On Friday, August 18, Rap Radar released the first interview with JAY-Z since 4:44 dropped. In the 70-minute talk, which is labeled “part one,” Hov clears up everything from his controversial bars about Kanye West on “Kill JAY-Z” to the project’s unapologetically pro-Black tone.
You’ll have to subscribe to TIDAL to hear the full dialog, but fans of The Throne will be happy to know that while there is certainly bad blood between Kanye and Jay, it’s mostly a gap in understanding that can be closed by an honest discussion.
Jay told Elliott Wilson and Brian “B. Dot” Miller that his issues with Kanye “require a real conversation” before they are solved, and he promised they will have one soon. But Hov didn’t back off on his stance that his little brother “crossed the line” in the infamous rant that mentioned their wives and kids in front of the world.
“What really hurt me, you can’t bring my kids (and) my wife into it,” Jay said of his mention of Kanye West on 4:44’s intro. “It’s not even about Kanye… It really isn’t. His name is there, because it’s honest (about) what happened… The whole point is you got hurt because this guy was talking about you on the stage.”
Jay added, “Kanye’s my little brother, he’s talked about me a hundred times. We’ve gotten past bigger issues… I know him… He know it’s a problem… He knows that he crossed the line. We’ve never let this much space go between one of our disagreements. And we’ve had many. That’s part of who we are. That’s what I liked about him. He’s an honest person… and he’s wrong a lot of times. But he will confront it.”
He was clear, however, that his lines weren’t meant as a diss, but as a moment of honest self-reflection. “I’m not talking about Kanye when I say dropped out of school, lost your principles,” he explains. “I’m talking about me… Shawn Carter’s telling JAY-Z… This is my conscious having this conversation. The point is I was getting to a point where I said, you got hurt by that? That’s nothing… You can’t diss somebody saying you got hurt; that’s the softest diss of all time.”
Jay also admits that he may have gone too far by bringing light to their financial arrangements into the public dialog: “$20 million shouldn’t have been said… But nothing was off the table.”
Ultimately it’s hard to argue with the boundaries Hov set. “You don’t put our kid in that space,” he continued. “Don’t talk about anyone’s kid on stage. That’s too much energy. Too much people. You give room for anybody to comment. Our children already are in this place where they are affected by our celebrity. Don’t go doing something that allows people to pit us against each other.”
Still, JAY didn’t hesitate to acknowledge his own fault for the rifts in their relationship. When Wilson mentioned his failure to fully support West’s marriage with Kim Kardashian, Jay agreed and quickly changed the subject, suggesting that those issues will be on the agenda when the estranged rulers of the Throne are finally ready to chop it up and move forward.