U.S. rapper Jay-Z raised eyebrows recently when he was snapped wearing a controversial symbol linked to the Five Percent Nation, a U.S.-based group which reportedly believes white people are “wicked and inferior” to black men.
Sitting courtside at a basketball game in New York last week, with his superstar wife Beyonce, Jay-Z was asked by a reporter whether the medallion — an eight-point star with the number 7 – is meaningful to him. Jay-Z responded with “a little bit,” the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
While Five-Percenters do not refer to themselves as Muslims, they borrow their name from the Nation of Islam propagated idea that five per cent of humanity are “poor righteous teachers,” trying to teach the world the truth of existence.
The symbol features an eight-point star with the number 7. (Photo courtesy: The Associated Press)
This is not the first time the hit rapper has been associated with the Five-Percenters. Last summer, he was photographed wearing a similar medallion while giving radio interviews.
The Five Percent Nation was founded in 1963 by a former student of Malcolm X, Clarence Smith who decided to split from teachings of the Nation of Islam after reportedly disagreeing with its definition of God.
Smith rejected the idea of God as a supernatural deity and believed that all black men had God in them, while black women took on a subordinate role.
“The rationale is that the black man is God and created the universe, and is physically stronger and intellectually stronger and more righteous naturally,” said Michael Muhammad Knight, an author of two books on the radical group, according to the New York Post.
“Whiteness is weak and wicked and inferior — basically just an errant child who needs to be corrected.”
Despite flouting the medallion, Jay-Z is not an official member of the group.
“Jay-Z is not an active member — no one has vouched for him” said Saladin Allah, a group representative, to the New York Post. “It was always understood that you don’t wear the ¬regalia if you don’t totally subscribe to the life.”