Jay Z To Sell "Occupy All Street" T-Shirts, But Will Not Give Proceeds To Occupiers
Looking for some Occupy Wall Street swag? Jay-Z has you covered. The millionaire rapper and entrepreneur is launching a line of Occupy Wall Street-themed t-shirts featuring the phrase "Occupy All Streets," that go on sale on Jay-Z's Rocawear website on Friday, according to Business Insider.
But the genius behind "99 Problems" isn't sharing the profits with the 99 percent. A spokesperson from Rocawear told Business Insider in a statement that the company has not "made an official commitment" to support the movement financially.
But Jay-Z isn't the first to try and use the Occupy movement to make some money. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has received a rash of applications from merchants, lawyers and others to trademark phrases like "Occupy" and "We Are The 99 Percent."
In an ad on Craigslist, MTV said it was hunting for a cast member for its flagship reality show The Real World among the Occupy crowd, according to the Los Angeles Times. The network also aired True Life: I’m Occupying Wall Street earlier this month, which documented a few days in the park for some of the twenty-somethings taking part in the movement, CBS News reports.
Some activists not directly associated with the movement even produced a commercial last month that aims to direct people to Occupy Together, one of the many websites promoting the Occupy Wall Street cause, according to the New York Observer. The OWS PR team decided against using the video on OccupyWallStreet.org because they were concerned that viewers would find it "too commercial."
Though Jay-Z may be trying to make a buck off of the protests, he's supportive of their goals. In the statement to Business Insider, Rocawear said the company encourages "all forms of constructive expression." In a clip of an upcoming appearance on The Secret Millionaire's Club -- an animated series created by Warren Buffett that aims to teach kids financial literacy -- a cartoon version of Jay-Z explains to the kids that becoming successful in business has allowed him to help others.
Jay-Z isn't the first member of the hip-hop community to take up the Occupy banner. Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons has visited Zuccotti several times, even offering to pay for a clean up of the park last month when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the park would need to be temporarily closed for cleaning. Other artists, including Kanye West and Talib Kweli, have also stopped by the protests.