1:15 p.m. UPDATE: They’re on sale now, although they’re backordered enough that if you buy today, you won’t have a shirt shipped your way until December 16. Perfect for a “conscious yet inspired enough by the Watch The Throne tour to seem somewhat spendy” holiday gift!
Last Friday news that Jay-Z’s clothing line Rocawear would be co-opting Occupy Wall Street for the purposes of marketing a shirt that said “Occupy All Streets” (get it?) whipped around the blogosphere, and the news that proceeds from the shirts wouldn’t necessarily be sent down to the people camping out at Zuccotti Park incensed some, and caused others to simply shrug. (Who says the millennial generation can’t get cynical now and then?) Over the weekend, the shirts disappeared from Rocawear’s online store, causing even more scuttlebutt and speculation. But GlobalGrind.com—the hip-hop news site that’s the brainchild of Russell Simmons, who’s styled himself as Occupy Wall Street’s hip-hop ambassador in a way—claims that the shirts are still a go, and that the Internet blew the news of the shirts’ beneficiaries all out of proportion:
Specifically, there seemed some sort of made-up controversy around where the proceeds from the OWS shirts would go, and if Jay would be profiting off the shirts or if the proceeds would go to the movement. Jay never mentioned where the money would go, Rocawear just said they weren’t sure yet.
Well, that wasn’t exactly what the Rocawear flack’s statement said:
‘Occupy All Streets’ is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement.
Six of one? Not really. In the online age, any PR person worth their retainer should know that vague platitudes like the one blockquoted above lead to wild speculation on the part of bloggers who need to get their pageviews up, and who know that a great way to do that is to incite controversy with the rich and famous! At the very least, say that you’re looking into the best way to use the money you’re going to make from the $22-a-pop tops. It’s not a total lie if you think about it for, like, a minute or so, right?
Meanwhile, if you search for “occupy” on the Rocawear site, you get this helpful message:
Did you mean “lockup”?
Is this some sort of subliminal message?