Jay Z: 'Hip Hop Has Done More for Racial Relations than Most Cultural Icons'

The rapper acknowledges that his view is controversial

Photo: Brian Ach/Getty

Jay Z believes in the power of music.

The hip hop mogul shares his thoughts in a new video from Oprah Winfrey’s TV network, OWN, as part of their month-long celebration honoring civil rights leaders.

Acknowledging that his view is a “strong” one that may be controversial, Jay Z says, “I think that hip hop has done more for racial relations than most cultural icons. And I say, save Martin Luther King, because his dream speech we realized when President Obama got elected.”

“This music didn’t only influence kids from urban areas, it influenced people all around the world,” he says. “Racism is taught in the home. I truly believe that racism is taught when you’re young, so it’s very difficult to teach racism when your kid looks up to Snoop Doggy Dogg.”

The rapper goes on to explain how hip hop creates conversation and brings people together.

“If you look at clubs and how integrated they have become – before people partied in separate clubs,” Jay Z says. “There were hip hop clubs and there were techno clubs. And now people party together and once you have people partying, dancing and singing along to the same music, then conversations naturally happen after that. And within conversations, we all realize that we’re more alike than we are separate.”

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