The Doctor Is In! Dr. Cornel West Calls Out Jay-Z For “Lies” In Nets’ Ownership

October 13, 2012  |

It’s not easy being business, man.

Ever since Jay-Z purchased a share in the Brooklyn Nets, it seems everyone’s got a problem with Hov. Whether it be people wondering why he talks about it so much or exactly how much of the team he actually owns, there is always something hovering over this purchase.

Well, leave it to Dr. Cornel West to come out and tell it like he thinks it is.  At a recent event, Dr. West was filmed addressing a crowd and he got on the subject of Jay-Z and the Brooklyn Nets.  On one hand, it sounded like he was praising Jay for how far he’s come but on the other hand, it seems there was definitely some shade. He said:

  “Jay-Z came from Marcy Projects. Look at him now, he owns the whole [arena]’ No! He owns one-fifteenth of one percent of the stadium, let’s get it right.”

We all know shade when we see it, right? We also know that Dr. West is pretty known for calling people out as he does it on a regular basis to President Barack Obama and several others.  But he goes on to talk about how a “Russian gangster” actually owns 80 percent of the Nets and he wants Jay to just keep it real:

“Now I love Jay-Z, I’ve spent much time with the brother.  He’s a lyrical genius. But we’ve got to tell the truth. Tell the truth, Jay-Z.  You told the truth on Reasonable Doubt in 1996. That’s what he started out with. We love you but we’re going to make sure you’re accountable too.  All of us in this together and I’m saying it out of love.”

If that’s out of love, I don’t want to see Dr. West angry. But seriously, should Jay-Z be more clear about his actual ownership in the team?  As a rapper, he’s done like most other rappers when they do something big and has boasted about “his team.” He also said during one of his concerts at the Barclays Center last weekend that he doesn’t know where people are getting that percentage from (actually, most people got it from the New York Times)  but he doesn’t take it personal.  Many knew that he wasn’t a majority owner in the team but is he selling “hoop dreams” to fans who might think otherwise?

Or, should people just let him live?  Jay might not be the majority owner of the Nets but he has been the face of not only the team but of the Barclays Center ever since his involvement in the team was announced. In fact, he has a 40/40 Club in the Barclays. So regardless of his actual ownership, has his influence already eclipsed it?

You can read the rest and check out the video at Hip Hop Wired.

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  • See Dr. West Dem (FOLKS) SHUT your show down & you are NOT a Full Professor WHILE you DIPPING in FOLKS Business your STUFF isn”t Together—- Where YO MONEY SIR !!??

  • CORNEL WEST & TAVIS SMILEY are BLACK on BLACK Haters they have nothing NEGATIVE to say about ANY of DEM (FOLKS) that are NOT BLACK—-

  • gmarie

    This sounds like yet another case of people seeing and believing only the things they want to. Jay-Z has made numerous public appearances with the majority owner of the Nets. He has stated numerous times he is part owner. Whether that part is 51% 100% or .57% it is a PART of the franchise he has bought ownership into. To be honest he’d be an idiot to purchase a percentage any larger than he has. The team has not been proven to generate significant revenue or winnings to date.Don’t you have a class to teach Dr. West.?

  • TruthHurtz12

    I find it amazing that folks would rather try to dissect his percent of ownership and his say in what matters within the team and Barclays when at the end of the day its a black man who had done well for himself and no matter “THE” percentage he has it period. While everybody is on here is making a mere fraction of his income. Is it that important that you have to try and bring this dude down for being successful …hahaha hilarious . I dont care if he’s making a 1/4 of 1/15 of a percent … you cant knock the man for his business acumen ..

  • Black

    I understand where the Dr. is coming from. On the basis of these rappers are selling “hoop dreams” to the youth. Only a handful make it, out of hundreds of thousands who want to be int he “rap game”. If you do make it, you sold your soul for it, believe that. When they are done with you, they will sick the IRS on you, to let them take everything the music big wigs didn’t. Reading, writing, and arithmatic is what our youth need to focus on. Not what new nail polish Ri Ri is rockin’ or will I/will I not be the first to cop the new Lebrons. Our priorities are out of sync black folks. Remember kids: The rich is further from The Most High, than the humble. Don’t buy what Jay Z and his handful of people, are selling!

  • As Jay stated during his last performance: “Don’t let anyone diminish your accomplishments!” Whether he owns .000001% or 99.99%, it doesn’t matter! He’s a black man who owns a piece, granted it big or small, of a team that he also helped bring to his borough! Dang, folks don’t respect nobody’s hustle anymore!

