Fresh off the release of his new Amazon Prime documentary The Boy From Medellín, J Balvin sat down for an interview with Complex’s Speedy Morman. In an extensive, hour-long conversation on the latest 360 With Speedy Morman, Balvin spoke about the doc, his fears of becoming a father, and surviving an armed robbery attempt in his home country of Colombia.
One of the most notable scenes from Balvin’s The Boy From Medellín documentary features the reggaeton star on the phone with Jay-Z. When asked about that moment, and what it feels like to speak with Hov, Balvin said, “I think I’m one of the few guys that have been hugged and carried by Jay-Z.” At the 12-minute mark above, Balvin smiled and added, “You don’t see Hov like that.”
Speaking on what Jay-Z means to him, he said he “respects” the hip-hop mogul “so much.” Every time they’ve had the opportunity to meet up, he says Jay has always showed “mad love” to him. “Last time I saw him, I was like, ‘I love you man, I know I don’t know you for a long time but I love you.’”
On the topic of meeting legends, he also said he was surprised Michael Jordan was making so many jokes when they had a chance to meet.
At the 30-minute point, J Balvin spoke more about the doc and reflected on why he’s never been quick to flex his success. As he explained, a number of Colombian artists who proudly flaunted their wealth wound up “kidnapped or killed.” As a result, he decided to be more low-key. “I’ve seen people that were kidnapped or robbed in Colombia because they didn’t say thank you to the right person. I feel really protected. I don’t have bodyguards, I don’t like bodyguards.” He added, “I don’t like somebody to be around me all the time. … I make my own protection.”
Once in Colombia, he rolled down his window to be faced with a gun after someone knocked on his car. When he realized it was J Balvin he was robbing, he actually put the gun away. “He was like, ‘Bro, can I take a picture with you?’” the artist said, while adding that a cohort of the guy offered protection to him. “I understood that the power of music and the power of love can change everything,” he remarked. “I feel more secure than anybody in the world when I’m in Colombia.”
It was recently announced that Balvin is expecting his first child with his girlfriend Valentina Ferrer, and at the 45-minute point of the interview he told Speedy he’s “scared” of becoming a father. “You know why I’m scared? Because sometimes I feel that I cannot love myself. … I don’t know, I want to give my kid the best of me,” he said. “I don’t wanna transfer my fears to him. The more conscious you are, the more responsibility you have. I don’t want my kid to see me with anxiety, when that shit comes. I don’t want my kid to see me with depression, you know? It’s really scaring me, because I want him to be the healthiest kid.”
Expanding on his fears of fatherhood more, he said all he wants for his child is for them to be “the happiest kid alive.” With the success J Balvin has, he admitted his kid won’t have to go through the hardships he did, but “at the same time, challenges are great for me, because it makes me go out of my comfort zone.” Regardless of his fears, he said he truly looks forward to being his child’s “best friend.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Balvin touched upon his experience with COVID-19. Around the five-minute mark, Balvin said he “thought I was going to die” after he tested positive for coronavirus last year. “That taught me a lot. … To value what’s real,” he added. Despite the hardships of his time with COVID and the isolation that cocamees with it, he said he feels hope for the future and acknowledged how lucky America is to have wide access to vaccinations.
Watch the full 360 With Speedy Morman interview with J Balvin above.