The Open Society Institute in Baltimore Monday said it had received a $1,000 donation toward its Baltimore Justice Fund from a man officials suspect was rapper and hip-hop mogul Jay Z.
The institute said the gift to the fund set up after Freddie Gray's death and the unrest in the city that followed came from Shawn Carter, the artist's real name. But they were unable to confirm whether it was in fact the "99 Problems" rapper.
"We got a contribution from Jay Z's real name, which was tweeted out and people made the assumption but there is no confirmation that Jay Z made the contribution," said Debra Rubino, an Open Society Institute official. "We had a strong sense that it could be him because it's his name before he became a performer."
The Baltimore United for Change activist group, which organized many of the protests over the death of Gray, 25, a week after he suffered a severe spinal injury while in police custody, thanked the rapper on Twitter.
Dream Hampton, an activist and filmmaker who has worked with Jay Z, said in a series of tweets that the rapper had donated to pay bails of protesters arrested in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo.
"They gave cuz that's what they do," she tweeted. "[And] should I ever get major bread, I'm gonna be Howard Hughes, wiring out money anonymously too."
Publicists for Jay Z and Beyonce did not respond to requests for comment Monday.
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