A line in a new song by 21 Savage, “ASMR,” is getting a lot of backlash. The rapper is now apologizing for a lyric in the track that some find to be anti-Semitic.
PageSix reports that Savage’s mea culpa comes on the heels of NBA star LeBron James’ apology for posting the lyrics, “We been getting that Jewish Money, Everything is Kosher.”
Some people on social media clapped back at the rapper and the basketball legend, and both men said they were sorry and didn’t mean to offend.
The new 21 Savage album, I AM>I Was, dropped on Friday, and now the rapper says he perceived it as a compliment and is sorry if anyone misconstrued his intent.
“The Jewish people I know are very wise with there [sic] money so that’s why I said we been gettin Jewish money I never thought anyone would take offense. I’m sorry if I offended everybody never my intention I love all people.”
But many fans of 21 Savage are confused why the rapper is apologizing, saying that many of his other lyrics have been much more cutting and controversial.
Meek Mill Backs 21 Savage Amid Backlash for 'Jewish Money' Lyrics https://t.co/9gibCkaEO6— Dojo HipHop (@DojoHipHop) December 25, 2018
The rapper’s apology came on the heels of James’ post about the song, saying to ESPN that he simply likes to post the lyrics of the songs he listens to while driving.
“Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone. That’s not why I chose to share that lyric. I always [post lyrics]. That’s what I do. I ride in my car, I listen to great music and that was the byproduct of it. So, I actually thought it was a compliment and obviously, it wasn’t through the lens of a lot of people. My apologies. It definitely was not the intent, obviously, to hurt anybody.”
Fader reports while the lyric itself doesn’t speak ill of Jewish people, it does play into a stereotype about members of the religion.
“The line plays into the stereotype that Jewish people are wealthy, one which has historically lent a role in antisemitism.”
The song certainly got more attention after LeBron posted the line along with a selfie on his Instagram story, but following his response, the NBA announced that they will not “seek any further action” for what was considered a misstep.
While most people on Twitter and Instagram agreed that on the scale of popular culture comments about Jews, this one certainly wasn’t the worst. Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in the last few years and really hit the headlines with the horrific synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in October.