DJ Envy: We got a special guest in the building this morning
Charlamagne Tha God: Nah nah nah you say special guest all the time, we got something different. Special legendary, iconic, you know all that
Envy: You gotta keep going!
CTG: Sir Carter from Brooklyn. Young Hov. Jay Z!
Envy: Jay Z ladies and gentleman
Jay Z: yessir
Envy: Good morning sir!
Jay: What's happening
CTG: We were taking bets on how you were going to arrive. Was it going to be a chariot white horse, were you going to float in like Prince?
Angela Yee: Or were you going to arrive at all?
Jay: I was on Pecas' back!
Envy: Well welcome
Jay: Thank you. This is very hard to navigate
Envy: No matter what happens in here, just don't get Charlamagne fired. It was rumours that you got Charlamagne fired one time, just don't get him fired!
Jay: Oh gosh
CTG: Listen, my last name is Pinkett-Smith Winfrey Knowles-Carter, okay? We cool over here
Envy: Alright just making sure
CTG: I wanted to get you a throne too, but they weren't sure if you were coming. I was like we can't have Jay sitting in this chair, but they said yo he is from Marcy, he sat on stoops back then!
Jay: Yeah I can take it back for.. How long we here? A couple hours
AY: I guess we'll see
Envy: Well congratulations on the album, the album is in stores right now
AY: Yes and you were on Twitter last night, that was incredible, a lot of people didn't believe that was you
Jay: I actually had fun. That was amazing, I had a great time. That is addictive, I can't be on Twitter, it's like weed. Like, I like it, but too much of that's not good for me
AY: There's no way you could see everybody's questions either, so people were like Oh you didn't answer my question
Jay: Yeah well I mean, it's impossible!
AY: Do you know who the people are? Like some of the people you were answering I was like Oh I know who that person is! Or were you just really..
Jay: Nah nah no, I didn't know anyone. I knew one person, I knew Gee Spin
AY: Oh you know Gee Spin
CTG: So you actually do know Gee spin? We were taking bets on that too
Envy: We didn't think you knew Gee Spin too!
CTG: We were taking bets on that one. Does Gee really know Jay?
Jay: Yeah, I know Gee Spin, that's one of my Cowboys, that's the only person I knew, I didn't know anybody else
CTG: Now I'm a Cowboy fanatic too, they always give me flack cause I'm from South Carolina so I shouldn't root for the Cowboys. How do you do it being from New York? When you got the Giants and the Jets, how can you be a Cowboys fan in this city?
Jay: I grew up, my pop, it's really my pop fault, you know
CTG: He grew up here
Jay: He grew up here, yeah. That era, those guys who wanted that whole cowboy lifestyle, all those guys was on coke you know
CTG: My pops was definitely on coke
Jay: I got the whole thing penned! I can give you the whole profile, he have the afro?
CTG: He had the afro!
AY: But I bet your dad didn't tase somebody at the Cowboys Jets game like Charlamagnes dad did!
CTG: That was my Father
Envy: He's a real
AY: He tased somebody at the game
CTG: Remember last year, at the first game, Cowboys Jets, at Met Life stadium
Jay: Like in this era?
CTG: Yes! Cause he didn't know, he's from South Carolina, that Tasers are illegal
AY: Last year. He got arrested
Jay: Nah. Yeah
CTG: He got in to a fight with some Jets fans, he's a Cowboys guy
Jay: That's.. Yeah. I definitely wouldn't have put that on the profile but uh, that type of fan, uh, you know it's my pops team so I couldn't, I had to watch it growing up
Envy: It's going to be tough this year, I don't know if you can make the play offs this year
Jay: Alright man..
Envy: Them Giants looking good, I'm just saying them Giants looking good. We just signed Victor Cruz for another six years
CTG: If the Jets are winning next season he's a Jets fan, if the Giants start winning he roots for the Giants. He's confused
Jay: It's too early in the morning for that bro
AY: Now I was shocked at one thing on Twitter where you said that Magna Carta Holy Grail was fighting for 4th place as far as best albums. Cause I think every time you put out an album, ok this is my best album to date. And that was very honest of you to say that, but do you really believe that? Only 4th place?
Jay: I mean, only fourth place, fighting to that top 3 you gotta fight Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint and The Black Album. That's just, I mean, that's just hard
AY: Is that the order you put it in? In that order? Reasonable Doubt first?
Jay: Reasonable Doubt, well yeah thats the first album I made, because that's the joint I took my whole life to make. Reasonable Doubt, then Blueprint, then The Black Album. Sometimes I switch The Blueprint and The Black Album, don't tell anybody
CTG: Is it hard though? Cause you're competing against yourself. You're competing against classics. To me, you can't compare Holy Grail to Reasonable Doubt to The Blueprint cause they were different times in your life
Jay: True. That's part of the reason I put it fourth, it's very difficult to re-create those times. Those times were like.. Obviously, you can't bring those times back. But just for it to be so high says what I think about it. Whilst its new anyway, I might not think that way in 2 weeks
Envy: What's the inspiration, cause I know you used to say Big used to inspire you to spit, and Nas, do you get inspired by artists now?
