Jay Z Does His First Interview Since Releasing ‘4:44,’ And Gems Aplenty Were Dropped

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The Best Quotes From Jay Z’s New Rap Radar Interview

Elliot Wilson has been trying to get a Jay-Z interview for what seems like his whole career. Now that he works for Tidal, he finally got one, and at a super crucial time in both Hov’s life and career.

Jay joined the Rap Radar podcast, and part one of that episode was released on Friday–much to the world’s surprise and delight. Of course, it’s a Tidal exclusive, but like other Tidal ventures we might be able to expect an expanded release to other platforms after a few days or weeks of exclusivity.

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Hov dropped allll of the gems in this one, which can be expected just from hearing the content on his latest album, ‘4:44.’ Just as honest as he is in the music, he is in this interview.

For those of you that don’t have Tidal, we’ve broken down some of the most important and intriguing info Shawn Carter gave us during this intimate interview. Hit the flip to see quotes from the podcast about how Jay feels about Kanye, his sister Solange, religion, and everything else you’ve been curious about since listening to the album.

On Kanye West: “It’s not even about Kanye, it really isn’t. It’s just…his name is there because this is just honest what happened. What I’m saying is, the whole point is you got hurt, because this guy was talking about you on stage. Well, what really hurt me is you can’t bring my kids and my wife into it. Kanye’s my little brother, he’s talked about me 100 times. He had a song called, “Big Brother,” we’ve gotten past bigger issues, but you brought my family into it. Now it’s a problem.

On money phones: “I’m not against young guys verses old guys. I didn’t even tell people to stop using the money phone. I didn’t say that, It doesn’t say that anywhere. How is this being misinterpreted? I just said that ain’t money to us. It ain’t, that’s just an honest statement.”

On Future: “I thought about that line. I thought about Hip-Hop. I was like, ‘I really don’t mean and malice.’ What I mean by that is, the way his situation plays out because he’s such a public figure, mine would have played out that way and maybe even four times more. Like his chld is in a loving environment from what I see, I don’t know. I’m not discrediting step pops and the whole world. It was a line that say that could happen to me in my future, it just so happens that his name was Future and I just made a scheme out of it.”

On the line about Jewish people owning all the property: “It’s hard for me to like, take that serious because I’ve exaggerated every black image in the world. If the Jewish community, if you don’t have a problem with the exaggerations of the guy eating watermelon, and all of the things that was happening…if you don’t have a problem with that, and that’s the only line you pick out, then you are being a hypocrite. I can’t address that in real way.”

On Lavar Ball: “Lavar Ball…He said, imma start my own company…Everybody’s like you should sign to Nike…Now, he may go about things wrong, he may have a big mouth…but I bought three pair…Why did I buy three pairs? That man has a vision of his own, why wouldn’t I support him? He feels like he can move culture.”

On No I.D.: “He called me a while before we started this and was like, ‘Man, I got your next Blueprint.’ He said something like, “’ know this is a lot to say.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s a lot to say.’ And just dismissed it. Somehow we got up and we was at Roc Nation offices out here in L.A. and he played me what he was working on. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s amazing.’ I liked different samples. Like, he had sampled The-Dream and these samples. I was like, ‘No, no, no. I got where we could take this.’ I made him a playlist that I wanted to address and talk about on these different songs. He already had ‘4:44’ and he had ‘Kill Jay-Z’ and he had ‘Family Feud.’ I think aside from that, all the songs I brought him in to do, we like worked on them together.”

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    On the album getting people to open up: “After we played the music, we had conversations for like four hours, just about life. Strange thing—I learned more about the people I’ve been around during this process than any other. Like, people I’ve known 20 years I’ve found new things about them. I was like, ‘Oh, shit!’ I guess what was happening and what was being said on the album allowed people to open up. It was this cathartic process where people were just like, ‘OK, well, since you shared that intimate detail, let me share this.’”

    On Solange: “That’s my sister. Not my ‘sister-in-law.’ My sister. Period…I trust life and I don’t shy away from anything. You feel like ‘damn’ and then you deal with it. There’s no such thing as making sure everything looks good in public”

    On spirituality: I’ve always been a spiritual person…you know, my grandfather and what he was doing with his daughter, and he’s a pastor. I gotta forget that? As hard as that is, it’s like, man, that’s deep. But what happens is just called a transgenerational trauma, right? Like it informs who I am today, because something about him wasn’t right. So I was like, man, people in religion are hypocrites. So I sought out religion to say, okay, maybe I’m not a Christian….maybe I’m Buddhist, maybe I’m Muslim. And then realized, oh, I’m just a spiritual person.

    On starting the album: “When I came to the top of this year, January 3 was the first day… it was really the beginning of this album,” he continues. “We made, I wanna say, ‘Kill Jay Z,’  and maybe ‘OJ.’ Like the first two songs, and I was like okay. I got the feeling. I got the direction. And in real life, I was going through so much stuff, that I had to… and I’ve always been that way. Just verbalize it in a way. It’s like therapy, making music.”

    On the songs being so personal: “I understand it, It’s a lot of songs [where there’s] a couple of things happening. ‘You Must Love Me’ is 1997, and people don’t know the people involved. So when you hear that story, you’re not really attached to people, you don’t really know them like that.”

    On people saying the elevator incident made his, Solange’s, and Beyonce’s best albums: “I think we went into that elevator as 3 great artists!”

    Watch part one of the interview on Tidal here.

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