This Grammy Award winning song was released last year by Kanye West.
It’s a remix of a 1971 hit “Diamonds Are Forever” by Shirley Bassey (vocals on the intro and hook), the theme song to a James Bond film of the same name.
“Blood diamonds” usually refers to brutality of white South Africans who used forced labor (even slavery) in Black diamond mines.
It was an asset scheme using monopoly tactics to launder money and illegally fund white supremacy — perpetuate Nazism after 1948 (Mary Gerety wrote the famous “A Diamond is Forever” ad slogan in 1947).
Millions of people in Africa tragically died due from violent conflicts related to white supremacist asset wealth manipulation in countries such as Angola, Botswana, Congo, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.
In 1998 the U.N. and European Union embargoed diamonds from Angola due to the overtly white supremacist (apartheid) South African government policy of military intervention and destabilization (Civil War).
However, Kanye here tries to flip the story, like he’s making Kristallnacht into a song, to attack Jews for the crimes of these modern-day Nazis.
The video goes even further than lyrics, using well-known propaganda imagery tactics to breed racial tension and anti-semitism.
Such propagandist imagery is coupled with record-scratching lines such as this:
I’m talkin’ bout Rockefelle’, my home, my chain
These ain’t conflict diamonds, is they Jacob?
A misplaced call-out to the American oilman “Rockefeller” and a Biblical reference to “Jacob” (people of Israel) clearly expose… Kanye’s intentions of spreading hate towards Jews.
Diamonds get exactly zero mentions, for example, in a very long list of dangerous Rockefeller conspiracy theories.
The apparent reason Kanye uses the name here is to pull the classic hate group tactic of blaming Jews for anything and everything.
Here’s the larger context, where you can see how again he abruptly pulls in the conspiracy signal using Rockefeller.
Good Morning, this ain’t Vietnam still
People lose hands, legs, arms for real
Little was known of Sierra Leone
And how it connect to the diamonds we own
When I speak of diamonds in this song
I ain’t talkin bout the ones that be glowin’
I’m talkin bout Rockefelle’, my home, my chain
These ain’t conflict diamonds, is they Jacob? Don’t lie to me man
See, a part of me sayin’ keep shinin’
How? when I know of the blood diamonds
Though it’s thousands of miles away
Sierra Leone connect to what we go through today
Over here, its a drug trade, we die from drugs
Over there, they die from what we buy from drugs
The diamonds, the chains, the bracelets, the charms
I thought my Jesus piece was so harmless
’til I seen a picture of a shorty armless
And here’s the conflict
It’s in a black person’s soul to rock that gold
Spend ya whole life try’n to get that ice
On a polar rug boy it look so nice
How could somethin’ so wrong make me feel so right, right?
‘fore I beat myself up like Ike
You could still throw ya Rockefelle’ diamond tonight, ’cause…
A Grammy for hate speech seems… somehow par for course in the country that gave rise to the rancid disinformation of Mel Gibson.
5 thoughts on “Diamonds from Sierra Leone: Anti-Semitic Remix”
You could have mentioned origins of such conspiracy. The relationship between Jews and diamonds was a forced one due to European racism.
Sorry, I appreciate that you’re looking for earlier evidence of Kanye’s anti-semitism (of which there are abundant examples – and earlier than 2006), but this is not one of them.
The lyric refers to Roc-a-fella records, the Jay-Z led label that Kanye was signed to at the time.
And the “Jacob” in question is Jacob the Jeweler, the Manhattan based jeweler that Kanye famously bought much of his early jewelry from.
Take a look at the recent piece in The Wrap for many examples of Kanye’s antisemitism. This song unfortunately is not one of them.
Writing that Kanye meant to say his Jewish friend Jacob, not any of the million other Jews named Jacob, while he was using tropes to hate on Jews… just further proves the anti-semitism.
Ok @Bob, I guess I appreciate someone took the time to write “the ‘Jacob’ in question” is supposed to mean a specific Jew, even a Bukharan one, as if that does something magical.
Kanye saying the exact words Jacob the Jeweler doesn’t change anything about his anti-semitic tone in lyrics OR video. The fact someone could even suggest such a thing shows how easily people ignore clear warning signs of hate displayed right in front of them.
Imagine using the N-word and then trying to explain it by saying you meant your friend by saying the N-word, not the N-word the way it is heard by people listening to you. Rockefeller and Jacob weren’t strange coincidental naming choices by someone obsessed with power and victimization; 100% collision on purpose.
If @Bob is right how does he explain all the articles coming out about Kanye’s long time passion for Hitler? You know that the journalists writing these articles aren’t wrong because if they were, Kanye would comment about it in the interviews he’s giving at the moment to any pap who approaches him with a camera. Instead he says he can’t be anti semitic because he is the real Jew, which is pretty much like Bob saying Jacob isn’t the Jew.
Bob is trying to redirect or defend Kanye by pointing out those two references (“Roc-A-Fella” and “Jacob The Jeweler”) and defend Kanye from criticism; he very clearly stated:
“I appreciate that you’re looking for earlier evidence of Kanye’s anti-semitism (OF WHICH THERE ARE ABUNDANT EXAMPLES – AND EARLIER THAN 2006), but this is not one of them.”
To those unfamiliar with the subject, both Roc-A-Fella Records and Jacob The Jeweler are very old low-key anti-semitic references in rap and R&B lyrics that Kanye turned into high-pitched whistles (as you point out with the awful video depictions); a visit to “the Jew” for some entertainers has been a sign of great professional success. People who want to defend Kanye WILL use articles like this to claim there’s some difference between old low-key anti-semitism and his more overt hate speech. That is Bob’s whole point in trying to make a distinction where there really is none, because both are anti-semitism. Now Bob can become aware of it and refocus, but he shouldn’t double down on misinformation and attack you trying to help the situation in the process.