Jay-Z's lyrics attest that "money ain't a thang," a philosophy that doesn't go over so well with the 99% over at Occupy Wall Street. As a grand symbol of disapproval, controversial celeb sculptor Daniel Edwards has created a bronze statue of Jay-Z in a totem pole of the 1%, joined by Richie Rich, Scrooge McDuck and The Simpsons' Mr. Burns. Jay-Z also boasts some massive dollar sign bling.
The piece, entitled 'Mogul (Jay-Z Occupies Occupy Wall Street)', was inspired by Jay-Z's shortlived 'Occupy All Streets' T-shirt that he designed for Rocawear. The shirts sold for $22, with none of the proceeds benefitting the Occupy movement. The shirt was removed from the web after attracting some pretty harsh words from Occupy protestors. One occupier commented:
"Jay-Z, as talented as he is, has the political sensibility of a hood rat and is a scrotum. To attempt to profit off of the first important social movement of 50 years with an overpriced piece of cotton is an insult to the fight for economic civil rights known as #occupywallstreet."
Edwards, known for his subversive celebrity altars-gone-awry, such as Justin Bieber as a giant penis and Suri Cruise's bronzed poop, depicts Jay-Z as the largest figure in a totem pole of the mega-rich. The piece was designed to look like a one (as in, the 1%); Edwards commented that "Jay-Z has made himself a face of [the] Wall Street that Occupiers are protesting against."
Yet not everyone was against Jay-Z's tees. Def Jam records mogul Russel Simmons saw no problem with them, noting that the message "it furthers the movement, it inspires the movement." Street artist Shepard Fairey was recently criticized by OWS as well when the artist contributed a poster that some occupiers thought did not accurately portray OWS' message.