In late 2009, Brooklyn’s finest (or correction, possibly the world’s finest) Jay-Z has won the hearts and ears of the world, putting all in the Empire State of Mind. Rap’s leading man has proved that even in an era where the consumption of music has changed drastically and moved off the radio waves onto iTunes (and let’s face it, other P2P sharing programs) a sensational hit is still possible. For the February cover story of Interview Magazine, famed film critic and current special correspondent of Interview Magazine met up with Jay-Z at his Brooklyn studio to discuss the rapper’s latest international success, The Blueprint 3.
The interview proved to be deeper than the usual conversation about what goes on behind the hit album, but a rather detailed look into Jay-Z’s life, through the latter’s very won retrospection. Age, childhood, perception of the world and fame all came into play when attempting to create the next best thing– simply an album that is new, different, winning, and a true reflection of the artist. Jay-Z reflected on the lives of rappers behind the feuds, fame, and how age can sometimes become a crippling factor in music making. Other than sharing anecdotes of Eminem wearing a bulletproof vest, Jay-Z also puts in his two cents about Kanye West (a passionate man whose passion can sometimes be misunderstood), the latter’s debacle with Taylor Swift (“[doing] the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time”) and why he avoids award shows. Read the rather illuminating interview on Jay-Z and also enjoy the series of portraits shot by British photographer, Craig McDean, here.