Rapper Jay-Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation have purchased full-page ads, featuring remarks offered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in newspapers across the United States.
Jay-Z and Roc Nation posted copies of the advertisement on Instagram, indicating that it was made “in dedication to George Floyd,” who perished nine days ago, after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin applied his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
Chauvin was subsequently arrested on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges; the former was upped to second-degree murder today, and the other three responding officers were charged and taken into police custody. The second-degree murder charge brings a maximum sentence of 40 years behind bars, compared to 25 years for third-degree murder.
Two variations of the advertisement have come to light; both feature famous remarks made by MLK Jr. in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, three years before his passing, but one consists of black text against a white background, and the other is composed of the opposite color scheme.
Additionally, both versions of the advert include the names of Jay-Z and supporting activists at their bottom. The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune are among the many publications that carried the statement, and The Jonas Brothers’ official Twitter account retweeted the Roc Nation message announcing the ad.
Additionally, Jay-Z’s music streaming platform Tidal reacted to the death of George Floyd. The 50-year-old mogul also indicated that he had a “very earnest conversation” about the tragedy with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.
Jay-Z has long been active in the social justice sphere. Back in February, Digital Music News was first to report that the rapper had filed a second lawsuit (the first having been submitted in January) against the Mississippi Department of Corrections over the allegedly “barbaric” conditions within Parchman Prison.
Plus, the Brooklyn native has partnered with the NFL, under the “Inspire Change” banner, to support (and advocate on behalf of) underrepresented communities and individuals.