Last week, it was reported that Jay-z made OWS supporters real mad after refusing to share profits from Rocawear’s ‘Occupy All Streets’ tees with the actual Occupy Wall Street movement. An angry sculptor who was livid that Jay, who earned $63 million last year, would profit from people who were being arrested for what they believe to be one of the most important social justice movements of our generation, created a piece which he describes as a Scrooge Totem pole.
The sculpture, created by artist Daniel Edwards, features Jay-Z wearing chains with a big dollar sign on his chest at the base and animated characters that have played the money-hungry Scrooge character on television stacked on top of him. Above Jay is Mr. Burns from ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Scrooge McDuck’ from Disney’s ‘Christmas Carol,’ and Richie Rich.
Daniel recently discussed why he chose to make the sculpture of Jay-z:
“I think Jay-Z has made himself a face of [the] Wall Street that Occupiers are protesting against. Maybe Jay-Z is strivingto be in the one percent? Which is why I chose the composition of a totem pole because I thought it would resemble the number one. Rap stars who turn ‘Scrooge’ have to suffer some damage to their street credibility.”
Russell Simmons recently spoke out defending his friend’s choice to sell ‘Occupy All Streets’ tees, saying that the movement isn’t being against business or branding, it’s just against those businesses controlling our government.
“What’s wrong with selling goodness? There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not the most preferred. In yogi scripture, at least, the highest form of giving is giving without expectation. Selfless. But a lot of people need incentive.
You should sell things you’re happy about. You should sell products that you’re inspired by, that promote lasting and stable well-being. Give the world something or sell the world something that you’re proud of. Jay-Z didn’t make a T-shirt [that said] “F— the Bums on the Street.” He wrote a T-shirt “Occupy All Streets” – I’m happy, it furthers the movement, it inspires the movement.
Listen, I’m going to get every corporation that wants to support us to get branding as part of the process. No one’s against business. We’re against business having too much control over our government.”