Jay: The era I grew up in was like Biggie, Nas, 2pac, you know it's very difficult to compare to those guys, you know, it just is. I'm inspired by my previous work. I have to measure myself against that
Envy: I guess, do you ever hear a record now like 'I'm going in the lab" or does it just seem like its ABC-123. Cause a lot of the music to me, it doesn't, I know it makes you sound like an old head but it just don't sound the same, it just don't feel the same
Jay: Nah there's good music, you just gotta mine for it, you know? I mean before I felt there was an abundance of it. But that's what happens when anything becomes successful. Like people were rapping because they love to rap. Then it became this huge business, this multi-billion dollar business, so people that didn't even care to rap was like "Imma figure out how to get some money in this", so you had people who could rap a little bit and saw it as a hustle, and you had guys, CEOs rapping, no disrespect to anyone, just to be clear, you had people rapping like "You should rap", like Big told Puff "You should rap". Puff wasn't a rapper. But you know, he had, he was puff, you know what I'm saying? He sold 7 million records! Maybe more by now, with the catalogue. He sold 7 million records with *No Way Out*. He never rapped before, so when people see that they emulate that. So now you got all kind of CEOs rapping, and now you have . I'm a CEO rapping.. So, umm, now its like, you know, it's flooded with guys who aren't rappers, so you just gotta mine it. And you'll find good music still, it's just more difficult to find
CTG: So Puff f'ed the game up, is what you're saying for lyricists
Jay: Is that all you got out of that?
AY: I would assume you're inspired by the artists that you sign, also, or else why would sign them if you didn't find them to be an inspiration to you
Jay: Ok. That could've been my answer
AY: Now for instance J. Cole, you know obviously
Jay: Yes, very dope
AY: Jay Electronica
Jay: Very dope too
AY: He said he's up next too
CTG: We're waiting. That's like Detox
Jay: Let's hope not
CTG: What artist that you signed are you most proud of? Cause you're responsible for a lot of careers out here
Jay: You'd have to say Kanye West. He's the most successful at this stage of his career. And his growth, and the progress that he's made its like.. It's unbelievable. When he first came in, he wasn't the artist that he is today. But he always aspired to be, you know. From that moment, from the moment he walked through the door, when he was just a producer, not just a producer, when he was the producer, he had it in his eyes, he was saying stuff like "I am the saviour of Chicago". I was like "what you even talking about? You ain't even have a single!". But, you know he proved to be prophetic in that way
CTG: Now age old hood question, I always said that you put too much pressure on Bleek. Cause early in his career you said he was gonna be the new improved Jay Z. Now he was good, but everybody was waiting for him to be that. Do you feel like you kind of, might've, you know
Jay: Yeah he's just a little brother, it's the situation you know little brother syndrome. He had it more so than anybody cause he really grew up with me. He grew up on the third floor in the same projects, from me, so he had my shadow on him, you know, the whole time. So whether I said those things or not, it was just there. Me saying those things actually was trying to deflect it, you know trying to deflect some of it away from him. I wasn't trying to put more on him it was just.. Elephant in the room, you walk in the room, be like everybody's thinking 'yo, thats the, thats the next guy'. It's natural
CTG: I never saw you do that with any of your other artists afterwards, I wondered if that if that was something you said "you know what, I'm not going to do that"
Jay: Yeah he, again, he was just one of a kind. Like he really was from there. Like Val, his mother, I used to go in there and be like "Val open the door" and drag him out the house. You know so, he was a unique guy
AY: And he's always been very loyal to you, like even to this day
Jay: Yeah yeah. Bleek is an amazing soul, he's an incredible person
CTG: I always say
Jay: You know how much pressure people put on him
ENvy: And Bleek is
Jay: You should do this, you should have that! You should have $100 million! You know, that type of, it's crazy, unrealistic things
Envy: Bleek gets busy in the streets too, he'll come see you if you say the wrong thing. He'll definitely come see you. Not of recent, but
Jay: Yeah don't pump Bleek up
Envy: Yeah he'll definitely come see you
Jay: Don't do that!
Envy: Now also, you spoke of Kanye West. What do you think of Ye's last album, Yeezus?
Jay: I liked it
CTG: Nah come on Hov.. Out of ten record I give him four
Jay: That's a good, that's like 40% of a rating, that's pretty good
CTG: He's got an amazing catalogue though. He should never put out anything that people even consider a four
Jay: Jesus.. Yeezus!
AY: Some people love that album, you know? It's very experimental
Jay: It's polarising, that's what great art is. It's polarising, some people love it. It force you to have an opinion, you know? At least you're not like wishy washy about it, it force you to have an opinion, which is good, I think it's needed. Because what tends to happen is someone has to experiment and do it first, and then artists will sit back and watch it, and be like 'Ok, I like this, I don't like that, I like this part' and they'll perfect the methods, and you know it all pushes the genre forward. Which is good, and that's what he does, he's like the lightning rod for the culture. No he's actually like the cowboy, you know he runs over the hill, and like the Indians hit him with the arrows, and he comes back he's like 'yo there's a lot of them over there' and then we go over there and conquer
CTG: What's your reaction whenever you hear him like denounce corporations? Being that you are such a corporate dude yourself?
Jay: As an individual I respect that. You know it's what he chooses to do. You know me me myself I can operate in that venue, I can walk that line between you know putting out great art and getting paid for my art. I'm not one of those, excuse my language, I ain't one of those n*ggas they can talk to like 'you an artist, you shouldn't have money'. Like that's the gas, they hit you with that, they make you 'yeah I don't want any money, I want to be a pure artist, and I don't want to have' uh, you know it's the music business. If that's the case then you should, any artist, not Kanye West, you should, they should just record in their basement and never enter the music business. You know? I just happen to be really good at the music business
AY: Do you pay attention to reviews on the album? Does that affect you? Do you read it, like do you want to see what they said on USA Today?
