Jay-Z on Dave Chappelle controversy: “True art has to cause conversation”

The rapper went on to call Chappelle “super brave and super genius"

Jay-Z has shared his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s recent show The Closer, saying “true art has to cause conversation”.

Chappelle came under fire after he labelled himself a “TERF” in his recent Netflix special while defending J.K. Rowling, but also said “people who watch his specials would know that I never had a problem with transgender people”.

Jay-Z has said that he felt uncomfortable at points during the show but ultimately, “true art has to cause conversation. Sometimes it’s going to be abrasive, something it’s going to be off-putting to folks. But it opens up an opportunity to have a dialogue.”


The rapper went on to call Chappelle “super brave and super genius. If you spend time with him, he’s brilliant,” during a Q+A on Twitter. “I think he pushed a lot of buttons.”

“These algorithms allow you to talk to people who agree with you,” Jay-Z continued. “We have to speak to one another when we disagree… Anything that doesn’t have that tension, it’s not going to be real. We had fake conversations all this time before Trump was in office, then we got to see people for who they really were. And then we got to have real conversations.”

“I think great art is divisive. Some people like it, some people hate it. When you’re making great art, you have to be fearless and create something that you believe in. That’s what it’s about.”

The comments come after Chappelle helped induct Jay-Z into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame last month, alongside Barack Obama.


Following the release of Chappelle’s The Closer, staff at Netflix organised a walkout which was supported by a number of stars associated with the streaming service, including Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness, actors Jameela Jamil and Elliot Page.

Elsewhere Netflix boss Ted Sarandos admitted he “screwed up” after defending the special on social media.