Lord Jamar Is Challenging Hip-Hop To Show Off Stacks Instead Of Racks

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One of the unexpected results of JAY-Z’s 4:44 was the social-media responses the critically acclaimed album inspired. Of those, perhaps none caught on as quickly as the “money phone challenge” in which users uploaded images of them holding stacks of cash to their ear. Meant to symbolize “money calling,” holding up racks to one’s ear on social media did not first appear in the days following the LP’s release, but the trend definitely became more popular once folks heard the lyrics to “The Story of OJ”:

Y’all on the ‘gram holdin’ money to your ear / There’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here, yeah

With those words, JAY-Z inspired unbothered fans and some other rappers to take to Instagram to show off their “money phones.” In the weeks since, the #MoneyPhoneChallenge has morphed into an entirely new manifestation, this one steered by Lord Jamar. The former Brand Nubian rapper has ushered in the “BookPhoneChallenge,” in which he invites Hip-Hop fans to upload images of themselves holding to their ears stacks of books instead of racks of cash.

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Earlier this week, Lord Jamar took to his Instagram to post a photo of himself holding, among other books, The Religion of Jesus the Jew, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and Bobby Seale’s Seize the Time. “On my BOOK PHONE…the KNOWLEDGE is callin!!!,” he wrote in the caption.

On my BOOK PHONE…the KNOWLEDGE is callin!!!

A post shared by Lord Jamar Allah (@lordjamar) on

Since then, the #BookPhoneChallenge hashtag has taken on a life of its own despite not being something Lord Jamar included in his original posting. In a post immediately following, Lord Jamar uploaded a video, this time formally introducing the #BookPhoneChallenge.

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In the humorous clip, he can be seen “talking” to his stack.

Y’all wanna make the BOOK PHONE a CHALLENGE???…Then make it happen!!! #bookphonechallenge

A post shared by Lord Jamar Allah (@lordjamar) on

Thus far, challengers number in the thousands and include children, men, and women.