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Jay Z Reveals Demands to Barneys Over Racial Profiling Claims

'I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue'

November 16, 2013 4:58 PM ET
Jay-z, shawn carter, barneys, racist, racial, stealing, hova
Jay-Z performs on stage at Phones 4 U Arena on October 3rd, 2013 in Manchester, England.
Shirlaine Forrest/Redferns via Getty

Jay Z says that he's confronting the issue of racial profiling at Barneys "head-on." The rapper released a second statement to his website on Friday regarding his collaboration with the New York department store, defending his decision to move forward with his clothing line while laying out his demands to Barneys. 

"While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling," Jay Z wrote one his Life + Times website, after noting that this team has been following various investigations into the matter. "I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on."

 See Where Jay Z Ranks on Our 100 Greatest Artists List

The rapper came under fire last month for his association with Barneys after two black customers accused the store of racial profiling when they were detained by police officers after making expensive purchases. Jay Z is set to release a holiday collection of limited-edition apparel and accessories at the store. In his initial statement, Jay Z said that he was holding off judgment until he learned more about the situation, and noted that 25 percent of all sales from the partnership will go to his Shawn Carter Foundation, along with 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th. The money will be used to provide scholarships to young people facing socio-economic hardship.

In yesterday's statement, Jay Z revealed that the proceeds going to the Foundation have now been bumped up to a full 100% of sales from his BNY SCC collection, in addition to that extra 10% of all retail sales on November 20th. 

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