Since debuting his thirteenth studio album, 4:44, JAY-Z has remained as candid as the lyrics he cemented on the aforementioned project. His latest interview with BBC Radio 1 (which marked five years since he last appeared on the program), provided a platform for the Roc Nation leader to remain open and honest on issues that are impacting people across the U.S.A., and the unfathomable presidency of Donald Trump.
“I believe that everything that happens in life is for your greatest good and I don’t think that this is happening if we weren’t prepared to handle it,” the “Marcy Me” rapper said. “I’m just actually looking forward to what’s next after that because usually when things are darkest then light is on its way. I’m not fearful. I believe that we’re resilient, especially us as black people and especially the culture. We’ve been through so much more than this guy. This guy, I’m looking at him like, man, this is a joke. I can’t even say with all due respect. With all disrespect. He’s not a very sophisticated man, especially when it comes to the idea of until everyone is free, no one is free. Period. That’s just a fact. We are all linked some kind of way so if you oppress a certain people, everyone is in danger, karmically and in real life. If I’m being oppressed and you have this big nice mansion, I’m coming inside there. That’s going to happen, that’s just how life is. On just a practical level, that just makes sense. On a spiritual and karmic level, if we’re all children of God, then we’re all brothers and sisters and at some point if you are doing that to your brother, then that can’t last.”
When asked if the ways of the world will provide material for his next project, the Brooklyn native said, “Yeah, of course. I have some ideas.” He also touched upon the therapy session that 4:44 allowed him to experience and how listeners became closer to the real-life people who helped shape his music.
“I put it out because it’s really therapeutic for myself, to get to a space where I’m not hiding behind anything. It’s just really no mask, that whole image thing, and just really speak my truth,” he shared. “It’s really more of an extension of what I’ve been doing. If you listen to songs like “You Must Love Me,” that was ’97. It’s just that you didn’t know who my mom was. You hadn’t become to know that her name was Gloria. Now you have an attachment if you’ve been listening, not everyone, just people who’ve been fans of music, have been listening like, I know these people, I know who Ty Ty is, you know these people through hearing all these years, so you have a connection to the characters, and it’s more concentrated in one place and I’ve never done that before.”
To dish on his personal accomplishments, like using Twitter back in June when he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mr. Carter stated that moment was for hip-hop as a whole. “I got to the Songwriters Hall of Fame and I felt like it was an accomplishment for us as a culture because no rapper had been…all these great writers; Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane,” JAY-Z said. “All these great writers and no one is in the hall of fame and I just felt like celebrating us in that moment. Then I realized, ‘Man there’s a lot of really fresh people in the world. There’s a lot of talented people.'”
To keep up with letting fans into the laidback mind of JAY-Z, the 47-year-old said his favorite show at the moment is Game of Thrones, the official or unofficial version.
“I feel bad, I feel guilty. I stole a little episode that they put out, they leaked the episode,” he said. “But I was coming on a plane, I think I deserved that. I was flying on a plane, I watched the episode, what you want me to do? People bootleg my album. I’m owed a little bit. I watch Sunday and give them a little bit of the ratings thing, I’m not going to do them like that, but I watched it.”
Watch the interview and performances below where JAY-Z pays tribute to Chester Bennington, speaks on Blue Ivy’s freestyle capabilities, politics and more.