Jay: Yeah, I think reviews, I think reviews have lost a lot of their importance now because of the internet. Like everyone is experiencing things at the same time. Like you can write a review like, uh, the guy from USA Today, tomorrow. You both can write the review at the same time. Before you used to give albums out, like that's what happened, that's why the critic became important in the music space because they got the music first, they would get the music 2 months early, because you know the magazine had a long lead time. They get it, they sit with it, they review it, they send it out a month ahead of time. You reading it, you looking like 'oh this albums gonna be dope' you don't have the music. So you're reading reviews for a month, right now the music comes out like this. People are writing the review in a day. First of all you can't listen to an album and rate it in a day. It's just impossible
CTG: Like Magna Carta a classic, 10 minutes after it comes out
Jay: Yeah, it's impossible to even get what every
AY: You have to sit with it, to live with it
Jay: The nuances, the all the instrumentation, all the words, what is being said in the music, what is it about? It's impossible to do that in 24 hours. When I see that I'm like 'oh so this is all just bullsh*t'. Ok so I can't put any weight in it. It's good, you reviewed the album, it's great, you like it, fantastic, you don't like it? That's good too. But it doesn't mean anything, because, you know
AY: We can all stream it and listen to it and form our own opinion
Jay: That's right. You can have a better review than the guy from the NY Times. Like I read 2 reviews, I read the guy from the NY Times and I read the kid from allhiphop. They both had interesting points of views. The guy from allhiphop was talking about purgatory which I feel like sometimes, you know it's like, when you walk that line it's like you can't do too much for this side, and you do too much for this side, it's a weird thing, I'm in a weird space, which you know I enjoy. I felt like his review was just as great as the NY Times writers review and this is supposed to the the NY Times, you know what I'm saying? Same thing to me
CTG: Do you feel like people consume music too fast, cause you create these amazing moments, but then the moment is fleeting. Soon as you put the album out, it's like people are on it for a few days then Ok, J Cole came out, Wale comes out the next week. Wale's out now Hovs out, you know what I mean?
Jay: Yeah, yeah. it's just, yeah. again, the time that we in. We have to figure out I mean, it's up to the individual to figure out how to slow it down, because you know it's just going faster and faster, you know everything is moving quicker and quicker. You know, information is going quicker, you know, again, like you said, you know, these great things are fleeting, they're going faster and faster, and it's up to the individual to slow it down and be like 'OK, I'm living with this album, this is what I choose to ride to. This is going to be the soundtrack to my life for these next couple of months'. You know what I'm saying? That's an individual thing, I'm not going to let anybody speed up my process. I don't care what's happening out there, that's the great thing about you know having the ultimate confidence in yourself, it doesn't matter what's happening, I don't care what's happening, I don't care what you're on, or this persons on. This is what I like, you know. My life is tailor made for me
Envy: You ever got to watch your lyrics? You know cause things you say people take literally. I remember watching the press conference at the white house and they're quoting Jay Z lyrics about something that you say, you ever be like 'man I shouldn't have said that'
Jay: Nah. It's, I'm an artist, I have the creative licence to say whatever I feel at that moment. You know, I'll find things funny, like the Obama thing, Obama said the irony in that, the fact that people really believed that, and really was like you lied!
Jay you believed that?
CTG: You do say hashtag facts only!
Jay: Yeah but irony! Irony is, you know, you gotta have some irony in music, that was like, you know..
CTG: Question as a fan, is it ever awkward when you're in a room with Nas? Cause that Ether/Takeover beef with y'all wasn't light
ENvy: It was disrepectful
Jay: It was a time in, it was a moment in time which was a great moment for hip hop. But for us, you know, we really have a good relationship. We laugh, we don't even, that thing is so far past, and I understand why, you know, even today that thing is, I guess is 11 years old, maybe longer, and like people still fascinated with it, but it's so far removed, it's so far in the background, as, that, nah we're not awkward around each other at all
AY: The great thing about it is that it didn't destroy either of your careers
CTG: It helped Nas!
AY: Yeah it did help him at that time. But for both of you it's not like 'ok, now this guy just destroyed me' cause that happens sometimes with beef, but you guys both were still successful after that, you even more so
Envy: You hurt a lot of careers you know
Jay: Rap is competitive. You know, it's a competitive sport. Each time I went out, I put my career on the line as well, you know, like that. It could've happened to me
Envy: Like prodigy
Jay: Everybody wanted it to happen, like they did! There was a time like everybody was like 'please, please let this guy go away'. So uh, You know, that's just the nautre of rap. It's competitive. Every time you go out there you're putting your career on the line
CTG: Would you ever do a King of New York album with Nas? Like you did with Watch the Throne?
Jay: Um.. Yeah.. Nah.. Not at this point. You know, like, any other collaboration album would have to be with Kanye, cause you know, there's chemistry there. We know how we're working. I don't really have the time to figure out both situations, and figure out how a person works. That's hard to do, especially if you're going to make something great, you know. The hardest thing ever was going through those R. Kelly albums, you know he, it's just, you never know how the situation is going to turn out. There's an X Factor that you can't even calculate in your mind, that can happen at any moment, and you'll be like, in the hotel ready to make an announcement, it's like 'what?! what just happpened?'
CTG: Ty-Ty, get the pepper spray!!
Envy: We had Jadakiss up here, and ugh, we were talking about throw offs, and Jadakiss was like you are the biggest throw off, like when it comes to trying to get you on the phone
AY: Spin, no he said spin, you're the master spinner
Envy: master spinner
AY: You spin people
Envy: He said when it comes to getting Hov on the phone, Hov will call you like the day after and be like 'I just got back from in the country, I just got your text you still need me?'
Jay: Sounds like me! Sounds like real talk to me!
