Jaybo, the animated character from JAY-Z’s “The Story O.J.” music video, is prepped to take on a life his own now that legal docs have been filed.
TMZ reports that JAY-Z’s S. Carter Enterprises recently filed documents to trademark Jaybo, a character influenced by Sambo (featured in “The Story Little Black Sambo,” a children’s book from 1899 that is generally considered to be racist because its illustrations) and Dumbo (the Disney character from the 1941 film that has also been accused making racist characterizations).
Among the items Jaybo’s mug could be featured on are T-shirts, cocktail shakers, dinnerware, and blankets.
“The Story O.J.” served as the first visual to be released from JAY’s 13th studio album, 4:44. DX also named it among the Best Rap Videos Of 2017.
The song drew some criticism, including from the Anti-Defamation League. The Jewish organization expressed its concern over the characterization “Jewish people” owning “all the property in America” in the lyrics. A slew rappers also took fense to JAY’s money phone putdown.
In his breakdown the song for iHeartRadio, JAY said: “The Story OJ’ is really a song about we as a culture, having a plan, how we’re gonna push this forward. We all make money, and then we all lose money, as artists especially. But how, when you have some type success, to transform that into something bigger.”
Despite the controversy, “The Story O.J” is up for three Grammys on January 28: Record the Year, Best Rap Song, and Best Music Video.
Watch the video below.