Jay-Z held his B-Sides 2 concert to mark the grand re-opening of the Webster Hall venue in New York City on Friday night (April 26). Among many high moments, including bringing out Cam’Ron and Nas, Jigga kicked a freestyle that criticized gentrification and bigged up the late, great Nipsey Hussle.
“Gentrify your own hood before these people do it/Claim eminent domain and have your people move in/That’s a small glimpse into what Nipsey was doing/For anybody still confused as to what he was doing,” spit Hova. “The neighborhood designed to keep us trapped…”
That’s only the start of the verse, which is a nuanced take on the subject (Genius has the full wop). However, social media is all about the sound bite.
It didn’t take long for critics to come out the woodwork and take Jay-Z to task for his involvement in bringing the Barclay’s Center to downtown Brooklyn, though.
It’s a sticky subject since while the move created jobs, citizens were also displaced due to the construction of the venue.
Peep the freestyle below and some of the reactions as well.