On the heels of being nominated for eight Grammy awards, an extensive interview between Jay-Z and Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, has just seen the light of day and it’s fascinating.
The increasingly elusive rapper opens up for only the second time (the first being for Tidal‘s Rap Radar podcast) about his latest musical offering, 4:44. While in conversation with the first black executive editor at the Times, a 47 year-old Jay opened up about race, politics in addition to the music and threw in a tidbit of exciting news about a joint album with none other than his wife and our queen, Beyoncé.
On Kanye West
Jay-Z shared a bit more about the tension between him and West that publicly came to a head last year after West called Jay out on stage. Turns out, the two are now on speaking terms again.
“I [talked to] Kanye the other day, just to tell him, like, he’s my brother. I love Kanye. I do. It’s a complicated relationship with us,” Jay-Z said.
“In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we’re 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that. You know what I’m saying? There’s gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through,” he continued. “And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, ‘These are the things that I’m uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.’ I’m sure he feels that I’ve done things to him as well.”
On leaders he admires
Apparently, if given the opportunity, Jay-Z would cast his vote for none other than Dave Chappelle.
When asked by Baquet which leaders in this country he looks up to, Jay offered up the controversial comedian, explaining that, “he tells it in humor so you can deal with it, but it’s always a nice chunk of truth in there.”
On 4:44 in relation to Beyoncé’s Lemonade
Despite living under the same roof as husband and wife, the two artists didn’t plot to create parallel works that examine their family and volatile marriage. “It happened — we were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together,” Jay-Z said before revealing that they were working together. “And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became.”
The one good thing about Donald Trump?
Jay-Z is one of few who have chosen to see one positive thing from Donald Trump’s presidency.
“But getting rid of [former NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was after racist remarks] just made everyone else go back into hiding, and now we can’t have the dialogue.The great thing about Donald Trump being president is now we’re forced to have the dialogue. Now we’re having the conversation on the large scale; he’s provided the platform for us to have the conversation,” he explained.