Jay-Z Turned Heads at The Brooklyn Nets game when he wore a Five Percent Nation Medallion
Jay-Z raised eyebrows at the Barclay’s Center last week when he wore a medallion symbolizing the Five Percent Nation.
The Brooklyn-born rapper was sitting court-side at a Nets game on Tuesday with wife Beyonce when he was snapped wearing the controversial symbol.
One of the core tenants of the Five Percent Nation – an off-shoot of the Nation of Islam – is that white people are ‘wicked and inferior’ to black men.
When asked by a reporter whether the medallion is meaningful to him, Jay-Z shrugged and said ‘A little bit’.
This isn’t the first time that the rapper has been connected to the Five-Percenters.
He was photographed wearing another similar medallion while giving radio interviews for his album Magna Carta Holy Grail last summer.
And in ‘Heaven’ a track on that album, Jay-Z references the Five-Percenters acronym for Allah by rapping ‘Arm leg leg arm head’.
The Five Percent Nation was founded in 1963 by Clarence Smith, a former student of Malcolm X.
But Smith decided to split off from the Nation of Islam after disagreeing over the idea of God.
WHO ARE THE FIVE-PERCENTERS AND WHAT DO THEY BELIEVE?
Early days: The Five Percent Nation was founded in 1963 as an offshoot of the Nation of Islam by Clarence Smith of Harlem
The Five Percent Nation was founded by Harlem, New York native Clarence Smith in 1963.
Smith was originally a student of Malcom X, leader of the Nation of Islam, but split from the movement because he didn’t agree with their definition of God.
Followers of the Nation of Islam believe that founder Wallace Fard Muhammad is God, but Smith doesn’t agree since he believes that God can only be ‘purely black’ and Muhammad was bi-racial.
Smith, who changed his name to Allah, also believe that God wasn’t a supernatural being, but something found in all black men.
Black women did not possess God, according to his beliefs, but were subordinates of black men.
Still they hold a higher position that all white people who are considered ‘weak, wicked and inferior’ according to Michael Muhammad Knight, who was written two books on the group.
The Five-Percenters get their name from the idea that only five per cent of humanity known the truth about existence and are ‘poor righteous teachers’ trying to tell the rest of the world the truth
Another 10 per cent also know the truth but propagate a belief in a ‘mystery God’ to the ignorant 85 per cent.
Clarence Smith died in 1969 after being murdered in his Harlem housing project.
The Five-Percenters continue today with many followers in the rap world.
Busta Rhymes, the Wu-Tang Clan and Lord Jabar of Brand Nubian are all noted adherents.
Smith didn’t believe that God was a supernatural being, but rather something found in every black man (black women do not have God in them and are considered subordinates, but still hold a higher standing than white people).
Which means he disagreed with the Nation of Islam’s belief that founder Wallace Fard Muhammad was God since Muhammad was bi-racial and not ‘purely black’.
‘The rationale is that the black man is God and created the universe, and is physically stronger and intellectually stronger and more righteous naturally,’ author Michael Muhammad Knight told the New York Post.
‘Whiteness is weak and wicked and inferior — basically just an errant child who needs to be corrected.’
Knight, a white converted Muslim, has written two books on the the Five-Percenters and told Vice: ‘The first lesson I learned from the Five Percent was simple. F*** white people. White people are devils’.
While Five-Percenters don’t refer to themselves as Muslims, they borrow their name from the Nation of Islam’s idea that five per cent of humanity are ‘poor righteous teachers’ who are trying to teach the world the truth of existence.
Another 10 per cent know the truth of existence but keep the 85 per cent majority in ignorance by preaching belief in a ‘mystery god’.
Jay-Z isn’t the only rapper that has taken up the Five Percent cause.
Busta Rhymes, Wu Tang Clan and Lord Jabar of Brand Nubian are all noted followers.
But a representative for the group’s upstate region told the Post that they are not happy with Jay-Z flaunting their symbol.
‘Jay Z is not an active member — no one has vouched for him” said Saladin Allah. ‘It was always understood that you don’t wear the regalia if you don’t totally subscribe to the life.’