Outspoken activist, community organizer, and filmmaker Dream Hampton took to Twitter on Sunday to out the donors as music’s power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z.
“I’m going to tweet this and I don’t care if Jay gets mad,” wrote Hampton, in a now deleted tweet. “When we needed money for bail for Baltimore protesters, I asked hit Jay up [sic], as I had for Ferguson, wired tens of thousands in mins.”
“When [Black Lives Matter] needed infrastructure money for the many chapters that we’re growing like beautiful dandelions, Carters wrote a huge check,” she went on to say. “…And more stuff, too much to list actually, that they always insist folk keep quiet.”
Hampton deleted the tweets, but they were captured in screenshots taken by Complex magazine.
“They’re waging war on black resistance in a multitude of ways, many of them financially. Protest is literally punished with tariffs,” Hampton wrote. “When they fine and arrest people for protesting, more opportunities for exploitation by the state are possible with each encounter.”
Jay-Z and Beyonce have not yet addressed the allegations that they are the ones who came to the rescue of those arrested during the unrest, but they did unleash a freestyle rap at his concert at New York City’s Terminal-5 on Saturday, defending himself against critics of his new streaming service, Tidal.
“I don’t need no middle man to talk to my n–gas. . . I don’t take no checks. I take my respect. Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet. Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net. Google dangled around a crazy check,” he rapped.
Tidal aims to make sure that artists reap the proceeds and maintain control of their music, to combat sites like YouTube which he believes are capitalizing unfairly off the work of others.
“I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit. Them n–gas pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get. You know n–gas die for equal pay, right? You know when I work I ain’t your slave, right?” he continued.
He also suggested that those attacking him may be guilty of racism, as other moguls are not facing the same criticism that he is.
“You know I came into this game independent, right? Tidal, my own lane, same difference. Oh n–gas is skeptical as their own s–t. You bought nine iPhones, and Steve Jobs is rich. Phil Knight worth trillions, you still bought those kicks. Spotify is 9 million they ain’t say s–t.” Jay-Z, who is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, pointed out.
“You got some explaining to do. The only one they hating on look the same as you. I know they trying to bamboozle you. Spending millions on media trying to confuse you. I had to talk to myself, Hov get used to it. It’s politics as usual.”
Perhaps most notably, he also made sure to bring up some of the recent deaths of unarmed citizens at the hands of police, as well as Trayvon Martin, who was killed in 2012.
Many on social media had called out Jay-Z and Beyonce for their perceived silence on the issue of police brutality. Looks like they were wrong.