Jay-Z's Controversial Barneys Collection Brings Big Bucks for Charity
When Jay Z first connected with Barneys to create a holiday line, it was initially seen as the hip-hop mogul's latest endeavor to solidify his growing status as a "business, man," following the now-infamous $5 million deal made with Samsung to release his latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
That was before the chain's New York flagship store was rocked with charges of racial discrimination, when two shoppers alleged that they were targeted for "shopping while black" after being accosted (and in one case, arrested) despite having made legitimate purchases at the store.
While Jay Z was deluged with calls to pull out of the deal in light of the unsettling incidents, the rapper stood firm, explaining his position with a post on his official website, Life + Times.
"Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn't hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education," he wrote. "I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn't harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration." more on this story