JAY-Z Reveals The Meaning Behind Sir And Rumi Carter’s Names


JAY-Z’s accomplishments automatically prompts you to admire his public progress, but also inspires you to make history within your own life. For part two of his interview with Rap Radar, the Brooklynite spewed words of encouragement and ushered listeners into his personal life, beginning with his mother, Gloria Carter’s reveal on “Smile.”

“I’ve always looked up to her, like ‘Man, she’s so fu**ing dope.’ My mom has always been dope her whole life,” Jay said. “She sounds like Maya Angelou, her pacing and her voice is just so regal…Our relationship developed to another level as I start getting into myself and wanting to know everything and really trying to go somewhere else, take it to another level. We had a beautiful conversation and it just led to me making that song. I didn’t have the permission to make that song. When she first heard the song she said, ‘Absolutely not.’ And I was like, ‘This is so important. So many people in the world, hiding and things like this and this will help you,’ and that’s how we spoke about this song.'” I was so happy about the person that she’s becoming, like live your life, be who you are. One of my proudest songs, I love that song.”

To keep in tune with discussing his family, Mr. Carter shared how his 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, freestyled her way onto his 4:44 album. “I can’t even listen to that song no more, I can’t even listen to her freestyle,” he began. “I just finished “Family Feud,” and I really liked the beat for “We Family,” and I said, ‘I think I can take that song up a notch.’ I start playing the beat, and I was playing it so long that I just went and did something. Then she went and got the headphones, got the little stool, and she started rapping. The pocket that she caught, I was like, ‘Oh sh*t!’ I couldn’t believe it. I have it on my phone, five minutes of her doing that…She understands the concept of a hook.”

Now, Blue has two siblings to pass down those lyrical skills to. JAY-Z said once the twins were born, everything just fell into place in terms of his artistry. “They came June 13 which allowed me two weeks to work on the album in the house,” he said. “Everything worked out. I put the tour in October so I can have at least four months to just really bond and see when they see their finger. They’ll be with me anyway but a space for us where I’m not doing nothing and I’m focused on them. I’m nothing thinking about a show at night or anything like that. That’s why the tour is so far from the release of the album.”

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As for the meaning of their names, he shared, “Rumi is our favorite poet, and Sir was just like, ‘Man, come out the gate,’ and he carries himself like that. He just came out like, ‘Sir.’

The conversation later shifted to Jay’s past beefs with fellow rappers, highlighting Prodigy’s name and reflecting on his impact since his death earlier this year. “He obviously had a sickness there was no control over what was happening with him, but we have to take care of ourself,” Jay revealed. “We have to focus on that. These guys are dying young. I have super respect for Prodigy. In order for me to really spar with you, I have to respect you. I sampled him for my first album so you know I was aware of him. Me and him spoke before he passed. I saw him in the club maybe five years ago and he came over and we kicked it. It wasn’t about nothing. It’s just sad. Blessings to his family, a young man.”

READ: JAY-Z Talks Kanye West Friendship And Beef: “You Brought My Family Into It, Now It’s a Problem”

On the subject of generational wealth, the “Moonlight” rapper said it’s important for those who get their foot in the door to mentor those behind them. “Again, I’m not saying you can’t hold the money phone to your ear. I never said that. The verse does not say that at all. All I’m saying is chains are cool to cop, I got a chain on right now,” he quipped. “But more important there’s lawyer fees. Make sure we’re taking care of our business. Make sure we’re pushing this culture forward. You got in, make sure you leave that door wide open for the next generation. Let’s not just get here and blow the whole thing and before you know it, rap is like jazz and it’s being played in a small club. We got a big imprint on the world, and with that imprint we can make the whole culture move.”

Dive into the interview below where the Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee talks Tee Grizzley, hip-hop’s everlasting impact, squashing beef with Fat Joe and Jim Jones, and the decriminalization of selling marijuana.