AY: At least you do answer his calls though, you know. That's important
Jay: Yeah, yeah yeah yeah. Jadakiss can get me on the phone any time
AY: Was it nerve wracking doing this whole new deal with Samsung that had never been done before, and then were like some glitches people were saying, and trying to get the app right, and the album, cause it's the first time it's been done
Jay: Yeah and that, again, in that instance I was the cowboy running over the hill. You know, any time you try to do something different, and you should always try to push forward in whatever you're doing, there's going to be problems, cause it's never been done before. Again, you can't anticipate all the things that are going to happen. The thing that happened with Samsung was a real thing. It was 20 million hits to the app! I'm not saying 20 million people hit the app, but you know, a million people, we went over a million, say a million and 3, or whatever, was trying right, and you couldn't get through, you know, you hit it 20 times, and that's 20 million hits, it was 20 million hits for the app and it broke. No-one's expecting, there's no way in the world for you to calculate 20 million hits. It's not even a number that you can fathom. It's 20 times the amount we thought was gonna happen. So you can't even prepare servers for that, it's very difficult
AY: In a way it's a great problem to have
Jay: It's not a great problem, cause you want the fan to get that experience, the people that waited and downloaded, you want them to have that experience right away. That's the only thing that was a little disheartening to me, cause man, imagine that, I can't even imagine waiting for Rakim's album at 12 o clock and I couldn't get it, I downloaded
AY: I downloaded the app, I got the Samsung phone
Jay: I did everything right. I downloaded my app, I read it, I said it, I watched the clock countdown, and at 12 o clock I couldn't get it. For me that's not cool, you know, that's a loss, and that has to get better. But again, someone else is gonna figure out, the next person now know, you know, how to go on to it better. Which is cool, and that's my job, I took the hit for that
CTG: I saw you tweet Ab-Soul yesterday to say that you was a fan of the whole movement, I guess the whole Black Hippy movement with Kendrick Lamar, who keeps you in tune with that stuff? Cause people think you don't live on this planet, so you don't know what's going on
Jay: Yeah like an alien or something. I like music, I really like music, and when people make good music I will find it. I don't listen to everything, I don't really care to listen to everything. I actually don't want to listen to anything. So if it makes it to me, that means you're doing something right
CTG: You hear a lot of New York artists complain about the state of New York hip hop. You are a New York artist, over the years have you looked at New York and been like what's going on with our city, musically?
Jay: Yeah, but that's just a thing, you know, it's cool, it's a regional thing, like. That's the way music moves. You know. Out west, down south, you know whatever, that's the way it move. The whole thing is complaining does nothing. Make music! Make some great music, and that's the end of it. Like, I don't even know what to say. You know
CTG: I'm too busy winning over here
Jay: No, I just don't care about it. It's almost like a losers mentality. It's like everyone's so spoiled, it's like, you know, you won't let me shine. I even heard someone say 'Yo, why won't Jay let Kanye'. I'm like let Kanye? Kanye is Kanye, he's gonna do what he does, that's a losers mentality. When we were, I sound like one of those gravel, 'when we were coming up', I mean it was, my albums came out with Outkast, Lauryn, Q-Tip, all of them in one week! You know, everybody did good. You know, look at the chart now. It's Wale, number 1, this is a shameless plug. Roc Nation managed artist. J. Cole which will probably go to number 1 next week again, no, for the first time ever, he'll go to number 1, Roc Nation artist, then there is Kanye. You gotta be able to compete. Steel sharpen Steel. You gotta get out there, you gotta earn your spot. It's not given. It's such a spoilt brat losers mentality that it's annoying
CTG: Is there anybody new from New York that you're feeling?
Jay: Yeah, they making noise, they haven't reached the level yet, to really be like
AY: Shout them out?
Jay: They on they
CTG: For real though
Jay: I mean. But you know, it's good, but again it's not really about, it's not a regional thing. Unless there's like 5 of them, that's the only way you can make it live. That's the only way you can make hip hop live in your region, when you have 4 or 5 people doing it at one time. When you have 1 person flourishing, it is what it is
Envy: Has fatherhood changed you at all? As far as lyrics?
Jay: I mean absolutely
Envy: How is Jay as a dad?
Jay: I hope I'm great. But I'm learning. It's a new thing for me. And I guess changed me in a way that, I mean, just knowing what's important, knowing the things that are important. You know. But I had a pretty good sense of that, but it just reaffirmed all the things I believed I knew
ENvy: Now how are you with, and the reason I'm asking is cause I'm going through it now, how are you with like every 2 hours the baby getting up, and changing pampers
Jay: Nah I got an army man
Envy: You ain't do that man?!
Jay: I mean of course but come on man. It's hard man. Difficult
AY: Can I ask you a question? The first thing I thought when I heard about Roc Nation Sports
Jay: I'm hear to be asked questions. I didn't want to get you on your thing
AY: Don't get started. That's all.. Did you have to give up your seats at the Barclays Centre?
CTG: I told you that, that part in Open Letter
AY: That's true
Jay: No no, course not. I still own the building
AY: No cause I used to be able to go to the Nets games and sit in your seats because you never used to go to those in Jersey
Jay: Yeah, nah you good, don't even worry about it. This is a selfish question
CTG: This is selfish! You just wanna make sure
AY: This is
Jay: That question is loaded! Don't worry you good. I will invite you to four games a year
AY: Ok I just wanted to make sure
CTG: Can we clear up another Power 105 bet. These two were arguing about who knew Jay the longest. AY and DJ Envy
Jay: Nah I definitely knew Envy before Angie
Envy: I told her I knew you before Mary J Blige was on the hook to Can't Knock The Hustle when it was that wax
Jay: Yeah yeah yeah
AY: No no. I think I knew you longer
CTG: She thinks she used to help y'all bag up in that apartment in Brooklyn with Ty-Ty and B-High
AY: I think I might have known you longer than Envy though. Oh man I should've brought that tape in, cause when I met you you were giving out tapes of Dead President single
Jay: Yeah that was too late by then. I recorded, I had to record the album first
AY: That was a single though, it wasn't a whole album
Jay: No but I'm saying I had to record it, he's the first why don't you just give him that
AY: Alright alright
Jay: You were shortly thereafter
AY: That's when he was DJ Shrimp
Envy: I was definitely DJ Shrimp
Jay: You never knew before me
CTG: Another hood question. Do you ever feel sorry for Damon Dash. Whenever you hear about his financial problems or things like that
Jay: Nah. Dame is a hustler, Dame will figure it out. Dame is very smart guy. You know. So, he'll figure it out
AY: He was definitely playing your album, on instagram, bittersweet
CTG: Yeah did you see that video?
