It's part of his job description to have a strong opinion, but even still Jay Z is renowned for having a keen political sensibility, matched with a dogged determination which has made him one of the most successful rappers of all time. The recent Trayvon Martin case that outraged and divided America has led the star to speak out against the American judicial system and question its morality, saying he couldn't sleep following the case.
Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot the seventeen-year old African-American after a scuffle in a gated community both were living in at the time, there were outcries of racism and underlying social inequity. Zimmerman proclaimed it was an act of self defence and was acquitted on the basis of the Stand Your Ground law in the US, which determines you may use force to defend yourself on your property. Jay Z attacked this law, stating 'that Stand Your Ground law, you can have a fight with someone and if they're running away and you can shoot them and kill them and you're fine? What? Come on, come on, man [...] When someone's robbing your house and they're leaving you can shoot them on the way out? They don't possess a threat to you at that point.'
Like many Americans, Jay Z is furious about the acquittal, and has taken to the streets in protest. Both he and Beyonce attended a New York demonstration over the weekend, and were seen outside the NYPD headquarters with civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton and Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton.
Speaking in an interview on his own Life and Times website, the rapper said he didn't sleep for two days following the verdict because he was so angry. He went on to say, 'It was really about the thing that we all knew, there was still a bit of racism in America, but for it to be so blatant… Didn't Trayvon have a right to stand his ground? He was being chased, he was being chased and he fought back. He may have won, that doesn't mean he's a criminal'.