Jerrod Carmichael Considers Jay-Z His ‘Artistic North Star:' 'He Was Such an Emotional Rapper'

Carmichael shared his feelings of admiration for Jay-Z in a new 'Esquire' profile.

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To Jerrod Carmichael, none other than Jay-Z is admirable for his "emotional" lyricism.

Aligned with the debut of his HBO series Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show, the actor-comedian spoke about it in a new Esquire profile, where he revealed that he sought guidance from the 4:44 rapper about the project. Complex also got a preview of the show during SXSW last month.

During Carmichael's interview with Esquire editor-at-large Dave Holmes, the 36-year-old shared that Jay-Z gave his opinion about the show before it's Mar. 29 premiere, saying that the Roc Nation founder was particularly a fan of an episode that has yet to be released.

“Jay is an artistic North Star for me. In the world of rap where people don’t give access or insight to their inner turmoil or emotions, he was such an emotional rapper," Carmichael told the publication before sounding off on his favorite Hov classics.

Introducing our April digital cover, starring #JerrodCarmichael. The comedian's new HBO show is unlike anything ever seen on TV—but what are the consequences? Over two days in L.A., he weighs the stakes with @DaveHolmes. “I'm just a little sensitive to the whole thing,” he says.…

— Esquire (@esquire) April 1, 2024
Twitter: @esquire

On Jay-Z: “Jay is an artistic North Star for me…I sent him the road-trip episode with my dad, and I remember his text back just being like, This is an X-ray.”

— Esquire (@esquire) April 1, 2024
Twitter: @esquire

"He’d make songs like “Regrets” and “You Must Love Me” and “Lucky Me,” where it wasn’t just Champagne and girls, it was also remorse and fear."

Carmichael added that Jay-Z got to watch the "Road Trip" episode of Reality Show, set to premiere on Apr. 19. "I sent him everything. I sent him the road-trip episode with my dad, and I remember his text back just being like, This is an X-ray," the Poor Things actor said.

Carmichael's relationship with Hov likely started around 2017, when he was cast in the star-studded Friends-esque visual for "Moonlight," a single from 4:44.

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Before Carmichael gave Jay his flowers, the comedian told the truth about the rapper's friend Dave Chappelle, whom he called an "egomaniac." In a 2022 GQ Hype interview, Carmichael slammed Chappelle for his controversial jokes about transgender people, which The Closer comedian apparently wanted a public apology for, as told to Esquire.

"I said he’s not revealing anything personal about himself and he’s removed from what he’s talking about, and I think he’s smarter than that and deeper than that and has more interesting thoughts,” Carmichael said. “But he took it as fuck Dave Chappelle, because he’s an egomaniac. He wanted me to apologize to him publicly or some shit."

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