Posted on April 26, 2013

Asian Fraternity Under Fire for Homemade Music Video Featuring Blackface Jay-Z Interpretation

Daily Mail (London), April 26, 2013

An Asian fraternity at the University of California, Irvine is in hot water for a homemade music video it posted on YouTube featuring one of the fraternity brothers in blackface impersonating Jay-Z.

The controversial scene, which takes places 55 seconds into the two-minute video to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Suit and Tie’ song featuring Jay-Z, has been called ‘reprehensible’ and ‘racially offensive’ by the university’s vice chancellor of student affairs, NBC Los Angeles reports.

Lambda Theta Delta says the video featuring the member in blackface raping along to Jay-Z’s lyrics was meant as a harmless impersonation of the artist.

‘We’re being referred to as a racist organization,’ chapter president Darius Obana told NBC, adding that that was ‘absolutely not’ true.


The Asian Pacific Student Association called the video ‘deeply offensive.’

The video, which went online a few weeks ago, was taken off YouTube on Wednesday after UC Irvine’s vice chancellor of student affairs issued its complaint.


The vice chancellor told NBC that the university has received complaints from the Black Student Union, and that his office has launched an investigation into the incident.

The fraternity reportedly caused a similar stir in 2010 when one of its members dressed up in blackface during a costume party.