Jay-Z Looks Back on Sixth Grade Teacher Who Had Impact on Him: 'I Was Reading on a 12th Grade Level'

Jay-Z and Gayle King's conversations have proven fruitful for fans, including insight on the possibility of Jay getting back in the studio.

jay z seated at table at event
Image via Getty/Kevin Mazur/The Recording Academy
jay z seated at table at event

Jay-Z is showing love for a teacher he says had a major impact on him as a child.

In a clip from CBS Mornings’ new special Jay-Z and Gayle King: Brooklyn’s Own, Jay is asked by Gayle King about such a teacher, prompting him to also reveal that he was reading on a 12th-grade level when he was in the sixth grade.

"So Ms. Loudon was my sixth grade teacher," Jay recalled. "In the sixth grade, I was reading on a 12-grade level. ... And that excited me because everyone was excited. And Ms. Loudon, she was excited. I remember the feeling of it felt like me riding my bike at four, the way people reacted to that."

The full, career-spanning special is now available to stream on Paramount+. Through Jay and Gayle's conversations, fans have been given multiple memorable moments in recent months, including a breakdown on the origin of the Roc-A-Fella diamond hand sign and some insight from the 24-time Grammy winner on what it would take for him to get back in the studio.

"I have to be saying something important," Jay said in a segment that aired last month. "It has to mean something, you know? It has to mean something to a larger society."

For now, 4:44, released in 2017, stands as Jay's most recent solo studio album.

The long-running $500,000 or dinner with Jay debate also received some attention in King’s interview, with Jay himself weighing in to say “you gotta take the money.” Per Jay, there’s plenty to learn from his catalog of music.

Latest in Music