- (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
Shawn "Jay Z" Carter, the 43-year-old rap mogul, recently opened up about what he feels is a real problem in the United States - there's no middle class.
The rap mogul recently appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher where he spoke about issues with the Socio-economic classes in the country.
"I don't really want to scare America but the real problem is that there's no middle class, so the gap between the haves and have nots is getting wider and wider," Jay Z told host Bill Maher. "It's gonna be a problem that no amount of police can solve because once you have that sort of oppression and that gap is widening, it's inevitable that something is going to happen."
The rapper turned business mogul spoke about a solution to former member of the U.S. House of Representatives Barney Frank calling for more policing in African-American communities.
"More jobs would be better than police. They need to get out of there," he said. "They deserve to get out of there. Public housing was a temporary stop! I grew up in Marcy Projects, public housing was a temporary stop until you got yourself together and moved on."
Jay Z's appearance on Maher's show comes after he publicly defended himself against entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte, 86, criticizing him for not taking a stand when it came to social issues.
"It is sad. And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities," Belafonte told The Hollywood Reporter last year. "But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example."
Jay Z said the comments were offensive.
"I'm offended by that because first of all, this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am, [is charity], just like Obama is," Jay Z told Rap Radar's Elliot Wilson last month. "Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, that hope that he provides for a nation and outside of America is enough. Just being who he is."
The rap mogul told Maher that he did not agree with Belafonte dragging his wife Beyonce Knowles-Carter into the discussion.
"That was sort of a bit grandstanding to me. And I didn't like that," Jay Z told Maher. "Especially dragging my wife into it. That was a bit of a low blow."