JAY-Z Speaks Out After Call with MN Governor: 'I Am a Human, a Father and a Black Man in Pain'

Topher Gauk-Roger

JAY-Z is asking Minnesota leaders to seek justice for George Floyd, the black man whose fatal encounter with police in Minneapolis was caught on-camera.

The rapper had a phone conversation with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz over the weekend, telling the leader that "justice needs to be served here." Walz first shared the details of the call in an interview with WCCO on Sunday, revealing JAY-Z, 50, reached out to him not as a celebrity, but as a father in pain.

"I received a call [Saturday] night — to understand how big this was — from JAY-Z,” Walz said. “Not international performer, but dad stressing to me that justice needs to be served. It was so incredibly human… It was a dad, and I think quite honestly a black man whose visceral pain of this that he knew. His words summarized that justice needs to be served here."

"He said he feels the compassion and the humanity of these folks who are speaking," Walz continued. "He knows the world is watching, and how Minnesota handles this is going to have an impact across the country. It’s a positive sign that someone of a stature, that has a presence like that, is focused in the moment of what Minnesotans are focused on."

Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Image Jay-Z

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JAY-Z confirmed the details in a statement released by his label Roc Nation's Instagram Sunday, with the caption, "#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.

"After our earnest conversation, thank you to Governor Walz for doing what's right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case. Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me. A dad and a black man in pain. Yes, I am human, a father and a black man in pain and I am not the only one. Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law."

"This is just a first step. I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have. I prevail on every politician, prosecutor and office in the country to have the courage to do what is right. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain and look at yourselves," he added.

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JAY-Z has been outspoken about racism throughout his career, and founded the REFORM Alliance in 2019 to advocate for prison reform.

His wife, Beyoncé, posted a video on Instagram Friday calling for justice in the wake of Floyd’s death. "We need justice for George Floyd," she said in the personal video. "We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We're broken and we're disgusted. We can not normalize this pain."