Provocative hip-hop star Jay Electronica has attracted a bit of negative attention after his performance at the 2014 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. One would think pulling larger-than-life rapper Jay Z onto the stage to perform with him would be a very positive experience for his fans, but Electronica’s surprise guest did not keep him from needing the defense of the Nation of Islam’s leader, Louis Farrakhan, once he stepped off the stage.
During his July 12 performance, the rapper was dressed in a uniform of the Fruit of Islam and had a number of followers of the Nation of Islam lined up behind him. This is no new thing for Electronica’s stage performances, but there was a spark of negative criticism and controversy when he rapped profane words on stage. His critics found it to be hypocritical of him to use profanity while representing the Nation of Islam. Profanity is frowned upon in the Nation of Islam.
The Afro newspaper reported, “Farrakhan’s letter, published in the Final Call, the news site and official communication arm of the Nation of Islam, addressed the critique that Electronica’s use of profanity was hypocritical and contradicted the uniform.”
“Has any of us who have accepted Islam and its required high degree of moral excellence and civilization ever said or done anything that is less than representative of what we believe?” wrote Farrakhan. “I am sure that all of us, if we are honest, would have to say that we have.”
In addition to referring its audience to a passage in the Qu’ran, the letter appeals to the story of the woman accused of adultery and taken before Jesus for judgment in the Gospel of John. Farrakhan enlists Jesus’ rhetorical imperative that the person without sin throw the first stone, to turn the accusation of hypocrisy back on those who would criticize Electronica.
“So let us not be like the self-righteous hypocrites of that day when Jesus refused to accuse the woman whom they say was found in adultery,” wrote Farrakhan.
Electronica is an artist on Jay Z’s record label, ROC Nation.