Jay-Z Talks Blue Ivy, President Obama, Hip-Hop in New York Times Feature
Before Jay-Z opens the Barclays Center to the public in Brooklyn, N.Y., the rap mogul sat down with acclaimed writer Zadie Smith for the New York Times’ T Magazine. The in-depth profile features the rapper-turned-businessman discussing an array of topics including his newborn daughter Blue Ivy, President Obama and hip-hop.
On President Obama, Jay believes that his election has made being a hustler less relevant to impoverished youth. “No one came to our neighborhoods, with stand-up jobs, and showed us there’s a different way,” he tells Smith. “Maybe had I seen different role models, maybe I’ve turned on to that.”
Jay-Z also scoffs at the notion that rap music is only about jewelry and degrading women. He surmises that those who think rap music is mindless don’t understand the poetry and art of the music. “[It has] provided a gateway to conversations that normally would not be had,” he tells the writer.
Hova also gives props to Odd Future for being anti-establishment and says they represent today’s youth culture who oppose corporate America. “[Odd Future has an] aversion to corporate America,” he explained. “People have a real aversion to what people in power did to the country. So they’re just lashing out, like: ‘This is the son that you made. Look at your son. Look at what you’ve done.’”
Smith’s profile ends with her asking Jay-Z about fatherhood and his four-month-old daughter Blue Ivy. When he is asked how would he his raise daughter now that he’s far from his humble beginnings of Brooklyn’s Marcy housing projects, he gets reflective in his answer.
“I actually thought about that more before she was born,” he says. “I was going to have to fight, I was going to have to go through some things, and they were preparing me.” He smiles: “She doesn’t have to be tough. She has to love herself, she has to know who she is, she has to be respectful, and be a moral person.” An empire state of mind.
Watch the Jay-Z ‘Empire State of Mind’ Video Feat. Alicia Keys