Jay-Z Details Near-Death Experience to Oprah

In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z revealed that he nearly escaped death as a youth, during a shootout.

The rap superstar sat down for a highly publicized conversation with Oprah in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects last month. During the intimate exchange Hov spoke on a shooting incident that almost ended his life, as a young drug dealer.

As longtime fans know, Jay mentioned the experience on “Dead Presidents II” from his 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt (“I had near brushes, not to mention three shots, close range, never touched me”) but has never expanded on it until now. When asked about how he escaped death Jay responded, “That was divine intervention. Divine intervention, and nobody knowing how to shoot.”

“Well, no one really practices shooting a TEC-9 machine gun, right?” he continued. “And when you’re a kid, with little bony arms—no wonder nobody could aim.”

Jay’s full interview with Oprah will appear in the new issue of O magazine on September 15.

The Blueprint 3, the final chapter in Hov’s Blueprint trilogy hits stores on September 11. -Max G

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  • http://feelgoodmusic.wetpaint.com STLBOY


  • Cubemasta


  • romil

    BP3 Is classic but wussup with the hand sign Jay done bouced to the dark side.

    • spenny

      how can you possibly say BP3 is a classic. I’m not a jay-z hater, but really. Its so far from a classic

  • Capostatus

    So what. People die every day. Why is this Camel’s life better than anyone else is. You Americans value the lives of the rich more than those of the poor. Thats why its okay for your country to start wars with other poor countries, milk resources, kill innocent people but hey its okay because its the Americans who benefit. The fuck outta here with that bullshit.

    • BIBBS


  • D-Block

    too bad

  • Uptown Boy

    hopefully hedoesn’t use this to promote the new album. i’m getting tired of rappers tryin to show som eform of bad boy past to raise their “gangsta”in order to boost sales. anyhow i just hope bp3 is good

  • Nate

    Crooked I was better in 1998 than Jay-Z but Jay-z had the right hookups, connections, and push.It helps when your label doesn’t fold before you get put on. It also helps if your label President is not in jail. Jay is way above Average sure, but it was a lot of lucky moves that gave him what some call the #1 spot. And even if you take NAS talentwise Nas eclipsed him always.

    But for every overrated 2-3 songs Jay made there was 1 that was pretty cool.

    Never consistent- just lucky and a hard worker.

    • Brooklyn B

      If crooked i is so nice then u wouldnt have to compare/make excuses for him.

      when people talk Jay they compare him to his pass work

      hardwork YES
      “just lucky” nah……..smart business moves

      thats nothing to hate jay about hate ur fav rapper for being so dumb or in your words UNlucky and not a hardworker

      • Detroit P

        Cosign Brooklyn B

        SMH @ comparing Crooked I and Jay-Z’s success…Crooked I can rap sure…but I’ve never heard a song of his that I liked or made me want to listen to it again, and that’s what counts.


      Nate shut the fuck up..

      It ain’t luck you stupid fuck..its talent and smarts. the nigga is/was smarter than the rest of these niggas, has more talent and deserves to be where he is. Crooked I could never even make a good song..all the nigga can do is drop some thought-provoking sixteens and force phrases in his bars to make it sound all complicated. Nigga ain’t nothing special. jay is special. One of the best rappers of all time. top 10 no doubt. This nigga got the nerve to mention Crooked I in the same sentence as Jay. Fuck outta here.

  • Silly Chilly Willy

    One of the most wonderful things about thugs is that they never know how to shoot, because most of the time they have to have a swag (God I hate that word) when doing it….aiming like they were using a lawn hose or some shit…

    Which is cool because, well, with the number of people’ass in which they threaten to bust a cap, they have a very low efficiency ratio.

    Sad part about it is, when they finally get to kill someone, it’s usually a stray bullet that kills an innocent person.

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    I saw “near-death experience” & “Oprah” & thought he was going to tell a story about putting his hand dangerously close to her low-carb hotwings.

    • http://callmephlip.blogspot.com/ Phlip

      Funny thing, Grands…
      When I saw “Jay-Z” and “Oprah” with “Near-death” in my reader, I was fully expecting a video of him telling her the story while she sat impatiently for him to finish, then came with a story of her own to one-up him.
      … as she is known to fucking do.

      • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

        “Well, Shawn, that reminds me of one day on the set of The Color Purple. Danny & I, Glover that is, had just finished smoking a ro-umm, cigarette, & I tripped. I almost died! It was the scariest thing ever, so I feel you there, Jay.”

  • Escobar9300

    I always wondered what he was talking about on DPII when he mentioned a shooting. Crazy Stuff. I will definitly say that the Blueprint 3 blows Kingdom Come out of the water. ‘Real as it gets’ with Jeezy is straight up napalm.

