting together just for a few hits from people that will never read my shit again, but remember that time N.O.R.E. said Jay Z sounded “super white“? I’m not saying his perspective is right, but Jay Z gives the impression that sometimes he puts on his ‘real nigga’ costume in front of white people – of course, this is my limited ass perception but that’an all I got. Why give the jobs to white dudes that have no idea what sambo art means to black Americans? It just seems weird to me.

I had to Google some of the artists listed in the video to see if I was missing something. Maybe they were notable artists I’ve never heard of. Perhaps I’m the one out of the loop and my broke ass just isn’t hip as I think I am to the art scene. I searched a few and the ones I found had small social media followings so they weren’t hired because of their “influence”, it just really seems like a peculiar collaboration.

But what if Jay Z did it for some black, egotistical, “Cash me outside”, rich shit I don’t understand?

I thought about that, too. I mean what if I were rich and I wanted to create some super black visuals. If I hired an entirely white team that had no idea of how mainstream media exploited blackness as a running, cultural joke what would I be achieving? Power play? Is this one of those classics, ‘Fuck you, pay me’, excerpts from the old Hova? I don’t know, maybe one of yall can explain it to me. Explain it to me like a toddler. Maybe I won’t find an answer because Jay Z fans just scream he’s the greatest and leave it at that.

For those that read this, what do y’all think? Should Jay Z be hiring white creatives to depict sambo art or does it matter? I mean, he’s talking to niggas, about niggas, visually depicting niggas but nigggas can’t actually create the visual story?



Mad ethnic right now...



  1. Hubs

    October 23, 2017 at 2:46 AM

    Let me say this upfront; I’m not a fan of Carter, and never have been. Those who’d read this comment looking for bias, well, I’ve saved y’all the trouble. Having got that out of the way, this was an appalling move by him. Sambo art did more than embarrass and humiliate African Americans – it was used to dehumanise all people of African descent. It helped rationalise the extreme, sustained and very often lethal atrocities white Americans visited upon African Americans. In the context of the dehumanisation of black people, all cultural tropes such as this only served to trivialise our ancestors plight. This was the cultural equivalent of that cruel child who teased insects or other animals, then graduated to torturing them. Laugh at Sambo in your comic books, on the radio, in the movies! Then maim or even kill that sucker if he is anything less than funny and non-threatening in the streets!

    This is Carter using his privilege to say “fuck you!” to our ancestors and by extension, to all of us. Use of the imagery at all should’ve been very sensitively and carefully done, and only after great consideration, by artists whose very existence it would’ve threatened. Using artists whose ancestors privilege and power was reinforced by it isn’t a fail; it’s an insult.

  2. Natika

    October 23, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    There will be many people who look at this and see it as bashing their favorite artist. I look at it and wonder why he would avoid hiring people of color to work on his so-called “woke” album. Because the fact of the matter is he knows that people will still buy his music no matter who he hires. He doesn’t care about the meaning we are seeing behind his words, he is here to make more money and that is his goal. I can’t even find the strength to be disappointed in his hustle, he tells us all we need to know about him in his music “still nigga”.

  3. Amaris Moss

    October 23, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    I’m thinking he probably didn’t use black artists because he may have got some resistance. Or like you said, his perspective may be skewed because he’s rich now.

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