Jay-Z is starting the year off the best way he can: making money moves.
The hip-hop mogul has filed documents to trademark the animated character “Jaybo,” from highly controversial “Story of O.J.” video.
According to TMZ, Jay will begin selling merchandise ranging from shirts, mugs, sweaters, hats, and more featuring the character through his S. Carter Enterprises company.
The inspiration for Jaybo stems from the term “Sambo”, which contains racist undertones and is linked to 1899’s children’s book, The Story of Black Little Sambo. Jaybo has already started appearing on various unsanctioned items across the internet such as, shirts, hats, and even posters.
In regards to the single, Hov told T Magazine: “It’s like, I’m specifically speaking to us. And about who we are and how do you maintain the sense of self while pushing it forward and holding us to have a responsibility for our actions. Because in America, it is what it is. And there’s a solution for us: If we had a power base together, it would be a much different conversation than me having a conversation by myself and trying to change America by myself.”
Along with criticism, there has been much love and adoration for the record; so much that it is up for Record of the Year, Best Rap Song, and Best Music Video at this year’s Grammys — Jay leads the pack with eight nominations.