Jay: Nah I didn't see
CTG: It was in the barer shop. He bumping his head crazy to it. He said he liked it. He said he felt like he was a part of that, he says he feels like you were telling the truth
Jay: I feel like, what people gotta understand, nothing is gonna change the way I feel about Dame. No time or space, no separation or anything. You know, I got love for Dame the same way as I did before. I don't know if we can be around each other in that way because times have changed. You know, he may be a totally different person, I know I'm a different person. But nothing can erase that era and the things that we, you know, those times, those memories, those fights that we have, you know, to get Rocafella where it was. It just it what it is. Nothings gonna change that. There'll be some minor things, you know, in the middle that get in the way but those things go away but those relationships remain, those memories remain. We did something great, we built something that is gonna be here forever, that is gonna be talked about forever, so you know, there will always be, you know, umm, love there
Envy: what was your worst signing at Rocafella? The worst person, that just didn't fit at Rocafella
Jay: Nah, nah I wouldn't say Amil, Amil album, you should listen to it
CTG: I did!
Jay: It's good!
AY: You had a reggaeton era as well
Jay: Yeah. Yeah
CTG: Was you really responsible for that or was that more Dame?
Jay: I'm not gonna put anyone under that. I'm gonna take that one on my back
CTG: That didn't seem like HOV
Jay: I'm gonna take that one for the team
CTG: Those dirty signing didn't seem like..
Jay: Imma take all that for the team. What was the worst signing?
CTG: You was talking about how Amil was your worst signing
Jay: Nah I didn't say that
Envy: You know, somebody that didn't fit
Jay: I.. Let me think about that
Envy: what was the artist that you passed upon that you could've had that you didn't sign?
Jay: Passed on? I dunno
Envy: Was there anyone you passed on?
Jay: I don't know if we passed on anybody that we could've that was great. Umm. Because we signed everybody
Envy: At the end y'all were signing everybody!!
CTG: Tax write offs
Jay: Oh my god. That's not even like a real thing. But. It's funny
CTG: When you look at the game and you look at where you're at right now, and you look at your peers you came up with in the 90s, do you say to yourself I knew they were gonna be here and those guys were gonna be there? And I'm asking that cause I want to know what you think of the game now and who is gonna be here in ten years from now
Jay: Uh yeah. I absolutely, because I wanted to be here. And I saw a lot of people let opportunities go. And I was like oh he's not gonna be around, why aren't you doing this? If I had that I'd be doing this! I think about it in those terms. I think about it not outside of what we do, I think about it in strategic moves, when you have it and you about to have it, and you know, what happens, you know. I remember one time walking in the studio, and uh, it was like a small gap, and uh, Bleek, Beans, everybody was in there, and I was like man I'm telling you, y'all got a chance right now, flood it, put out a lot of music. Because 50 Cent is coming! And you know, four months later In Da Club hit and it was over and everybody gotta sit on the sidelines and wait this title, wait it out. Just seeing things like that
CTG: I remember when you wanted to sign Wayne before Wayne took off. So you had that kind of vision. So who do you see now that's gonna be here in ten years? Have reached the level to get a shout out
Jay: Yeah these people I'm about to mention definitely reached the level. Obviously J. Cole, Drake absolutely
Jay: Kendrick as well. I think just, he is talented very talented, but just on sheer will and wanting it, Wale is gonna be here as well. I don't want to stretch. I'm sure other people but I don't wanna
Envy: Now you mentioned Lil Wayne, I know that you guys were this close to signing Wayne, what happened to that deal? I mean Wayne was damn near saying he was Rocafella and it just went left
Jay: The truth is, this is the first time I ever told this truth. The truth is after I had that, the meeting with Wayne, umm, you know I had a relationship with Baby, so you know, I used to go to New Orleans and I used to hang out with him, and he had me in that purple, little, whatever that car was, remember those purple little cars?
Jay: Prowler! And you know going out in the street, no top, people wanting to jump in the car, you know, so I felt it was only right to call him, you know I called him out of respect like 'yo, I was talking to Wayne, just letting you know, boom boom boom' so after that I think we recieved a letter at our office for like torturous interference from their lawyer
CTG: Wow.. They just do that?
