As a businessman, Jay-Z seems to always be on the cutting edge of how business is done, and his latest move should come as no surprise. His S. Carter Enterprises, LLC filed for a trademark patent for the Jaybo character from “The Story of O.J.” music video.
It’s the first video off his most recent album, 4:44, and the character is a playoff of the racist Sambo character which debuted in the children’s book, “The Story of Little Black Sambo,” which was released in 1899.
In the patent filing, the character can be used on a variety of merchandise such as: T-shirts, sweaters, hats, blankets, shams, dinnerware, mugs, cocktail shakers, and thermal containers. In order for the patent to be issued, Jaybo would have to be placed on merchandise in the very near future.
While the Sambo character was used to paint a demeaning portrait of Blacks, Jay-Z now has an opportunity to reappropriate and profit off a historically racist character.
“The Story of O.J.” is nominated for three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Best Rap Song, and Best Music Video. Along with these three nominations, Jay-Z is additionally nominated for another five Grammys. He will also be receiving the 2018 Grammy Salute To Industry Icons award.