During the episode, Hov dropped a lot of gems, lighting up completely as he spoke about his relationship with DMX. In one anecdote, Jay talked about the time he was tapped to perform immediately after X finished his set, which is when it became increasingly obvious that he would be a tough act to follow.
”X is about to go, and I’m like, I wanna see,’” Jay-Z explained. “And he goes [growls], and the fucking arena goes crazy. First of all, it’s deafening, and I’m like, ‘Ohhh shit.’ He has a thing, like an Alize and Hennessey mix, it looks like blood, like he’s drinking blood, and he’s running back and forth [on the stage]. Halfway through the show, and then he takes his shirt. And the whole crowd goes wild. ‘Aaaaaah!’”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Hov also spoke about the time he decided to boycott the Grammys in 1999, the same year Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life won Best Rap Album, winning him his first Grammy. Jay said he boycotted out of respect for X, who was completely snubbed by the Recording Academy that year, despite releasing great music.
After being asked about how it is to write for other people, Jay-Z also addressed ghostwriting “Still D.R.E.” for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, explaining that he did vocals for both of them on the reference track, saying the reference sounds exactly like the final product.
To hear more about this conversation, like Hov admitting he didn’t learn how to swim until Blue Ivy was born, check out the full episode on HBO Max.