Jay: It was like Wow! And it just all went from there. But you know, I think, I would rather, you know, lose that situation and do the right thing than the opposite. I think I could've just.. signed him
AY: You could've worked through it
Jay: I could've signed him and then told him after but you know, I did the right thing. I'm cool with that decision
CTG: How close were you to really spanking Wayne when he threw that shot at the wife
Jay: Ah.. Nah. It was alright. It's part of, you know, the sport, and the competition. I didn't take it serious. I didn't view it as a threat, you know. I thought it was just a flip of a line that I said, because I'd said 'you ain't got my wifey money'. I wasn't really speaking to him, but you know, I guess he is holding the flag, so he did the right thing for his camp, and uh, but I didn't take it as a real threat, I took it as a flip of a line
CTG: Now another hood question. People always say if biggie hadn't of passed, HOV wouldn't be here. I know you've heard that before
Jay: That's just ridiculous. I mean I was here whilst Biggie was here
CTG: Some people say you made your best material when he was here
Jay: I think, just, again like I said, steel sharpens steel. The way we were working, and the album that we were going to create together would've only made me better as a lyricist. And it's just like, you know, there's that's gods plan. You know, it's gods plan. It's just like saying Biggie wouldn't be here if, you know, Rakim hadn't been on the Faith remix, or , it's like you can make up any scenario in your mind why a person shouldn't be here, or a person wouldn't attain the success that they have, but they, I personally don't believe anybody could've stopped me. I really, that's just how I believe. It was gonna be, I was coming. I was destined to be here. It just is what it is
CTG: Why can't people give you that though? Why is it you've gotta be something else, if Big was here it wouldn't be like that, He's in Illuminati, why can't you just be successful these days?
Jay: That's a very philosophical question. I can only assume cause I don't know the answer to that except that sometimes peoples success makes people feel, instead of saying 'wow that person is successful and I'm inspired', and some people are! Some people are like that's persons successful and imma strive and imma be exactly where they are. But some people are just like, they have the reverse attitude like, their success means my failure, so I hate that success, so I have to make some kind of explanation of why they're here and why they shouldn't be here, and why they wouldn't be here if this person was here. Who thinks like that? If you take that long to think, if you take that long to think
AY: It's not just black
CTG: It's more so in hip hop culture
Jay: If you take that long to think about someone and why they shoulodn't be here, you're good! And you should be doing something with that mentality. You should apply that intelligence to something else
Jay: if that person were here, that person.. You should be a scientist! You need to figure out something that will really help us in the world
AY: Now for you moving in to sports management, does it feel to you like a lot of people don't want you to succeed, cause it seems like that's a really tough business, there's a lot of agents who feel like 'what does Jay Z know about sports management? He hasn't done this, and he hasn't done that'
Jay: Yeah but they have that thing that, you know, that belief that they, you could only do one thing. You know. We don't have that. We are not afflicted with that disease. You know, I can walk and chew gum. It's like, it's insane to even say that, 'what does he know about sports'? Uh.. Everything? More than you. You know, and as far as business, those guys have been, they've been uh, they've been sitting around just doing the typical thing right. They're getting artists, sometimes, however they acquire the artist, I don't want to do that to them. However they acquire their artist, the athlete, they get him, and then they knock on the same doors. They do the Nike, they do the contract, and they sit back, they don't do anything else. So they've been sitting around for 20-30 years, just not doing anything
AY: Same formula
Jay: Yeah. So we come in and thats a problem for them, cause now they have to go to work, now they have to wake up, now they have to do things. They don't want me around cause now they have to do something for these athletes. And my whole thing is, you know for the most part I'm gonna do more for the athlete than they're gonna do for me at the end of the day. But uh, I do this because it's an extension of the bigger goal. The bigger goal is to, you know, for all artists to get their just dues. Not, you know, these guys, not to get half assed agents, or people who rob them, or people don't care about their finances. They don't even care about that, that's why guys go broke in four years! That's a shame. The average is 3-4 years! We talking about guys who sign for $90 million, $86 million are broke in 4 years! That's terrible money management. Because these guys don't care. They just taking whatever is gonna get them a cheque, and they're not even worrying about that. We're doing all of that. We almost do that better, we're almost a better money management firm, and then agents
AY: That's been a ongoing problem with sports
Jay: Yeah that's the thing! They're representation not caring about anything but their cheques
AY: Artists as well
CTG: But then you have people saying, well what does Jay Z know about money?
AY: Yeah right
Envy: Nobody gonna say that
AY: Is that something you do for all your artists as well, is put them through some kind of financial training and set them up?
Jay: Yeah. Yes
CTG: When Master P was here, he said he would never do the agent thing again because athletes are too spoiled, and there's really no money in the game. But I hear you saying there's a higher purpose. You wanna teach people how to keep their money
Jay: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Not that it's all like, this philanthropic thing. It's a business as well. But, again, you know, I'm gonna contribute just as much or more to an athlete's career than they can ever give me
AY: Now why did you decide to get up out of Def Jam as president? When you went over there to be president, and then I kind of felt like you felt it wasn't right for you to be working at the label
CTG: He made way for Peckers!
Jay: Yeah. Peckers was coming. ah.. You know, more so I wanted to do more. I wanted to do more things than just sit there and make music. In that position, I was in the position to force the artists career and just make money. And, you know, I was knocking on the doors of all the powers that be, and I was like 'yo, you don't understand, I can do more. Before the Beats by Dre, I can do things like that'. You know. I can, you know, I can identify companies, we can go get Billionare Boys CLub, this was before it was part of our thing. We need to get BBC, you know it's hot right now. All the artists want to wear it anyway. You know I'm giving these guys these elaborate, not elaborate, I'm giving these guys these simple business plans, you know, and it was just like 'Nah no, just, bring some hits' and I was like. Then I gotta move on then because my time now is being wasted
CTG: You know if you walk around with that chain all day, people gonna be asking whats the science. What's today's mathematics
Jay: Yeah. By the way this isn't even my chain, I stole this from somebody. Ty-Ty will tell you, as I walked in
CTG: Uh oh
AY: You stealing chains now?
Jay: Not really steal
CTG: Does it mean anything to you though?
Jay: Yeah. Little bit
CTG: I'm with you
CTG: I don't like the conversation either. I call myself the god because I feel like it sometime. I still get little lessons, but I'm not in to all..
