Photo: Getty Images for The Rock and Ro
  /  11.08.2021

JAY-Z defended Dave Chappelle amidst backlash he’s received for his most recent Netflix special, The Closer. In a Twitter Spaces conversation on Friday (Nov. 5), Hov acknowledged that the controversial comedy special “pushed a lot of buttons,” but said “true art… has to cause conversation.”

“I think that Dave is super brave and super genius,” the hip hop mogul said of his friend in the Strong Black Lead-hosted conversation. “If you spend time with him, he’s brilliant. But I think that what happens with true art is it has to cause conversation. And, you know, sometimes it’s gonna be abrasive and sometimes it’s gonna be off-putting to folks. But it opens up an opportunity to have a dialogue about, you know, whatever the issue is.”

“Great art is divisive,” JAY continued, admitting that some of Chappelle’s remarks during the special were off-putting to him. “Some people like it, some people hate it. When you’re making great art, you have to be fearless and you have to create something that you believe in.”

JAY further argued that dialogue-creating content is necessary, especially in an era where “algorithms on [social media] sites allow you to talk to people that agree with you.”

“I think we have to speak with one another when we disagree; that’s how we get to the bottom of it,” he said.

As reported by REVOLT, Chappelle faced an onslaught of backlash from LGBTQ+ advocates after the special aired, including the Netflix employee resource group Trans*, which staged a company walkout. He was reportedly willing to meet with the group of disgruntled employees, but said during a recent tour stop that he was not “bending to anyone’s demands.”

Last month, Chappelle inducted JAY-Z into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

“I need everybody in rock and roll to know that even though you are honoring him, he is ours,” the comedian said during his speech. “He is hip hop. For ever and ever and a day.”

Hear JAY’s comments about Chappelle’s special on Twitter below.


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