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Saul Williams Shares Background Of Jay-Z Email, Says It Wasn’t Leaked

Photo Credit: David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns

UPDATE: Saul Williams has offered some additional context on the email he shared on Instagram about JAY-Z’s thoughts on economic freedom.

The artist took to Twitter and clarified that the email was not a leak of a personal exchange.

“The email was fwd’d to me in 2018 w/o a return email & in response to my 2014 breakfast club interview which somehow disappeared from YouTube soon after. I’m always open to public or private dialogue & try not to act in haste or anger.”

Although the interview isn’t available in its entirety, there is a clip on YouTube from Williams’ Breakfast Club appearance that seems to be what he’s referring to in the tweet. The video finds Williams speaking out against JAY-Z once stating that “I couldn’t help the poor if I was one of them.”

“Thank God Harriet Tubman didn’t think that way, thank God Sojourner Truth didn’t think that way…you need to be one with the people to be a revolutionary. You need to speak directly to the people and undertsand that you don’t need money to win.”

Read the original story below.

The artist shared the email on Instagram and captioned the image with his thoughts on structures of oppression, psychological freedom and more.

Saul Williams recently took to Instagram to call out JAY-Z by sharing an email sent by the rapper. The email includes the rapper’s thoughts on economic freedom, in his caption Williams shares his rebuttal.

The email from JAY-Z read, “Our fight for economic freedom is new, it’s not the same war that Harriet Tubman was fighting. If I used the same ‘weapons’ as them I would be shooting a musket at people with Fully automatic assault rifles.” He went on to share that we should “challenge each other” but be careful that it doesn’t come across as judgment.

Williams expressed his thoughts on economic freedom by sharing the following:

“I wouldn’t characterize our fight for economic freedom as ‘new’. During segregation accumulated black wealth and black-owned business were at a peak. Black newspapers, magazines, schools, record labels… Yet psychological freedom from hard taught capitalism is hard to earn. African billionaires, for example, have brought little relief to the continent of Africa. The seduction of power and the systemic constraints of white supremacy will take more than money to burn.”

Additionally, the artist’s caption further breaks down his thoughts on systemic structures, wealth, and the market economy. He also pointed out that he challenges the messaging through music because he sees art and music as “tools or weaponry” to destroy problematic systems.

Prior to sharing the detailed Instagram post featuring JAY-Z’s email, Williams posted a short video of an interview. In the clip, he touches on how modern day leaders have been pushing to accumulate massive wealth. He also calls out the rapper’s The Black Album in which he rapped a verse alluding to the inability to help poor people. Later in the video, he digs deep and shares that leaders of the civil rights movement led causes with their vision, not with money.

Take a look at the video below.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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