Jay-Z was on Barbara Walters list of most fascinating people last night, the interview itself pissed me off because it was so short. Thought there would be more to it. Not that it changes the weather, but it’s good to see him on the list from a standpoint of a hip-hop artist, guy from your neighborhood, being recognized outside of the circle.
Although it makes you wonder what her definition of fascinating is. She had to hit basics for her audience but you can tell she really is completely clueless and uninformed about who he is. Pretty sure she’s never listened to a Jay-Z song, let alone an album.
Jay-Z is “fascinating” because Barbara Walters sees him on the celebrity pages, court side at basketball games with Beyonce, and looking mogul-like, doing the cigar and sandle thing in St. Tropez. Fascinating: in a who and what the hell are you doing at these places kind of way.
I’ll self-edit myself and say I once interviewed T.I. knowing nothing about him (do it with a lot of people because they’re brand new), but that was before T.I. was on every teenage girl’s bedroom wall, not to mention the label sent the advance copy of the album after the interview.. of course I didn’t hear the album and told him so.
In any case, there were a couple of questions that stuck to and tickled the ribs.
What did you learn from those mean days (dealing drugs) in those mean streets in Brooklyn?
“Yeah, they always say there is no honor among thieves, but there really is, there’s a code. If people know you’re a straight up person, you’re not a liar. That goes a long way.”
Is Beyonce Booylicious?
Did I say that right?
“Yeah. Well she made a song about, I guess so.”
What’s the secret to your success?
“Truth. I believe that transcends race, age, anything, people understand truth. I think that rings through my music.”
Rewind that Fade to Black DVD to the scene where they’re in the studio and some aspiring rapper is talking about how he wants to be himself in his rhymes, but he doesn’t because everyone wants to hear him talk about the street crap that gets them excited.
Jay looks at the camera and says you see what you got these rappers doing?
At one time in Jay’s career he decided to simplify his metaphors because he was pissed that people weren’t getting his “jewels.” He didn’t discard truth for popularity though, it was more about repackaging the same thoughts for easier consumption.
Truth (true to self) makes longevity that much easier.