JAY-Z Addresses Checking Kanye & Why They Have Not Spoken Since (Audio)
JAY-Z has given the most revealing interview since the June 30 release of 4:44. The legendary MC sat down with the Rap Radar Podcast to address everything appearing to linger since dropping his 13th solo album. In the nearly 70-minute conversation available for full stream to the public, Hov’ annotated some of his own LP.
Speaking with Elliott Wilson and Brian “B.Dot” Miller, Jay goes into great detail as to how he’s still “overcharging ni**as for what they did to the Cold Crush” in his stake in Tidal (where the interview released). He twice quotes that line and compares launching Roc Nation outside of Def Jam Records and Universal Music Group as to Team Jordan’s departure from Nike. Jay scoffs that the biggest takeaways from his “Story Of OJ” single were lyrics criticized for Antisemitism and alleged money-phone disses towards the likes of Future or Meek Mill. Jay, who grew up neighboring a large Jewish community in Brooklyn, denounces both accusations. Moreover, Jay touches upon his co-production credit with No I.D. on the album. Like Guru with Gang Starr, Jay says he fed the veteran producer a playlist of songs he wanted to sample and otherwise reference. That playlist is not the one Jay made public on Tidal during his album promotion. “It just felt like a collaboration,” he says ahead of the 7:30 mark, adding that No I.D. prepared the beats to “4:44” and “Kill JAY-Z” ahead of their recording.
He describes a raw sound in his voice from deliberately using cheap microphones and makeshift studio sessions. Jay adds that for much of the album’s recording, he battled illness, reportedly due to exposure to mold. He and the Rap Radar hosts point to places like “Moonlight” where Heads will hear Jay in the moment, focusing on substance and lyrical content over polish or presentation. For Jay, it was imperative to capture that aesthetic on an album that many signal as a praise-worthy comeback.
For those following the news cycle, however, JAY-Z addresses the rift in his relationship with Watch The Throne collaborator Kanye West.
On “Kill JAY-Z,” the vet spit: “I know people back-stab you, I feel bad too / But this f*ck everybody attitude ain’t natural / But you ain’t a Saint, this ain’t KumbaYe / But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye / You gave him $20 million without thinkin’ / He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f*ck was he thinkin’? / ‘F*ck wrong with everybody?’ is what you sayin’ / But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane.”
Jay pinpoints ‘Ye’s mistake, and it is not just about breaking a Live Nation obligation, or millions of dollars.
“What really hurt me was, you can’t bring my wife and my kids into it,” JAY-Z said, just after the 50:00 mark. “Like, Kanye [West] is my little brother. He’s talked about me a hundred times, he even made a song called ‘Big Brother.’ We’ve gotten past bigger issues. But you brought my family into it, now it’s a problem.”
He says that ‘Ye knows it’s a violation towards his onetime Roc-A-Fella mentor. “You know it’s a problem because me and him would have been talked about it, been resolved our issues. And he knows crossed the line, he knows. And I know he knows. ‘Cause we’ve never let this much space go between one of our disagreements and we’ve had many. That’s just who we are.” Kanye, who some speculate is in the studio with Kid Cudi right now, caused Jay to go public. “He’s an honest person, and he’s wrong a lot of times. But the point is… I was getting to a point where ‘You got hurt by that.’ You can’t get diss somebody by saying you got hurt. That’s the softest diss of all-time. What are you talking about, you sucka-ass ni**a? You soft as sh*t! It’s not about a Kanye diss. I’m talking about me. When I say, ‘You dropped out of school, you lost your principles,’ I’m not talking about Kanye. I’m talking about me. The whole thing.”
Kanye West is believed to be suing Tidal, and in turn, JAY-Z. Hov says he does not care if West wants to partner with a competitor, such as Apple Music. “I don’t care about none of that. That’s his decision. It’s always been Kanye’s decision.”
Earlier, Jay states what he wants. “Don’t talk about anyone’s kid on stage. Our children are already in this place where they’re affected by our celebrity. Don’t go and do something that’ll allow people to pit us against each other. Don’t do that.” In Sacramento, California in November of last year, West told a concert audience that he had a hard time reaching his mentor. “JAY-Z, call me, bruh. You still ain’t calling me. JAY-Z, call me. Aye, bruh, I know you got killers. Please don’t send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man.” Shortly after, West’s tour was canceled, and he was hospitalized.
JAY-Z opens up about the benefits of therapy, conversations with 4:44 video collaborators, and more during the 70-minute chat. Tidal has billed the newly-released conversation as “Part 1.”
#BonusBeat: This TBD episode examines “Why Jay-Z’s 4:44 Is The Blueprint For Grown Man Rap”
Other TBD episodes.