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The Anti-Defamation League Slams Lupe Fiasco Over Anti-Semitic Lyrics

Update: Fiasco has responded to the Anti-Defamation League’s statement through another series of tweets. In response to a tweet from ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt about his comments, Fiasco sarcastically said “Sorry Massa….i’s do better next time, fuck outta here.” He continued to defend himself by noting his shows and concert merchandise promote the opposite of the stereotyping he’s accused of. Read the tweets below.

Yesterday, Lupe Fiasco retired from music in a fit of frustration after listeners accused him of being anti-Semitic in his recent “N.E.R.D.” freestyle, where he rapped “Artist gettin’ robbed for their publishing / By dirty Jewish execs that think his alms from the covenant.” Last night, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement condemning Fiasco for the sentiment.

“The lyrics about artists being robbed by ‘dirty Jewish execs’ are offensive,” said CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt in the statement.  “These lyrics reinforce the anti-Semitic myth of Jewish control of the music industry, a stereotype that has been exploited in recent years by well-known hatemongers. It is irresponsible for a recording artist to perpetuate the hateful anti-Semitic stereotype of the ‘greedy Jew.’

“Even if Lupe Fiasco has concerns about exploitation of his artistic output, it’s deplorable to stigmatize an entire group in response. Fiasco has a well-earned reputation as a highly respected hip-hop artist.  At a time when there are significant divisions across the country, we are disappointed that he has not chosen to use his platform and voice to promote a more inclusive message.” The ADL’s statement also quoted a 2013 poll claiming 23 percent of Americans think the movie and TV industries are “pretty much run by Jews.”

Fiasco announced his retirement after a DJ Booth article that questioned the lyrics turned up on his timeline. The rapper responded by tweeting “Oh Please. Fuck Outta Here” before doubling down on the offensive lyrics in a series of back-and-forths. After claiming SoundCloud took down “N.E.R.D.” due to “hate speech”—though the freestyle was actually still streamable on the service as of press time—Fiasco tweeted that he was “officially not releasing anymore music.”

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