By now you might have seen that Tidal has returned with the second portion of Jay Z’s wide ranging and rare interview with Rap Radar podcast’s Elliott Wilson, who is also the editorial director, culture and content, hip-hop over at Tidal, and Brian "B.Dot" Miller.
In the first interview from last week we learned quite a few things. Jay spoke on that infamous Solange elevator incident that lightweight sparked three classic albums: Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Solange’s A Seat at the Table, and of course, Hov's 4:44. Jay also touched on that controversial "Jewish" line from "The Story of O.J.," his beef with Kanye West, working with No I.D., Lavar Ball, and went in depth on a plethora of other subjects in the hour plus long interview. Now, in part two of the interview, we get another hour of Jay speaking about 4:44, his mother, how his daughter Blue Ivy has bars, the death of Prodigy, balancing expecting twins and finishing up an album, and much, much more.
For those of you who don’t have Tidal or don't have the time to sit through the hour long interview (it is Friday night after all), we've dug through to compile a short list of some of the most interesting tidbits from the conversation, as we did with part one. Peep it below.
On Blue Ivy’s Impressive Rapping Skills
Jay talks about how his daughter Blue randomly broke out her rapping skills and gained a coveted spot on the 4:44 bonus track "Blue's Freestyle / We Family."
"I just finished "Family Feud" and…I think I can take that song up a notch, so I start playing the beat and I was playing it so long… and she went and she got the headphones and she climbed on the little stool and then she just start rapping…the pockets she was catching, I was like 'oh shit'…5 minutes of her doing that, and I'm talking amazing pockets…I was like, 'oh, she understand the concept of a hook, she’s five.'" The rest is history.
Jay Says He Has Six Classic Albums
Throughout his long and storied career, Jay Z has dropped an impressive thirteen solo studio albums, three collaboration albums, one live album, five compilations, two EPs, and one soundtrack. In the interview Hov says that out of all those, six are classics. Jay gets into a spirited debate with Miller and Wilson about his discography that’s definitely worth watching in full. The six albums Jay called a classic, you ask? "Volume 2, Blueprint 1, Reasonable Doubt, Black Album, AG (American Gangster), 4:44."
On Jay’s Beef with Prodigy and His Passing
"I had super respect for Prodigy… in order for me to spar with you, like really spar, I gotta respect you…I sampled him for my first album, so you know… I was aware of him and and had a respect for him… me and him spoke before he passed. I saw him in the club, like, I wanna say, maybe five years ago…Just sad, blessing to his family."
Jay Talks "Smile" and His Mom
Speaking about his mother, Gloria Carter, and her feature on the 4:44 track "Smile," Jay said this:
"I've always looked up to her. Man, she's so fucking dope. My mom has been dope her whole life… She sounds like Maya Angelou… her pacing, her voice, it’s just so regal. She's a speaker…Our relationship developed to another level as I start getting into myself and just wanting to know everything… We had a beautiful conversation and it just lead to me making that song. I didn’t even have permission to make that song. When she first heard the song she was like, 'Absolutely not' and I was like 'Man, this is so important'… I was just so happy with the person that she’s become, just live your life and be who you are. One of my proudest songs, I love that song."
On Rap and its Progression as a Genre
"Rap is just growing up. It’s still one of the youngest genres of music. So no one really knows what it’s going to be yet. We haven't seen where a guy 47 years old puts out this sort of album, we haven't seen that, this thing is…young, it's gon' grow and it’s gon' be wide, and its gon' be wonderful and beautiful and people are gonna be able to coexist."
He Brings Up the Money Phone Again
"It's just my opinion too, you don’t have to agree with it. Again, I'm not saying you can’t hold the money phone to your ear. I never said that. The verse does not say that at all. It never says that… All I'm saying, chains is cool to cop. It's cool to cop a chain, I got a chain on right now… But more important is lawyer fees, make sure we taking care our business. Make sure we pushing our culture forward… You got in. Make sure you leave that door wide open for the next generation. Let's not just get here and blow the whole thing and then before you know it rap is like jazz—it's just being played in in a small club. We got a big imprint on the world and with that imprint we can make the whole culture move."
The Hypocrisy and Racial Undertones of Drug Laws
Jay spoke about Kareem "Biggs" Burke, the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, and how his 2010 arrest for marijuana trafficking shows the hypocrisy of companies making billions of dollars off of selling weed while countless people have been imprisoned for long stretches for doing the same thing. "Biggs, you know… yeah that really hurt me about Biggs… That’s a real story…There are people in jail while people making billions of dollars off weed. Everybody cool with that shit? Y'all cool? No one's gonna talk about it? They had some ladies on the Today Show talking about weed makes them better parents…Oh shit, nah, this man just did five years. You guys gonna just do this. Alright. It’s fucked up. It’s fucked up."
More Jay Z Albums?
"Yeah. If I have something to talk about and it’s great. If it's not great, then no. I just wanna make great shit. And it has to be great to me, that’s what its really about. I have to be happy with it."
So there you have it. If after listening to 4:44 444 times and checking out the aforementioned interviews weren't enough Jay Z for you, make sure to catch the Brooklyn MC and Mogul on the season premiere of SNL with host Ryan Gosling on Sept. 30. Or cop tickets to see Jay live on his newly announced 4:44 Tour. It runs for 32 dates beginning Oct. 27 and ending on Dec. 21. Jay will touch down in Chicago, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Detroit, Oakland, and other cities. And keep your fingers crossed for one more Jay Z album. It's possible.