On Saturday night, as the music industry gathered to pay homage to Jay-Z, who was honored at Clive Davis’ annual Pre-Grammy Gala, the rapper’s controversial interview aired on the inaugural episode of “The Van Jones Show.” Among many notable comments on the show, Jay-Z’s response to a question about the president’s reported characterization of Haiti and various African nations as “sh—hole countries” seemed to get the most attention.
“It is disappointing and it’s hurtful,” the rapper said. “It’s looking down at a whole population of people and it’s so misinformed because these places have beautiful people and beautiful everything. This is the leader of the free world speaking like this.”
Approximately 13 hours later, the president responded with a characteristically fact-challenged claim.
“Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!,” he tweeted.
Jones soon replied with a characteristically forthright (and also self-promotional) Tweet.
“Someone needs to inform @realdonaldtrump that I ALREADY asked Jay Z whether black employment figures redeem Trump’s presidency,” he wrote. “And Jay’s answer last night on the #VanJonesShow was POWERFUL !!! .. Watch the VIDEO for yourself …”
At press time Jay — who happens to be the most-nominated artist at the 2018 Grammy Awards — had already begun winning trophies during the pre-televised awards ceremony. But if he wins one of the categories during the televised ceremony tonight, will he take the opportunity to respond to the president? Time will tell …