Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne album, and more specifically, the track “Murder to Excellence” has caught the attention of a notable political activist and definitely not in a positive way. A line from the song, “I arrived on the day Fred Hampton died/Uh, real ni—- just multiply,” prompted Fred Hampton, Jr.— son of the late Black Panther Party leader—to dole out some scathing criticism on the the bars.
Hov’s line was a quick reference to his December 4 birth date, which also happens to be the date that Fred Hampton was murdered in an FBI raid.
According to Chicago-based multimedia website Ruby Hornet, a screening of the documentary “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” was held at the University of Chicago this past Saturday. And while speaking at the school’s International House on a panel to discuss the screening, Hampton Jr. took umbrage with Jay-Z’s Throne line and railed against the Brooklyn native. “Fred Hampton didn’t die,” Hampton Jr. offered. “He was assassinated. Saying Fred Hampton died is like the school teacher telling students that Christopher Columbus discovered America.”
Further reports from Ruby Hornet states that the comment aroused varying responses, ranging from approval to shock. Hampton Jr. also referred to Jay-Z as “Slave-Z” and further questioned aloud the impetus behind the line. Past Kanye West collaborator and Chicago native Rhymefest was in attendance at the screening.
While Jay-Z’s line may not have meant to offend the legacy of Fred Hampton, neither Hov or Kanye West have stepped up to address Hampton Jr.’s criticism.