He talks with the magazine’s contributing editor, Lisa Robinson for the November issue and it seems that nothing is off limits. We pick out 10 of the meatiest tidbits the music mogul and newly minted sports agent weighs in on.
“She does like her mother’s music—she watches [Beyoncé’s concerts] on the computer every night. But my album came out and I don’t know if Blue ever heard any of my music prior to this album—she’s only 18 months old and I don’t play my music around the house. But this album was new, so we played it. And she loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, ‘More, Daddy, more . . . Daddy song.’ She’s my biggest fan. If no one bought the Magna Carta [album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy. And that’s not like a cliché. I’m really serious. Just to see her—‘Daddy song, more, Daddy.’ She’s genuine, she’s honest, because she doesn’t know it makes me happy. She just wants to hear it.”
2.) When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, it renewed his spirit for America.
“It was like, Oh, wow, man, this whole thing about land of the free, home of the . . . it’s, like, real—it’s going to happen, everyone’s getting to participate in it. But growing up, if you had ever told a black person from the hood you can be president, they’d be like, I could never . . . If you had told me that as a kid, I’d be like, Are you out of your mind? How?”
3.) Jay Z says his mom new he was a teenage drug dealer. “But we never really had those conversations. We just pretty much ignored it. But she knew. All the mothers knew. It sounds like ‘How could you let your son . . . ’ but I’m telling you, it was normal.”4.) Jay says his seedy past will help him as a sports agent.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
5.) Jay thinks the world of his mother; she provided for his siblings despite not having much.
“We were living in a tough situation, but my mother managed; she juggled. Sometimes we’d pay the light bill, sometimes we paid the phone, sometimes the gas went off. We weren’t starving—we were eating, we were O.K. But it was things like you didn’t want to be embarrassed when you went to school; you didn’t want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes over again.”
6.) Jay talks about the crack epidemic — growing up, it was everywhere, he says.
“It was inescapable. There wasn’t any place you could go for isolation or a break. You go in the hallway; [there are] crackheads in the hallway. You look out in the puddles on the curbs—crack vials are littered in the side of the curbs. You could smell it in the hallways, that putrid smell; I can’t explain it, but it’s still in my mind when I think about it.”
7.) Even though Jay says he sold crack, he says he never used it. And eventually, he says, he felt guilty.
“Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
8.) Jay talks about romancing Beyonce. In 2001, they were both featured on the cover of Vanity Fair for the Music Issue.
“We were just beginning to try to date each other. Well, you know, you’ve got to try first. You got to dazzle . . . wine and dine.”
9.) Jay says that the Beyonce pregnancy rumors — and the ones of her not really being pregnant with Blue Ivy — weigh on his wife.
“I don’t even know how to answer that. It’s just so stupid. You know, I felt dismissive about it, but you’ve got to feel for her. I mean, we’ve got a really charmed life, so how can we complain? But when you think about it, we’re still human beings. . . . And even in hip-hop, all the blogs—they had a field day with it. I’m like, We come from you guys, we represent you guys. Why are you perpetuating this? Why are you adding fuel to this ridiculous rumor?”
10.) Jay reveals the real reason why he and Beyonce trademarked Blue Ivy’s name.
“People wanted to make products based on our child’s name,” he says, “and you don’t want anybody trying to benefit off your baby’s name. It wasn’t for us to do anything; as you see, we haven’t done anything.”
Read the entire interview here.