    • either way, he owns part of it, an accomplishment is a accomplishment, and I will give him that any day of the week. Serena and venus are minority owners of the Miami dolphins and i dnt see anyone asking for reciepts, .9% or 99%, if the profit is a millions dollars Jay z will be getting .9% more than Dr. West, congratulate the man, dnt tear him down

      • EXACTLY!!! I couldn’t agree with you more! & I didn’t know that about the Williams sisters! Learn something new everyday!

  • Jrpacman369

    If he own’s 1 percent or 15 percent he owns a percentage, period. Why not celebrate him for diversifying his wealth rather than trying to nitpick it? If Jay was to respond “how much do you own, Dr West?” he wouldn’t have an answer.

  • sandra

    cornell west is a hater. and i dont even like jay

    • YUP

      Ouch…and true.

  • Gush Hanson

    The “TRUTH” Cornel is referring to could also be the plight of poor Black People – that he wants Jay to speak on MORE!

  • Tagirl

    Who doesn’t know that Jay-Z doesn’t own the arena? When I was in college, Dr. West was heavily celebrated and promoted in My Africana Studies classes, but since he and Tavis started attacking President Obama, I’ve lost a lot of respect for him.

  • Judy1

    Cornel West is such a “Hater”. Please go somewhere and in my “Madea Voice” and sat down!!!
    The only thing he and Tavis Smiley does is bash their own kind….Make that 2 Haters…..How pathetic are they?????

    • Intellect

      He didn’t say that Jay is a horrible rapper. That would be hating. He told the truth about Jays ownership because black people like you will run around ignorantly and act like Jay Z has a say in anything about that team. There is nothing wrong with him urging us to think critically so that young black boys will think that there are better careers than rapping.

  • BlipDoll

    Why do Blacks worship someone based on their acquisition of money? We idolize and base someone’s success on how much value they have in a system that was never for us to begin with. Jay Z (or any other entertainer) is not exempt from the opinions of others. Pathetic.

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  • rororore

    This is wrong on so many levels is West mad cause he doesn’t own a portion of the Nets? Why is this even important. We all own a portion of the Net with our tax dollasr, Z portion is just a little bigger then ours

    • diggy.p

      No we don’t. If that’s the case why am I not getting any dividends?

  • Pingback: The Doctor Is In! Dr. Cornel West Calls Out Jay-Z For ‘Lies” In Nets’ Ownership()

  • Blayke_Love

    Yes, Jay CLEARLY has ownership. He has never stated majority ownership… Just the TRUTH, OWNERSHIP? No white man ever had to disclose what percentage they own of ANYTHING…. I surely don’t see Russian anything representing the NETS. Basically Jays influence and OWNERSHIP is the lure, the face and the seduction of the team. Keep it real, He is an owner, why does it matter what percentage. I researched the NY TIMES and i must have missed the claimed percentage quote. It doesn’t affect me 1 bit. I am elated for ANY black man owning their dream team in their HOME TOWN…IT AIN’T IN RUSSIA, and jay has the key to the BUILDING… #stophatincornellwest #httr #canhelive #

    • realadulttalk

      What is it with you and the keys to the building? The janitor has those…AND?!?!?

  • bluekissess

    Why should I care? If he owned a penny of it he still would be rich and I’ll be struggling

  • Well

    I saw nothing wrong with what Dr. West just said. It was the truth, jay z acts as if he is the one calling the shots and his fans believe it.

    • Blayke_Love


  • Uncle C

    Dr West is sounding more and more like a hater every time he opens is mouth now.

  • real talk

    What does this have to do witb West. He not the spokesman or fact checker for the black race. Why not celebrate his accomplishments instead of trying to throw shade on the man. He never said he own the Nets. Just likw 50 never said he owned vitamin water but people assumed he did. And what the hell does this have to do with West anyway. Please shut the hell up!

    • mike

      I totally agree, complain when we don’t have anything Jay goes out and accomplishes a little something and he’s still wrong. Which is it.

  • get real

    I used to like Cornell West until he and Tavis decided to go on their “bash the President tour”. Which I think Republicans funded.

  • FromUR2UB

    I don’t see what the bg deal is. If he owns any part of it, then to make money, he has to promote it. I had always respected Dr. West. But in the last few years, his “call outs” have begun to sound a little like sour grapes.