Jay: Religion is like a personal computer, you know. You let people in if you want to
AY: uh oh
Jay: It is it truly is. You know how people look at your computer, like this is a personal computer
CTG: That's what everybody says, 'Oh Jay Z with the new album, Oh Jay Z has such a god complex!' Like a man can't reference god? Genesis 1:26, it says 'God created man in his image'. So I can't reference myself a little bit every now and then as God?
Jay: Absolutely. Absolutely. We're all gods
AY: Beside sports, what else do you watch on TV? Do you watch any of these reality shows?
CTG: Cause they don't think you do
Jay: Yeah. Nah
AY: I know you used to watch Sex and the City when that used to come on
Jay: Yeah and I still watch HBO, I watch HBO and ESPN
CTG: You watch TV?
AY: He definitely watches sports obviously. HBO huh?
Envy: You gotta watch Nickelodeon
Jay: Nah I don't watch Nickelodeon
AY: You don't watch Girls, or..
Jay: Nah it's this little baby Einsteins
Envy: Oh little baby Einsteins!
Jay: That's always on
CTG: Have you ever had to kick anybody out the room cause they approached you about doing a reality show?
Jay: Nah that's never happened
AY: No-ones gonna asked you that!
Jay: No-one ever get that close to me. Anyone with those type of question have
CTG: Ty Ty get the pepper spray! Asking me about some reality show
Jay: Anyone with those type of questions will get vetted. There's no way.. There's 18 layers before that happens
Envy: Now how did you link back up with Timbaland? Cause it seems like you were apart for a minute, then all of a sudden it seems like you got him back smoking again
Jay: Yeah Tim. Me and Tim have always been great, but we've never been able to do more than like 1 record together
Envy: Cause it seems like he's been living in your house
Jay: Yeah yeah we've been together since the year started. You know, basically. Umm.. We've only been able to create like, in small, in small ugh, time frames. Like we'll do Big Pimpin' and that was it. It was just like a personality thing, it wasn't really clicking. But we always have like genuine love for each other, but it just wasn't, it just wasn't right. And then you know, finally, when he came back this time
Envy: He was a little humbler, he was humble
Jay: He's actually more mature
Envy: Cause he changed
Jay: Yeah he was actually more, like, a different person. It was like I was looking at a different person, the way he was like, his conversation. I was like Oh Tim's ready
Envy: And what about Just Blaze?
Envy: How is Just Blaze? Cause we heard you was working on some stuff with him, we just haven't heard anything as of yet
CTG: He wants to know why Just Blaze isn't on the new album
Jay: Yeah we just didn't find that zone. And plus we, the thing with Just Blaze and I is that we really have like records that people really care about. U Don't Know to PSA, so when we're trying to make music, we're trying to beat that! So that's, it's not like a blank sheet when he walks in the room. With Timbaland, we make Big Pimpin, and Dirt Off Your Shoulder, we can always, you know those are hit records, we can always find a zone, you know. These are records that are like, actually the foundation to my career. So we're in there trying to beat those and that's going to be hard, that's hard for us to do and that takes time. And I'm not in one place, and he's certainly not focused as well. He's doing his DJ thing, and you know, whatever he's working on, so it's hard to, we need time
Envy: Just get focused out there Just!
CTG: Have you ever thought
Jay: Me too, I'm not just putting it on him. We both need to focus if we're gonna do something that's gonna stand up to those records
CTG: Have you ever thought about doing any charity and doing like a Rocafella reunion?
Envy: He say doing charity..
CTG: You know like State Property, Beanie Sigel, Free
Jay: I'm not really in to, you know, those. Truly the past is the past. You know we'll do shows together like Philly last year where it makes sense but I'm not really trying to recreate the past. It can never be what it was you know. That time was that time or moment, it was special. That never works. That, I don't know if it's ever worked. I'm trying to think and it's not really coming to me right now. I don't know if thats ever worked where you try to recreate something. People just start looking like, you're a little slower, your moves ain't the same you know what I'm saying? You're doing the same moves but they aren't the same
Envy: Also Justin Timberlake. You did an interview and said he asked you to be on the record a while ago and you kind of was like nah, it's not that time
AY: Next album
Envy: And he was like "I will never use Jay again!' And then maybe a couple months later we heard his record with you on it. Did you have to talk about that first? Like, you played me, or it was just
Jay: Nah. You know, everyone has to respect everyones choice and time. It just wasn't the time for us to link up yet. You know, and you know it just, time is just now. But, it was no real deep conversation about it, we just was in the studio and we just made some music
CTG: Another hood question. Young Chris your former artists. How much did he influence you? Cause a lot of people say you took his style or he took yours or
Jay: Well you know, well I've made records, with all due respect to Chris he was an amazing artist. You know he did amazing things. But the music is there. I made records before Chris and after him. You know, so I don't even know how to answer that. It's like the weirdest thing in the world to me. I don't knoiw
CTG: You've heard this stuff before though?
Jay: Yeah of course! No no no no no I heard it
AY: Charlamagne just over here like
CTG: I don't want to get fired!!
AY: I've never heard that before!!
Jay: It's just weird to me, like really?
CTG: I get pulled in the office, why did you ask Jay that! its been on the internet for years
AY: Now have you hit Robert DeNiro back yet? I know he was trying to reach you so
Envy: Robert Deniro
Jay: No I haven't
Envy: He's mad. He's pretty mad too
AY: How do you duck Robert DeNiro?
Jay: Uh.. Eh
CTG: How do you get to the point in your life where you can curve Robert Deniro?
AY: He's the spin!
Jay: Eh. You know. I treat people based on who they are. You know, who they really are. Like, not their name, not Robert Deniro. You know, who you are as a person, and that's just, it doesn't matter who you are. Everyone has to be respectful and everyone has to be, you know, a human being. That's you know, no-one's above, you know
AY: The spin
ENvy: The curve
CTG: Respect the fact that I am HOV! With 18 layers! There's 18 people you have to talk to before I will talk to you!
