Jay Z - Jay Z defends Barneys collaboration

Jay Z has defended his collaboration with Barneys New York.

The rapper came under fire last week for teaming up with the department store for an exclusive Christmas collection called 'A New York Holiday' after Barneys hit the headlines over two alleged incidents of racial profiling, and a petition was launched demanding the '99 Problems' hitmaker reconsider his contract.

The backlash began when two African-American shoppers accused the Madison Avenue fashion store of detaining them after they purchased luxury goods.

However, Jay Z insists he won't ''prematurely pull out'' of the project without considering the facts and says he remains hopeful about finding a solution to the problem.

He wrote in a statement on his Life + Times website: ''I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn't harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.

''I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it's towards, aren't I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change.''

The rapper also set the record straight about his multi-million Barneys deal, revealing he won't be pocketing ''a dime'' as his share of the profits are set to benefit the Shawn Carter Foundation.

He explained: ''This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys.

''This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity... not profit.''

The 43-year-old star's collection features items ranging in price from $70 for a cotton T-shirt to an impressive $33,900 for a watch by Hublot with alligator skin straps.


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