  • Space

    cornel west need worry about his business. With that scarf wrap around his neck looking like a modern day wolf man!!!

  • Nope

    It’s a sad, sad day when the truth becomes more ‘controversial’ than lies, be it this or anything else.

  • Diggiti

    dear folks . What Jay-Z is doing is using Leverage to further his other exploits.

    So it doesnt matter if he has ANY ownership at all, it is making him wealthier in other ways.
    The phrase is ” Leverage ” please study it

    • Intellect

      Jay Z doesn’t even know what “leverage” is. All he is thinking is “Wow… This is a lot of $!!! I can buy 5 new bentleys” his handlers on the other hand are leveraging his popularity to increase their profits until people get bored of him. Then they move on to the next star and do the same thing. Jay is just a rapper nothing more nothing less.

      • Blayke_Love

        Jay is worth 600 million hun…. he aint sweepin up in BARCLAYS…. have a seat, get your facts together …

        • Intellect

          You sound like the typical ghetto, uneducated trash. Iwhats funny is they just say how much Jay Z has earned so far but they never talk about how much he spends. This is why he will never retire. His ridiculous expenditures outweigh how much he earns. They use that 600 million number to market him and fools like you are influenced by it lol!

          • Tagirl

            He’s not running through $600 mill. I think it’s more like $500 but whatever. Beyonce’s worth like $300mil. I’m not even a Jay-Z fan, but I’ve never heard about him having money issues. Now I don’t research the brotha, but I’ve never heard such talk. I’m sure he can afford whatever he spends.

          • lol

            @880fde9086c16bf37e9d36e9caccd7a5:disqus you call yourself “intellect ” but you’re just spouting conspiracy theoryand you’re going extra on dude , is there something you want to tell us?

    • Intellect

      Oh please… I wish black people would stop giving him so much credit. He is just a rapper and doesn’t even know what leverage is. He was not thinking strategically. I bet this is what he was thinking “Oh wow… This is a lot of $… I can get 5 more bentleys with this” because all he does is spend $ on the most ridiculous things. His White Jewish handlers are “leveraging” his popularity to make profits until his popularity decreases. Then they move “on to the next one” and do the same thing.

    • Intellect

      Thought the blog deleted my comment the 1st time so I rewrote it lol

  • msrita

    Yes only his fans thinks he is the owner. He has no say in any decisions. He is only Black Man and gets the lowest percentage of the team. They let make the logo for the Stadium.LOL @ his fans and their ego.

    • Amber

      Actually, everyone has known that Jay has always owned a small part of Nets.

    • Blayke_Love

      ITS LOCATION… BROOKLYN, 40/40 CLUB on site, HOV everywhere in the building …..
      no say…. wake up hun…u wrong! why must a black man have to disclose what perone ever asks any other owner…who cares you don’t own it….

      • Intellect

        No one is saying he has to disclose anything. It is his big mouth that disclosed his ownership without mentioning that it is actually a small percentage. Lol at “HOV everywhere in the building” this is proof his handlers marketing tactic works on ignorant fools like you lol!

  • glad-b

    One thing you cant deny..JayZ is a very astute businessman. Wether he owns 0.0005% or 50% it does not matter. If what is being reported is true, he seems to have entrenched himself in the value chain of the nets, it looks like a low risk (i.e. minimal exposure to equity risk) high return (i.e. revenue from the marketing of the nets) strategy. Its seems smart to me.

    • Intellect

      He is not a businessman. One of his handlers made the deal. He is just a rapper. He is not and never will be like bill gates, Warren Buffet and that Nigerian billionaire (forgot his name). There is a difference between being rich and being wealthy which is something the black community in America does not understand

      • glad-b

        I am not sure why he cannot be considered a business man. 1- He was presented with the opportunity to make money from investing in/ participating in a particular business venture 2 – he made the decision to enter into the business venture 3 – he is making money from the business venture. Does this not constitute being a business man? Sure, it might not be as sophisticated as a Buffet deal or a Gates deal, but he is a business man none the less.

        • Intellect

          The point was he did not make the deal. The real businessmen are the Jewish men that are using his popularity for profits. Those Jewish men are wealthy while Jay Z is rich.

          • BM1

            It’s clearly apparent you know little about how major business transactions are actually handled. Even the most savvy entrepreneurs such as “Bill Gates” & “Warren Buffett” ALWAYS have a team of personal business advisers & investment bankers (Jews included) who set up or broker deals.

