In conjunction with the release of his 11th solo album, The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z is gracing the cover of XXL magazine for the publication’s October issue. Speaking with XXL’s Special Projects Editor Bonsu Thompson, the self-proclaimed, “God MC” delves deep into many hot topics currently buzzing around him, including his mega success, BP3, jabs at his new singles “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and “Run this Town,” his tenure as the president of Def Jam and life as hip-hop’s ultra businessman. Check out a few excerpts below.
CRITICISM OF “D.O.A.”
“I’m not hating on young people. Like, when people say that, I’m like, What are you talking about? It’s just stupid. I’m not hating on young people… I’m not Bill Russell, [saying] Michael Jordan ain’t shit. I’m saying Lil Wayne and Kanye are like LeBron and Kobe. My job as someone at the forefront of the game is to leave it in a better position than when I came in. Same way that Russell [Simmons] left it to me. ’Cause this thing saved my life. Literally. So I have a responsibility to it karmically. And after that it’s on you. I did my part. I made ‘D.O.A.’ I said it. I made the statement. I made the push. Here, y’all take it from here.”
HIS LEGACY AS FORMER DEF JAM RECORDS PRESIDENT
“So if you ask me to grade my performance as the president, I’d say A-plus. No one can bat a 100. It’s impossible. I mean, everyone is looking at my shit. But if we really looked under the hood [of] every single [record exec] and the acts they put out in that time, I’d be comparable to anyone.”
HIS STANDING IN THE GAME
“But when I say I’m the best, I don’t say that outta my ass. I say that with all my stats behind me. I put that against anybody. I mean anybody. I really believe that… I believe in a lot of things. I believe that ‘SportsCenter’ is the best thing on TV. I shouldn’t have to prove it. But I do have these stats to prove it. I’m talking about real run. I’m not talking about years off. I’m talking about straight—boom, boom, boom—back to back. We’re not talking about heritage acts either. We’re not talking about respect what I’ve done. I’m talking No. 1 [albums] 10 times. The Beatles is the only one [to have more No. 1 albums]. They got 19, and if I get a surge of creativity, I could make nine albums next year.”
XXL‘s October issue includes stories on The Making of The Blueprint, the current state of lyricism in hip-hop, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt.II and much more. The mag hits newsstands September 15. -Marvin Brandon