Oprah visited with Jay-Z earlier in the summer in the Marcy housing project in Brooklyn, and now their chat is out in the new October issue of O magazine, on newsstands Sept. 15. (Click photos to enlarge.) Some highlights:
On dealing drugs at 13:
Jay-Z: "It was natural..."
Winfrey: "Because drug dealers were your role models. There wasn’t a teacher or lawyer or nurse of doctor or and accountant in the neighborhood?"
Jay-Z: "Well, we were living in Marcy by then, so no. And if anyone did become something like that, they moved out. They never came back to share the wisdom of how they made it. If anyone made it, you never knew it. That’s why I’ve always said that if I become successful, I’d come back here, grab somebody, and show him how it can be done."
On the use of the N word:
Winfrey: "Do you believe that using the N word is necessary?"
Jay-Z: "Nothing is necessary. It’s just become part of the way we communicate. My generation hasn’t had the same experience with that word that generations of people before us had. We weren’t so close to the pain. So in our way, we disarmed the word. We took the fire pin out of the grenade."
On marrying Beyonce:
Winfrey: "Can I ask how in the world you kept your wedding a secret?"
Jay-Z: "Late planning!"
Winfrey: "How many people knew?"
Jay-Z: "Very few. The sad part is that we offended some. But people who love you understand. Because at the end of the day, it’s your day."