Jay-Z reflects on cancel culture, family life during COVID-19, his legacy, and more in a new in-depth interview.
It's a rarity for Jay-Z to sit down for interviews. At this point in his career, fans are pretty much use to the seldom media run that accompanies his albums but even then, his profile speaks volumes without any major news outlet needing to relay the message. Ahead of Puma's Only See Greatness campaign, the rapper sat down with Times UK where he discussed everything from family life to cancel culture and his legacy.
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Hov is among the titans in hip-hop who've changed the perception of hip-hop in mainstream media. Along with his business acumen, he explained that in the long haul, he hopes to be mentioned alongside other artists who he holds in high regard. "I’m not beyond ego, right? Hopefully, they speak of me [with] the names of Bob Marley and all the greats. But that’s not for me to say,” he said.
He also explained that the launch of Puma's new campaign is bigger than simply a new collection of clothes. "We have to bounce back and we have to be great and we have to rebuild. I’m forever an optimist," the mogul said of the impact of COVID-19. For much of the pandemic, the rapper made a concerted effort to use his time carefully to continue nurturing his children. "In the beginning, it was time for everyone to sit down and really connect, and really focus on family and being together, and take this time to learn more about each other... Feeling loved is the most important thing a child needs, you know? Not ‘Here’s this business that I’m going to hand over to you, that I’m creating for you.’ What if my child doesn’t want to be in music or sports? I have no idea, right? But as long as your child feels supported, and feels loved, I think anything is possible," he said.
Despite his supposed brushes with cancel culture, the rapper reflected on the cultural phenomenon that's commandeered the court of public opinion. He said that he probably still wouldn't be active on social media if it were a thing 20 years ago. He added that he doesn't think cancel culture will be leaving anytime soon before offering his empathy to the new generation of stars whose public statements are placed on pedestals for the world to view.
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"These kids, it’s unbelievable. Imagine having a microphone and you’re asked about social justice questions at 18 years old? It’s like, ‘What? I’m meant to know the answer, and if I don’t answer the correct way, if I don’t say everything right, even if my intentions are right, and I don’t say the same right thing, it’s going to be everywhere,'" he said.
Between the Puma campaign, the deals with Ace Of Spades and TIDAL, and the launch of Monogram, we hope Hov's next media appearance arrives alongside a new album.