  • that nigga

    Wow, this is news? Who from the hood hasn’t ducked a bullet or two aimed at you or just plain in your direction? Anyway, come back and try again after you get shot 5, 9, and or 10 times to top all rappers that told this same story. Really boring news I must say. XXL posts anything nowadays.

    • yoprince

      this nigga said, “who in the hood hasn’t DUCKED a BULLET OR TWO”???

      lotsa niggas.. that’s who

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    Damn yall Jay-Z album is leaking like a damn faucet; they even advertising it on this site on the banner on the left…wtf? Jay probably don’t care anyway he got enough money as it is…

    And I bet he just brought that up about him being shot just to get some more publicity for his album, tell me if I’m wrong.

    • Detroit P

      He didn’t bring it up, Oprah asked him about it.

  • http://myspace.com/kidpistol Kid PIstol

    Co-sign EMCDL.

    My dude had the new album bootlegged and I just heard it last night.

    It’s crazy how wrong I was about the album. It’s suuuper hot. I thought it was going to be trash up until then. (Judgin from all the songs that have been leaked thus far.)

  • http://tourettesyndrome-mylesw.blogspot.com Myles R. Walker

    my near death experience was when i was 12 years old back in my home town of East Hartford Connecticut I had a bad day at school my Tourette Syndrome wa really acting up i came home an overdosed on my haloperidol prescription pils. it was like over a 100 pills in the bottle I took the lid off and downed every last pill and then went to sleep for the entire day. I didn’t get up to use the bathroom at night. My moms never woke me up or checked on me to see if i was alright. i just remember waking up sometime in the mid day afternoon.Funny thing is my mother and i was just talking about this. I’m not making this up or trying to get some attention just read about this for yourself in my new bok titled: Me & My Tourettes Motivated By God available at 25,000 book stores I’m with you Jay Like you say Hov “This aint a movie dog” 1LUV from myles or should i say “Peace God AWW! AWW!

  • Dr Flav

    “Really boring news I must say. XXL posts anything nowadays.”


  • http://twitter.com/mylesrwalker Myles R. Walker

    my near death experience was when i was 12 I had a bad day act school my Tourette Syndrome was acting up i came home and swallowed over 100 something haloperidol pills for my Tourette. I went to sleep moms didn’t wake me up. i woke up the next day. read about it in my book Me & My Tourettes Motivated By God
    Like Jay say “This aint a movie dog” Peace God AWW! AWW!

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

      No shots, but is the “AWW AWW!” part of the Tourette’s? This is a legitimate question I’m asking.

  • che

    check out the BP3 album on FaceZook .com, it’s pretty awesome.

  • Tre

    “Capostatus” and “That Nigga”

    Y’all two are dumb as shit. I didn’t know getting shot determines how hood you are or if you’re a good rapper. Wow!!! You are a prime example of how fucked off the world really is. Hi Five Homie!

    I mean, I thought that meant you should have got your dumb ass out the way or better yet not have been there in the first place.

    Now, Capo, I mean this from the bottom of my heart homie……SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  • BeerGangsta

    oprah is a good talk show host. jay-z is a good rapper. jay-z married beyonce. oprah made a lot of money. jay-z looks like joe camel. oprah looks like a bilf, billionare i like to fuck

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands


      Good shit.

  • BeerGangsta

    thank you BeerGangsta is always here for incoherent thoughts.

  • chillin mayne


    XXL you made a blooper..allow me to point it out

    1st paragraph…”jay-z revealed that he nearly escaped death as a youth, during a shootout”

    according to this statement, jay is conducting this interview in the spirit from the grave, since apparently he is no longer alive and has been dead since a shootout in his youth

  • Tumi

    I hope she didn’t edit Jay’s comments like she did wit Luda

  • Decker

    The Dude’s 2 big.Which other rapper could bring Oprah 2 d hood?Nas,he can’t even pay Kelis child support.Hov is the Biggest & Greatest.

  • buildingblock

    actually, he talked about it in blaze magazine
    said it was someone he knew and it was over a misunderstanding. that he and the dude laughed about it at their parole officers office.
    how come the smoking gun hasn’t put up any of hov’s arrest photos? and records?
    he must have been a juvenile when it occured and had it sealed or expunged.

  • http://xxlmag south

    nowbody gives a fuck xxl.

  • http://heardonmystoop.wordpress.com DrewBreez

    Max, you write:

    “Jay-Z revealed that he nearly escaped death as a youth, during a shootout.”

    That would mean that the Jigga Man is dead. I think what you mean is “narrowly.” I can’t expect XXL editors to do this for you, so hold that gem for the next time you’re writing a so-called news item.

    Thank you,

  • http://apsportsnews.info/rss.xml Rory Teich

    Why is it that the content jogs my memory of some other equivalent the one that I read someplace else?