It’s very rare that we get the chance to experience a Jay-Z interview, but the guys of the Rap Radar podcast were able to snag him as their guest. Elliott Wilson and B. Dot sit down with the veteran hip-hop star, where he breaks down everything behind his recently released 4:44 Album, as well as the journey into how it came together.
Hov starts off the interview by revealing how he studied previous legends before he started making the highly-successful project, including Prince, Michael Jackson, and even Bono from U2. The Brooklyn MC then reveals he started making the album on January 3 of this year, which is when he recorded the first two tracks on the project, “Kill Jay-Z” and “The Story of OJ.”
“When I came to the top of this year, January 3 was the first day… it was really the beginning of this album,” he continues. “We made, I wanna say, ‘Kill Jay Z,’ and maybe ‘OJ.’ Like the first two songs, and I was like okay. I got the feeling. I got the direction. And in real life, I was going through so much stuff, that I had to… and I’ve always been that way. Just verbalize it in a way. It’s like therapy, making music.”
Wilson then proceeds to ask Hov his thoughts on the critics who were resistant to the project, as they feel it’s too personal of an album coming from the hitmaker.
“I understand it,” he confesses. “It’s a lot of songs [where there’s] a couple of things happening. ‘You Must Love Me’ is 1997, and people don’t know the people involved. So when you hear that story, you’re not really attached to people, you don’t really know them like that.”
We also get to hear how he came together with No I.D., who produced the entirety of 4:44.
“He called me like before we started this and was like ‘Man, I got your next Blueprint.’ I know he said something like, ‘I know this is a lot to say,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s a lot to say,’ [laughs]. And just dismissed it. Somehow we got up at the Roc Nation offices out here and he played me what he was working on. I was like oh, that’s amazing! And he had different samples. He sampled like Dream, like these samples…and I was like no, no. I got where we can take this.”
In addition, Jay finally addresses those that accused him of using anti-Semitic lyrics on the album, calling them hypocrites.
“It’s hard for me to take that serious because I’ve exaggerated every Black image in the world. And if… even you, as a Jewish community, if you don’t have a problem with the exaggerations of the guy eating watermelon, and all of the things that was happening… if you don’t have a problem with that, and that’s the only line you pick out, then you are being a hypocrite.”
Also in part one of the lengthy conversation, Hov name drops Lavar Ball and admits that he purchased three pairs of his Big Baller Brand sneakers. He even clarifies his lyric about the money phone, which many rappers have shared their thoughts on, and much more.
Watch part one of the interview below, with more to come,, or check it on Tidal.
Source: XXL Magazine
Featured Image: SOHH.com
Inset Image: Tidal