Occupy Wall Street

I Occupied WALL Street(s) & All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt That Made Jay-Z Richer


Fresh off his triumphant role in bringing the Atlantic Yards project (a.k.a. The Great Basketball Swindle) to Brooklyn via skeevy biz practices, eminent-domain-abuser and ticket-fixing rapper Jay-Z briefly had a new controversial project: Making a buck by selling t-shirts intended to support the Occupy movement and keeping all that filthy corporate lucre for himself.

Via Mediaite comes this story:

Jay-Z's company, Rocawear, is now selling a t-shirt that says "Occupy Wall Street" with graffiti style lettering modifying the message to read "Occupy All Streets." A mini scandal has brewed over the shirt as it's become clear that Rocawear, currently, has no plans to give any of the procedes to the occupiers themselves….

A statement from Rocawear to Business Insider: "The 'Occupy All Streets' T shirt was created in support of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement. Rocawear strongly encourages all forms of constructive expression, whether it be artistic, political or social. 'Occupy All Streets' is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement."

Mediaite's Jon Bershad continues:

One of the Jay-Z defenders in our office pointed out that, by symbolically using his voice through the shirt, the monumentally influential rapper and entrepreneur is doing more to help the cause than nearly anyone can. That may be true. However, why should he profit off his support?

An analogy I used here in the office was of the canned food drive we have for Thanksgiving. If I were to walk in one day and say "Hey, that canned food drive is great!" or, more aptly (and cryptically), "Hey, all food drive!," that would be all well and good. But, if I were to say that while not putting any cans in myself as well as taking some of the cans that come in back to my house, people would think I was being, well, kind of d*ckish.

Apparently, Jay-Z and Rocawear agreed, since they quickly pulled the $22 item from the company's website. Such is the power of the market, that it both injects new products into circulation and yanks them out again with nary a heartbeat in between.

As with many misbegotten t-shirts, they may well end up as Third World giveaways, so keep an eye out for Occupy All Streets t-shirts in random crowd shots of future episdoes of No Reservations or Bizarre Foods.

Whole thing here. 

Reason's Occupy Wall Street video playlist. Click to watch over a dozen videos, including the great Peter Schiff representin' the 1 Percent at Zuccotti Park, an NYPD cop punching a protester, and an anti-Semitic (former) LA school district official yapping about Zionist-controlled banktards:

NEXT: How New York Won the War on Crime

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  1. I find this quite amusing. I don’t think the food drive analogy works though.

    1. No. Food drives accomplish something good.

      1. Mediaite’s Jon Bershad continues…”[W]hy should he profit off his support?”

        alt219 replies, “Why not?”

  2. We’re supposed to be behind Jay on this one, right? Nobody ever went broke overestimating the stupidity of the ‘Murcan public.

  3. Ant [civilization] puts the land their colony is on on gambol lockdown from other ants. The root of this is ant [farming] of aphids and fungi.


  4. A statement from Rocawear to Business Insider: “The ‘Occupy All Streets’ T shirt was created in support of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement…At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement.”

    OTOH, no one from Rocawear has raped or murdered anyone at an OWS site yet. That’s sort of supporting the movement, isn’t it?

  5. future episdoes of No Reservations or Bizarre Foods.

    I think both those shows are done. Amazing how few seasons it took to visit everywhere interesting.

    1. *everywhere even remotely interesting

    2. visited the Falkland Islands yet? It would be interesting to see what he thinks of Penguin eggs. Good show – I truly enjoy it.

      1. penguin eggs seem more like a Zimmern thing.

  6. Would be great to see where the shirts end up. Willing to bet the Jay-Z defenders are the same types that go on and on about Whitey.

  7. “However, why should he profit off his support?”

    Hmm. Maybe because he had an idea for a product that some people want to buy and put up the capital to produce it? What happened to the rappers of the NWA ilk who would have just said “fuck you, we’re in it for the money.”

  8. Agree with Zeb.

    If I were jz I’d donate a cent on every dollar I made, it would be more of a symbolic “don’t tell me how to make money”

  9. & All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

    Maybe you’d be willing to settle for a nice, uncomplicated raping, instead?

    Because, seriously: these guys are just flat-out awesome at Teh Rape.

  10. Note Nick’s rhetorical sleight of hand in conflating dishonest money-making (Atlantic Yards) with honest money-making (selling T-shirts).

  11. people would think I was being, well, kind of d*ckish.

    I think a large number thought that regardless.

  12. 99 problems but the rich aint one.

  13. So if he did want to give his profits to the “movement”, how would he? Does OWS have a bank account? A charitable branch? Is he supposed to drop cash out of a helicopter hovering over the demonstrators?

    The OWS leadership takes great pains to tell us that there is no OWS leadership, no organization, no one in charge. So where does the OWS leadership suggest Jay-Z give his money?

    1. That’s the sort of One Percenter logic that put our economy in the ditch.

  14. I eagerly await my “Occupy All Streets” t-shirt, since my “Buffalo Bills Super Bowl Champion” t-shirt is starting to get frayed.

  15. The anti-semite wasn’t an “official”. or at least not as I understand the term. She was a substitute teacher.

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