Jay: No not in that way. The curve. But yes..
Jay: It's just, you know, we all human being and we all have to respectful to one another and that's just the end of it. And that's how I am with anybody
CTG: Now is there any rumour that you ever heard that made you be like 'aiight, this is weird'
AY: All of them
Jay: All the time. Which one? Who you wanna start with?
CTG: Like when they said Beyonce didn't really have the baby
Jay: That's a good one. That's probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, and the fact that people were really like running with that, and running up with it and following up with it. Cause at first I thought it was one of those you know get press things, like you know lets run with this to get press. Then I was slowly like.. 'Oh y'all believe this?' It start going so far, like 'ya'll really believe this?' And that's really messed up, cause like, the time when you're supposed to be the most joyous, you've got life in you, you know, the whole thing is supposed to be a joyous time for you. Whether you say you care about it or not is annoying. And you shouldn't have to really deeal with that as a human being. But you know, that's the position that we're in. Don't feel sorry..
CTG: How do you keep from responding to certain things? Cause everyone always says Ok I gotta Jay Z this situation and not say nothing. Like you always seem to keep your cool and not respond to BS that's out there
Jay: It doesn't matter, it really doesn't matter. Cause you know when you're not in control of the outcome. It don't matter what I say, it don't matter how many time I say that Beyonce is really pregnant! People gonna believe what they want to believe anyway, so why waste my time?
AY: And sometimes you respond to something and it brings way more attention to it
Jay: That too. It goes in to another space, like 'Are you not listening to me?'
CTG: Then you'll have somebody say, Jay Z how do you know Beyonce is pregnant?
Jay: I checked!! (laughing)
Envy: Well the album is in stores right now. We appreciate you stopping through. Now some of the lyrics on the album, this is something the intern pulled up when she was going through it
AY: Now don't try and put this on somebody else Envy!
Envy: She was talking about Beyonce cheating on you. And I guess on the lyric you say 'Keep cheating on me I take you back'
CTG: Alright. He about to get fired
Jay: Nah. That record is about fame (laughing) see that's what I mean
Envy: That's why we're asking! I don't want to get fired
AY: That's why DJ Shrimp is asking
Jay: It's ok
CTG: He don't Envy: I don't want to get fired or pepper sprayed! Emory just turned around I'm just making sure!
Jay: That song is about fame. You know, and it's about the way fame is fleeting, you know. The Holy Grail meaning you chase this thing and these bright lights and these cameras and you look back and you want everything and you end up with nothing. So at some point you have to stop yourself. So that whole first verse is me complaining about it. You know the fame she cheats on me, you know, she hangs out with Kanye and Drake and J. Cole, and then what I do? I took her back. You know? When its my turn I take her back. The whole thing about fame. The second verse is about.. You know. f*ck fame. It's not really about anything, so I start to rationalise, and it it says. People dying back from where I am from. Putting it in perspective, like I don't care about this, like people got real life problems where I live. Where I grew up. People are dying and getting shot daily. You know, like, 40 something people got shot in Chicago, what I care about being on Envy's show?
Envy: It's a good show
Jay: You know what I'm saying? Like let's put it all in perspective. I got a good life, I got a great life, you know, whatever comes with it, even the ridiculous rumours about anything, it's nothing compared to what, to where I've been
AY: Is it crazy for you going back to Bed Stuy and Marcy and seeing how different the neighbourhood is now?
Jay: Yeah there's like Condo's, these huge condo's
AY: It's expensive to live there!
Jay: There's like these huge condos right across the street. I got a great story for that. I forget what album it was, maybe 2 or three albums ago. The guy who does the sample came to the studio, he was like 'Yeah I bought a great condo right across the street from Marcy Projects!'. I was like.. I don't get it? You know? He had a great job, a great position, he was making good money and I was like why does he live across the street from Marcy projects? Then he was like, he came back a couple of days later, he was like yeah we moved.. He said at night time, you know, his wife was pregnant, he said at night time we heard bow bow! We thought it was fire crackers, but it kept going Bow Bow! He went and saw the apartment in the day time. So that's a bit of advice for everybody else..
AY: You have to ride through at night, and when it's hot out, that's when you really can tell what a neighbourhood is like. Cause I'm looking at Bedstuy and everything is over a $1 million, and it never, it's crazy
CTG: My final question, what you said f*ck fame, you ever have that conversation with Ye? Like, Ye, it's just the paparrazzi, that's not a real problem
Jay: Yeah all the time
CTG: Ok. That's an answer
Envy: When you see him hit his head on that stop sign did you laugh?
Jay: I chuckled
AY: When you saw Charlamagne getting chased outside the building did you laugh?
CTG: That was pretty funny
Jay: That was. I laughed really hard
CTG: Listen, you gotta see the other video
Envy: There's no other video!
CTG: There's another video. Listen, some cats tried to get me in the store on the surviellance video
AY: No one cat! Not some cats
Envy: 1 guy!
Kay: The thing I liked about it, cause you can't help that. Some cat just run up on you and knock you upside your head, it just is
CTG: I'm shocked!
Jay: I know! It is what it is. That can happen to anybody. You saw it coming..
Envy: He seen it
Jay: That was, then I saw I was like OK. That was little nuances of your personality. You saw it coming, you knew that thing was coming
CTG: You know what gave it away though? The camera. Worldstar. Nothing good is gonna come of this situation. I'm getting out of here! I'm not letting these guys come through, they might've peed on me or something!
Envy: Ladies and gentleman! Jay Z it's the breakfast club, its Power 105.1