Jay Z and his big pimpin’ Roc Nation
David Goodson | 11/21/2013, 1:49 p.m.
It always feels right to have some of the biggest and best Hollywood and entertainment has to offer descend upon the Apollo Theater. The occasion this week was to premiere the contemporary screen adaptation of the Langston Hughes classic “Black Nativity”’
Making the trek uptown to partake in the festivities was the cast of A-listers the film boasts both in starring or behind-the-scenes roles, including Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson, Nas, new jack Jacob Latimore, executive producer T.D. Jakes and producer Trudie Styler, who bought along her husband, Sting. “Black Nativity” opens nationally on Nov. 27.
Cool, gives me a few days to check for the box office smash “Best Man Holiday.” I heard some good things about it, but the support is definitely obligatory.
In New York circles, the “Black Nativity” shindig was to be followed by an even bigger launch party—one that would benefit today’s youth in their future education endeavors, or at least that was what was promised. Let’s rewind a bit to bring us up to speed.
A few weeks ago, it was revealed to the world the plight of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips, two African-Americans who were subjected to racial profiling and all the degradation associated with it after making legitimate, high-end purchases from the upscale department store Barneys. As fate would have it, the revelation came a few weeks prior to the premiere of the collaboration between Barneys and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, called the BNY SCC collection. Following a groundswell of support for Jay Z to denounce the project, Jay said that a thorough investigation would be implemented before he made any rash decisions.
Now that we’re up on the latest, here’s what transpired recently: On Friday, Nov. 16, Jay Z posted a statement on his website lifeandtimes.com saying that although the results weren’t yet finalized, he has decided to move forward with the project under specific terms. Per the release, he said, “I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling. I am in a unique position to use my voice to effect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others, hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head-on.”
Jay said that 25 percent of the proceeds from the collection were promised to the Shawn Carter Foundation, but in an act of good faith, Barneys on their end would increase the proceed share by 75 percent, totaling 100 percent of all sales from BNY SCC. Along with 100 percent of sales from the collaboration, the foundation will receive an additional 10 percent of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on Nov. 20. To paraphrase, that’s “big pimpin!’”
A party was slated to take place on Wednesday, Nov. 20 to set the collection off in grand fashion, but guess what? In a concise statement issued by the retailer, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been cancelled.” I guess Barneys had a few conditions of their own.
Thanks for showing your true colors, my man.
And as a Yankee fan, knowing what has just been revealed, I’d like to thank Robinson Cano for the great years of baseball you displayed as a Yankee. Enjoy your new team and that huge contract you and your Roc Nation garner.
I’m out. Holla next week. Till then, enjoy the nightlife.