            Most successful wealthy individuals in the public spotlight understand how to embellish or leave out certain information to create speculation or headlines to market or promote their brand/product or entity. At the end of the day regardless of what anyone thinks of Jay Z personally, he ultimately wins because we are talking/discussing him and his ownership stake in a NBA team.

            • glad-b

              I fully agree with your point. If my understanding of Intellects rationale is correct, then Warren Buffet and Bill Gates should also not get credit for their profitable investments. In order to make a large investment one has to primarily asses the (1) financial (2) legal and (3) operational aspects . I doubt that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are experts in all 3 fields.

              • BM1

                Appreciate your thoughts on the matter!

                • glad-b

                  You are most welcome 😉

              • Intellect

                I’m sure those two did asses the financial, legal and operational aspects with some help. Jay Z didn’t asses anything at all and cannot even interpret any of the deals he signs and his handlers take advantage of that.

            • Intellect

              I know a lot about how business transactions are handled . Yes Bill Gates used someone to broker up a deal but he is definitely more involved in the negotiations than Jay Z is. I personally think that Jay is a great rapper but he is not a business man. That’s a fact.

          • glad-b

            You seem to know a lot about Jay Z. Educate me. What is his net worth? I think the perception of wealth and actual wealth is what you are trying to address. In your opinion, what is the minimum threshold net worth to be considered wealthy? Also what are the characteristics of a businessman?

            Where we differ in our point of view is the fact that Jay Z is an astute businessman. I acknowledge that this is clearly relative. However, we cannot deny that he has taken the right advice and made the right business moves, otherwise we would not be having this conversation. Bottom line for me Jay Z=astute businessman.

  • Jay

    who cares, getta life!

  • MsK

    Why does it matter how much he owns? He owns something. More than me or Dr. West. Jay is the face of the re branding of the Nets. He owns the Club inside the arena, the advertising company that handles the Nets& his involvement has breathed new life into the franchise. The reality is he had to have millions to buy into the Nets. Dr. West used to be a fave of mine but his antics the last few years have been rubbing me the wrong way.

    • Intellect

      The point is 1/15 of 1% is not much but he acts like he owns 90% of the team. The truth is, they are just using him to promote the stadium and the Brooklyn Nets.If Jay Z loses his popularity his so called ownership wil go as well which was not much to begin with. Also whenever young black boys hear him boasting about his ownership those boys say why do indeed to go to school to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer when I can become a rapper and own a basketball team? It’s problematic

      • Guest

        How does he act like he owns the team? He’s a fan of the Nets. Jay is more famous and known in America than the Russian owner so people are going to ask him about Nets.

        • Intellect

          By stating it in most of his songs or his ignorant friend kanye insinuating that Kris Humphries is lucky that Jay didn’t have him dropped from the team.

      • Blayke_Love


        • Intellect

          Your sheer ignorance just proves my point. You are one of the foolish black folks that sees a rapper with a lot of $ and equates that to wealth and not simply being rich. The way Jay Z spends is ridiculous which is why he has to keep working. His wealthy white Kewish handlers that you dont see everyday dont spend so foolishly and are building their wealthby using Jay Z.

        • realadulttalk

          When in doubt–let’s use the word hater to prove no point and make ourselves look asinine!!!

  • Fresh45

    Who cares how much of the team he owns? Only haters are concerned about that. He came from nothing and now has ownership in a NBA team that he helped bring to his city. How many people can say that? He’s making a lot of money from whatever percentage he owns and seems to have a lot of influence in how some things concerning the team are handled. That percentage he owns more than the people who are so concerned about how much of the team he owns.

  • Nope

    He’s just telling the truth. No story here.

  • davis

    I think people just want him to stop fronting. Like the guy said J is no business man, but good at taking advice. The rest however is business, and business is business as usual. Jay became the face of the brand, much like endorsing it….and that’s how he will earn his one fifth-tenth plus bragging rights ! He has a job to do. Let the man do it at this point. Don’t call him out now. Anyone with eyes can see Jay probably has yet to see a return on any of his investment outside of Ri etc touring…..and I think most feel he need to stop fronting like he’s this savvvy business man.

    • Intellect


    • Amber

      I think you should look up some of Jay’s business ventures. You’d be surprised.

    • Jane

      No offense but Jay-Z is worth 300 million dollars there’s only so much taking “good advice” will get you. He clearly is quite smart.

      • Jane

        I got my facts wrong I think he’s worth something like 600 million. I don’t know why Dr. West has to put him down like he’s some lucky idiot who tripped into his wealth.

