Jay Z talks about competition with OGs and younger cats in the rap game, as well as Trayvon Martin, and more.
Jay Z has appeared in one more in-depth interview, following his press run for Magna Carta Holy Grail. This one's with Elliott Wilson, for Jay's own blog, Life + Times. The two-part, hour-long interview was released in full today. In the second part of his #FACTSONLY interview, Jay discusses the spirit of competition within rap, and how there has to be a balance of both respect and competition. As well, Hov touches on his feelings about the Trayvon Martin case and racism in today's generation.
As Hova explains at the start of the second half of his interview, he's competing with the rappers that came before him, but he's also respecting their legacy.
"I'm competing with their legacy, I wanna be better than Rakim, I wanna be better than Kane, that's why I'm doing this but I respect them...it's clear how much I respect those guys. You have to respect the person that opened the door and laid some groundwork for you. There's a fine line between that," Jay said. He went on to discuss his younger competitors-- such as his own Roc Nation signee, J. Cole (whose album Born Sinner just went gold) and YMCMB's Drake.
"I'm sure Cole thinks his album is better than mine, and I'm cool with that, he supposed to believe that, but there's a respect thing," Jay said. "Even Drake, we have a great relationship. I know he feels like, 'I'm the next one, I'm right here,' we hear the lines, 'feelin' like the throne is for the takin, watch me take it..' you know he's feeling it, it's cool, it wasn't meant with malice or disrespect, it's just like 'I'm comin, acknowledge my existence,'" Hov finished, quoting one of Drizzy's line in "I'm On One."
The conversation soon turned to Trayvon Martin and President Obama. Hov spoke on how he felt following George Zimmerman's verdict.
"I was really angry, I didn't sleep for two days...I was really angry about it. We all knew there was still a bit of racism in America but for it to be so blantant...ask yourself the question: didn't Travyon have a right to stand his ground? He was being chased, he fought back. He may have won. That doesn't mean he's a criminal. He won," Jay said (via). "If you chase me and you try to attack me and I defend myself, how can I be in the wrong? How is that right? This guy went to get some skittles and go back to watch the All Star game. He had plans, 'I'm gonna get this Arizona, get these Skittles, I'm gonna go watch the game.' He probably had his whole position and everything. He had no intentions of robbing anyone's home. It's a thing where it's like a reminder of, 'We still got a long way to go. It's beautiful because this generation, they don't see color in that way."
Watch both parts of the interview below.