Jay-Z: Black Unemployment Drop Under Trump Doesn't Matter, "Because It's Not About Money"

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Hip-hop icon Jay-Z said the drop of black unemployment under President Trump does not make him a good leader because "money doesn't equate to happiness" in an interview with CNN's Van Jones that aired Saturday night.

"To give him a little bit of credit too, he is somebody who is now saying, look, I’m growing – I’m dropping black unemployment," Jones said of Trump. "Black people are doing well under my administration."

"Does he have a point that maybe the Democrats have been giving us good lip service, but no jobs. He may say terrible things, but putting money in our pockets. Does that make him a good leader?" Jones asked Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter.





"No because it’s not about money at the end of the day," Jay-Z answered. "Money is not -- money doesn't equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That's missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings, then -- that's the main point."

"It goes back to the whole thing, you going to treat me really bad and pay me well. It's not going to lead to happiness. It's going to lead to, again, the same thing," the musician said.

Jay-Z's net worth is estimated at $810 million. His wife, Beyoncé, is expected to be worth $350 million.

According to CNN, "the hip-hop star explained that many African-Americans and people in middle America have been voting Democrat for years because their families did. 'It was like a reflex ... but their needs weren't addressed.'"

Transcript, via CNN:

VAN JONES, CNN: To give him a little bit of credit too, he is somebody who is now saying, look, I’m growing – I’m dropping black unemployment. Black people are doing well under my administration.

Does he have a point that maybe the Democrats have been giving us good lip service, but no jobs. He may say terrible things, but putting money in our pockets. Does that make him a good leader?

SHAWN "JAY-Z" CARTER: No because it’s not about money at the end of the day. Money is not -- money doesn't equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That's missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings, then -- that's the main point.

You can't treat someone like -- it goes back to the whole thing, you going to treat me really bad and pay me well. It's not going to lead to happiness. It's going to lead to, again, the same thing.

Everyone is going to be sick.

The point about that, yes, on a Democrat side is, yes, it's been a lot -- that's what opened the door for this sort of presidency, right?

For many years, guys -- Middle America, they have been voting Democrat because that's what they were -- their family did. So they just did it as a reflex. And their needs wasn't addressed.

It was more so, “OK, let's just use -- let's get this vote because this vote” -- it became about votes, and not people. That's my problem with government is, I think they forget that it's real people behind these decisions they are making.

They’re not -- we are not 25,000 votes in this area. It's people going through real things in real time and real pain. When you ignore those -- that pain for so long, people act out. It's like now “I want to see something different, I don’t know.” That opens the door for what we are living through now.

JONES: The thing I want --

(APPLAUSE)

JONES: Yes, exactly. The thing that is so beautiful about you and so beautiful about what you are doing is that for so long, hip hop was this sort of pose of boasting and accusing. “I'm great, you suck.” And also, that's what politics has now become.

CARTER: Yes.

JONES: “My party is great, you suck.” And all accusation, no confession, with your album, you have come out with a confessional hip hop. If people in D.C. were as honest as you, we would have no problems at all. I want to appreciate you for what you are doing.

CARTER: Thank you.

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