Shawn Carter Snags Vanity Fair Cover, Talks Bed-Stuy, Blue Ivy, And Bey

Jay Z covers the November issue of Vanity Fair

Jigga what? The Brooklyn-born rapper-turned-multimedia mogul, looking characteristically cleaned-up in a stark white suit, will line November newsstands on the cover of Vanity Fair. Jay Z has always given good interview, but a VF cover story is another matter entirely … and if the excerpts from the piece are any indication, Young Hov delivers. The conversation runs the gamut from his years spent slinging drugs as a Bed-Stuy teenager (and the surprising way in which that experience serves to benefit him now), wooing Beyoncé, the Blue Ivy surrogacy rumors, and, perhaps most importantly of all, whether Blue prefers his music or Bey’s. Some quotes from the interview, after the jump!

On Barack Obama’s 2008 election:

“[The election] actually renewed my spirit for America. It was like, Oh, wow, man, this whole thing about land of the free, home of the … it’s, like, real — it’s going to happen, everyone’s getting to participate in it. But growing up, if you had ever told a black person from the hood you can be president, they’d be like, I could never … If you had told me that as a kid, I’d be like, Are you out of your mind? How?”

On growing up in the Marcy Projects:

“We were living in a tough situation, but my mother managed; she juggled. Sometimes we’d pay the light bill, sometimes we paid the phone, sometimes the gas went off. We weren’t starving—we were eating, we were O.K. But it was things like you didn’t want to be embarrassed when you went to school; you didn’t want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes over again … Crack was everywhere — it was inescapable. There wasn’t any place you could go for isolation or a break. You go in the hallway; [there are] crackheads in the hallway. You look out in the puddles on the curbs — crack vials are littered in the side of the curbs. You could smell it in the hallways, that putrid smell; I can’t explain it, but it’s still in my mind when I think about it.”

On whether or not he ever felt guilty about dealing crack and contributing to an epidemic:

“Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”

On the rumors that Beyoncé wasn’t really pregnant:

“I don’t even know how to answer that. It’s just so stupid. You know, I felt dismissive about it, but you’ve got to feel for her. I mean, we’ve got a really charmed life, so how can we complain? But when you think about it, we’re still human beings … And even in hip-hop, all the blogs — they had a field day with it. I’m like, We come from you guys, we represent you guys. Why are you perpetuating this? Why are you adding fuel to this ridiculous rumor?”

On Beyoncé’s claim that Blue Ivy prefers Jay’s music to her own:

“That’s not true. She does like her mother’s music — she watches [Beyoncé's concerts] on the computer every night. But my album came out and I don’t know if Blue ever heard any of my music prior to this album—she’s only 18 months old and I don’t play my music around the house. But this album was new, so we played it. And she loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, ‘More, Daddy, more … Daddy song.’ She’s my biggest fan. If no one bought the Magna Carta [album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy. And that’s not like a cliché. I’m really serious. Just to see her — ‘Daddy song, more, Daddy.’ She’s genuine, she’s honest, because she doesn’t know it makes me happy. She just wants to hear it.”

[Vanity Fair]

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