        • Intellect

          Yea but he spends a lot of his money as quickly as he gets it. Hence why he still raps. If he had solid investments and saved most of his money. He would not be rapping any more. The Russian billionaire gave him that small percentage to use Jay Z’s popularity to promote the Nets brand. Once his popularity decreases that so called ownership will go too. In sum, the billionaire kept his risks low by giving Jay a very low percentage of ownership and gets to use Jay Z’a popularity for as long as it lasts to promote the Nets.

          • lol

            is the billionaire offering you any percentage of the Nets?

          • Jay Z’s NET WORTH is 600 million. hat is not cash that is all of his assets. Please invest in an economics class.

  • Lola

    I’d like to turn on the radio and NOT hear one rapper rap ad-nauseam about his wealth, how many women he sleeps with per day, and how gangsta he is. The whole thing is all so boring – it is down right mind-numbing.

    • Tin Hunan

      Thats’s the whole point of rap or hip hop music today! Mind numbing! Keep the masses confused and fill their minds with nonsense so they cant think for themselves. When that style first started out, it was more educational. Now its flat out GARBAGE. The beats are still good, but the lyrics are trash. There is so much to this topic, including other forms of entertainment out there, that I cant fit it all in one post.

  • Nenah

    1/15 of 1%? He owns stock!

  • mmmnmm

    It’s called critical thinking. If you don’t have the facts you won’t be able to critically think and realize how they are swaying your views using advertisement or using the image of Jay-Z to push the Nets fan base.

  • IllyPhilly

    OMG, rappers lie about who they are and what they have? WTF is the world coming to!? btw- No more close ups on that man’s face- “ignant” I know.

    • Lola

      I’m with you on the close-up. His face is too much.

  • Moni

    People especially African Americans need to stop judging and hating on other successful African Americans. Y is it so important how much of the team he owns? He never said how much he owned. Maybe they’re paying him a nice fee to put his name behind the franchise. This is ridiculous.

    • IllyPhilly

      IDK, I guess it’s probably the fact that people still see the white faces writing rapper’s, singers, athletes checks behind the glitz and glam and power they portray to have. A reminder of where they still stand in white society? Crabs in a basket? I have no clue.

    • get real

      Thank you baby girl. This dude is kids, their kids, their kids will nevr have to work. Cluck is wrong with the dummies here.

    • BM1

      Yup, exactly! Many famous or prominent Caucasians /Jews in business & entertainment industry lie and falsify business details all the time to increase profits and enhance their public image. Knowing that Cornell West is hip to how the game is really played in corporate America, I am of the opinion his statements in regards to Jay Z are no doubt coming from a place of envy and resentment.

      • Intellect

        Thank you. Let these ignorant people know. Kay is a great rapper but to call him a business man is ludicrous. What you are saying is the truth and not hate at all.

  • So much has been said about his ownership and the Barclay’s center among other things. No one cares about what he owns and no one cares about a 40/40 club. We don’t even care about the “Russian Gangster” and how much he owns.

    The only question that exist is, will the Nets win games…..!!

    • Fresh45

      They upgraded their roster over the summer;they will definitely be better than they were last season and they should make the playoffs.

      • So, how many games will they win this year and when will they start contending for a championship?

        • Fresh45

          I don’t know how many games they will or any other team for that matter,but I will say that they should be a 5th or 6th seed in the playoffs this season. If they continue to improve their team the way they did this off season,then they should be contending for a championship in the next year or 2.

      • Carmen Johnson-Davis

        The Heat,Sixers,Boston,etc will all surpass The Nets. Don’t believe the hype.

        • Fresh45

          I didn’t say they were the best team in the league or in the Eastern Conference,I just said that they will be better than they were last season. If you know basketball,then you know that they have some really good talent on their team this year and they should be a good team.

    • Shonda Johnson

      I agree,all this talking about The Nets,Brooklyn,and their $1 billion stadium,but will they win any games. If they don’t,it wasn’t a good thing to removes The Nets out of Jersey. Like I stated before,SAME team,DIFFERENT city. The Nets are going to be The Cowboys of the NBA.

  • I feel like it’s nobody’s business. What does knowing how much Jay Z owns of the Nets have anything to do with anything?

    • TRUTH IS

      He brags about it… that his fault!! We know crappers over exaggerate on their wealth!!

    • get real

      13 people thumbed down this comment. And I would like to why? Since your question was beyond reasonable????