Jay Z may be known for his exceptional fashion sense, among his many talents, but his latest sartorial flourish sparked suspicion he may be racist.
On Tuesday during a Brooklyn Nets game, the 44-year-old rapper wore a medallion with a symbol on it that is associated with the Five Percent Nation, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam that believes that “white men are the devil.”
When asked if the coaster-sized medallion featuring the group’s symbol, an eight pointed star with the number 7 inside of it, meant anything to him, Jay Z told The New York Post and reporters at the Barclays Center, “A little bit.”
— Sincerely Beyoncé (@SincerelyBey) April 2, 2014
According to the group, which was founded in 1964 in Harlem by a former student of Malcolm X named Clarence Smith, members are taught that “black people are the original people of the planet Earth.” The Five Percent Nation, sometimes called "Nation of Gods and Earths," also believes white people are evil and only a small percentage of people know the truth of the world.
Author Michael Muhammad Knight explained the group to The Post:
“The rationale is that the black man is God and created the universe, and is physically stronger and intellectually stronger and more righteous naturally. The first lesson I learned from the Five Percent was simple: F–k white people. Seriously. White people are devils. Whiteness is weak and wicked and inferior — basically just an errant child who needs to be corrected.”
Despite wearing the medallion courtside for the Nets game next to his wife, Beyoncé, the Five Percent Nation said Jay Z is not part of the group.
“Jay Z is not an active member -- no one has vouched for him,” Saladin Allah, a representative of the group’s upstate region, told The New York Post in a statement. “It was always understood that you don’t wear the regalia if you don’t totally subscribe to the life.”
However, this is not the first time Jay Z has worn the symbol of the Five Percent Nation. He once wore a similar chain during a promotion for his "Magna Carta Holy Grail" album in July and recently wore it at the Philadelphia stop of his Magna Carta World Tour in late January. The Christian Post reported that Jay rapped about the doctrines of the Five Percent Nation in a song called “Heaven.”
Gawker, though, believes Jay Z’s wearing of the Five Percent Nation medallion is actually an attempt to distract the public from his membership in another group he’s long-rumored to be a part of: The Illuminati.
“It's time to wake up people, because this clearly is all just a bit of subterfuge in order to distract people from the truth: Jay Z is, will be, and always has been a ranking member of the one-world authoritarian government known as the New World Order … Jay Z is dangling his car keys in front of you to keep you from knowing the truth about the Illuminati.”
The rapper and Beyoncé have been pegged as members of the Illuminati for years. They are suspected by some of using the group's secret hand symbols during public events as evidence. Other conspiracy theorists believe the couple’s child, Blue Ivy, was named as an homage to the “New World Order,” a “one-world authoritarian government” that reportedly masterminds events and controls world affairs, from “finance and government to religion and culture.”