Jay Z seems to be making a new business deal almost every week. The Roc Nation mogul is the true definition of a hustler. And while that is applauded by those who see him as a man who turned nothing into a nearly half billion dollar empire, it's hurting him among Millennial consumers, also known as Generation Y, according to Business Insider.
Research by celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev, reveals that Jay Z's deal with Samsung, who bought one million copies of his Magna Carta Holy Grail album and gave them away for free to users who downloaded Samsung's Android mobile app, was ranked 2nd behind Justin Bieber's partnership with OPI as the most disliked "celebrity marketing deal of 2013 among consumers aged 13-31."
The $20 million partnership lined Jay's pockets to the tune of $5 million, but Apple Insider writes that the app contained spyware that tracked your location, phone numbers you called, which apps you use and your device ID.
Given Samsung's first party spyware tool disguised as a free album, users don't have to worry about rogue malware developers snooping on their activities, calls, apps and location. They're already being exploited by their phone's maker and the operating system it runs, which are optimized for data collection and remote monitoring
Then there is the issue of the rapper's constant name brand dropping (he referenced eight different luxury brands more than twenty times on MCHG), his frequent collaborations with "hot" artists like Rick Ross, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West and the way he dabbles in different genres of music like R&B, hip hop and pop.
"Millennials question the exact nature of Jay Z’s role in the artistic process," Sehdev told Business Insider. "Does he really write his own songs? Is he choosing the artists to collaborate with, or is he just the face of a money-making empire? We rarely see this true side of him. I believe Jay Z is going to need more exposure of his true self, meaningful partnerships, and true philanthropic efforts to get back into the good books of Millennials."
As a minority partner in the Brooklyn Nets and a Brooklyn, New York native, Jay was instrumental in helping the team move from New Jersey to his hometown. As part of the $5 billion Atlantic Yards project which helped to build the Barclays Center where the Nets play, there was a component to build 2,250 units of affordable housing in Prospect Heights, adjacent to downtown Brooklyn.
Barclays opened on September 21, 2012. The affordable housing units are still not yet completed. In September 2013, Jay sold his share of the Brooklyn Nets to Jason Kidd.
According to Business Insider, Jay was the least influential in purchasing influence among celebrities in a survey of 1000 Millennials.
The survey found that Jay Z scored 70% lower in the categories of trustworthiness and honesty than did celebrities like Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Lawrence, an issue Sehdev chalks up to Jay's intense focus on making money seemingly however he can.
Jay Z has also taken a public hit from the recent Barneys controversy. The high end retail outlet has been accused of racially profiling it's customers in New York City. At the time the accusations came to light the rapper had already struck a deal with the store to roll out the "Sean Carter Collection," which consisted of high priced, clothing, backpacks, rings and more.
After looking into the situation Jay released a statement via his Life+Times website announcing he was moving ahead with the collection.
In the past several weeks two separate investigations were launched as a result of the wrongful detention of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. My team has been privy to the status of the Barneys third party consultant investigation. In continuing our research, we also contacted the New York State Attorney General’s office for the status of their investigation into both Barneys and Macy’s. Those findings are not yet available.
While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling. I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.
As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC. Along with 100% of sales from the collaboration, the Foundation will receive an additional 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on November 20th. - Shawn “JAY Z” Carter
The statement did little to satisfy the people who wanted Jay to pull out of the Barneys deal. Some felt like Beyonce's husband had nothing to do with the actions of the store and therefore should not be criticized, while others remained angry.
What does this all mean? Will Hov's albums and merchandise suddenly stop selling? That's highly doubtful, but it does indicate that consumers most likely to buy his products aren't convinced that Jay Z is as trustworthy as they would like him to be.