Last night saw Jay-Z pause his show to deliver a powerful and feminist message to a young fan in the audience. Watch footage from the gig below.
The rap icon’s current tour for his acclaimed 2017 album ‘4:44‘ rolled into Cleveland, before he paid special attention to a nine-year-old girl he noticed in one of the front rows of the crowd.
“You can be anything you want to be in this world,” Jay-Z told the young girl. “At this very moment America is way more sexist than they are racist, but you young lady, you got the potential to be the next president of the United States, you believe that.”
Jay-Z’s current tour is said to be his highest-grossing yet, despite some tickets selling for just $6.
Despite some rumours that the tour had been suffering from poor ticket sales – with fans noting that some upper tier tickets to last week’s Anaheim show had been going for as low as $6 on StubHub – Jay-Z’s promoter Live Nation has pointed out that his latest arena tour is actually the rapper’s highest grossing solo tour to date, with the average gross up 21% on his 2013 ‘Magna Carta… Holy Grail’ tour.
Meanwhile, Jay-Z recently spoke against Meek Mill’s prison sentence – claiming that ‘the criminal justice system stalks black people’.
Mill was sentenced to two to four years in jail for violating his probation on a 2008 gun and drug case. The rapper has been arrested twice this year – for misdemeanour assault charges in March and reckless driving and reckless endangerment in August – and while the charges for those two arrests have since been dropped, the incidents led to this review of his probation, in which the judge cited a failed drug test and a failure to comply with a court order restricting his travel.
In an an op-ed for The New York Times, Jay-Z claimed that “the criminal justice system stalks black people like Meek Mill”.
He continues: “As of 2015, one-third of the 4.65 million Americans who were on some form of parole or probation were black. Black people are sent to prison for probation and parole violations at much higher rates than white people.”
“In Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of people are on probation or parole. About half of the people in city jails in Philadelphia are there for probation or parole violations. We could literally shut down jails if we treated people on parole or probation more fairly.”
This article originally appeared on NME.