For the second time, Jay Z has grabbed the cover of GQ magazine’s “Men of the Year” issue. Inside the pages, the music mogul spoke on working with Kanye West on Watch the Throne, the meaning behind “N***as In Paris,” the sudden absence of his father, and becoming a father himself.
On Kanye being a perfectionist
I think he just can’t help himself. He puts so much into everything, and he’s like, ‘You have to treat it like I treat it.’ It drives you crazy sometimesâ€”like when you’ve put seventy-five versions of a snare on one song and he’s like, ‘No!’ and you’re like, ‘Come on, man.’ ”
On the meaning of “N***as In Paris”
“It’s not, like, ‘We’re here! We’re balling harder than everybody.’ It’s like, ‘I’m shocked that we’re here.’ Still being amazed, still not being jaded. Having so much fun and then stopping and saying, ‘What are we doing here? How did we get here?’
I’ve known so many people that didn’t make it. Most people can look at a picture of the kids they grew up with and it’s like, ‘Oh yeahâ€”Adam went away to Harvard.’ This is a whole different conversation.”
On his father
“If your dad died before you were born, yeah, it hurtsâ€”but it’s not like you had a connection with something that was real. Not to say it’s any betterâ€”but to have that connection and then have it ripped away was, like, the worst. My dad was such a good dad that when he left, he left a huge scar. He was my superhero.”
On Beyonce announcing her pregnancy at the MTV VMAs
“It was actually Bey who wanted to [announce] it. You want to be in control of your life.”
On if he and Beyonce’s child will listen to his music
“There will be a lot of that. And a lot of other records, all pivotal, important records. There’ll be Ready to Die, there’ll be Illmatic.”
Read the full interview here.