Hip-hop artist, and entrepreneur Jay-Z talked about O.J. Simpson, compassion and getting older — that, and a whole lot more — in a two-hour video interview with Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times.
Here are some excerpts from the New York Times interview, which was published on Nov. 29, 2017:
On inequality, being Black and politics:
If I come with 40 million people … I can effect change and get whomever in office because this many people, we’re all on the same page. Right? … we have a responsibility to push the conversation forward until we’re all equal. Till we’re all equal in this place. Because until everyone’s free, no one’s free, and that’s just a fact.
On the most important thing to teach his children:
Jay-Z: The most important thing I think out of all this is to teach compassion and to identify with everyone’s struggle and to know these people made these sacrifices for us to be where we are and to push that forward — for us. I believe that’s the most important thing to show them, because they don’t have to know things that I knew growing up. Like being tough.
On lessons from O.J. Simpson:
Baquet: What do you want a young white kid to hear in that song (the song “The Story of O.J.” from the album “4:44,” 2017) that maybe a young black kid would not hear?
Jay-Z: I think when you make music, you want people to hear different things, and then you want it to start a dialogue. Because that’s how we get to understanding. “Oh, you felt that way about it.” “This is actually what I meant, because this happened, and these things happened, that led to me saying this specific thing.”
On hiding biases, concealing racism, and the great thing about Trump:
Jay-Z: I think when Donald Sterling got kicked out of the N.B.A., I thought it was a misstep, because when you kick someone out, of course he’s done wrong, right? But you also send everyone else back in hiding. People talk like that. They talk like that. Let’s deal with that. (In 2014, Sterling, then owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was banned for life from the N.B.A. after a recording emerged in which he made racist comments about black people to a female friend.) Getting rid of him just made everyone else go back into hiding, and now we can’t have the dialogue. The great thing about Donald Trump being president is now we’re forced to have the dialogue. Now we’re having the conversation on the large scale; he’s provided the platform for us to have the conversation.
You can’t have a solution until you start dealing with the problem: What you reveal, you heal.
On dealing with marital strife and infidelity:
Jay-Z: You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something ’cause most people can’t see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself. So, you know, most people don’t want to do that. You don’t want to look inside yourself.
And so you walk away.
Read more at New York Times.