JAY-Z released an exclusive podcast via his music streaming platform Tidal, where he goes into detail about the process leading up to and following the release of his 13th studio album 4:44. The 70-minute deep dive was hosted by Rap Radar’s Brian “B.Dot” Miller and Elliott Wilson and addressed many of the rumors, questions and controversies spawned by the album. While we recommend listening to the full interview to truly get all of the tea, for those who don’t have Tidal —here are eight things we learned from Jay’s podcast.
Jay Z and Kanye West
JAY-Z isn’t interested in having a rap battle with Kanye West. He wants to have an actual conversation with the man. According to Jay, the breaking point for him and Kanye’s relationship is when West decided to mention their families on stage in Sacramento. Jay says at 00:51:10 “What really hurt me —you can’t bring my kids and my wife into it. Kanye is my little brother, he talked about me 100 times… We’ve gotten past bigger issues. But you brought my family into it. Now it’s a problem with me. That’s a real real problem.” He continues at 00:58:30 saying “It (reconciliation with Kanye) requires a real conversation. And we’ll have it. We’ll have it soon. I’m sure we’ll have it.” Though we would love to be a fly on the wall for this conversation, it’s clear that it’s something that is better handled away from public eyes.
With lines like "You dropped outta school, you lost your principles," and “You ain’t a saint, this ain’t kumbaye” we were positive that JAY-Z was throwing shots at 'Ye in response to his Saint Pablo Tour rant back in November of 2016. But Jay set’s the record straight around the 00:50:00 mark. “It’s not even about Kanye, it really isn’t.” He goes on to say “It’s not a diss, I’m talking to myself the whole time.” Nonetheless, Jay fully admits that their are still unresolved issues between himself and Kanye.
We had a feeling that JAY-Z was #TeamIssa when he featured the 'Insecure' actress in his music video for 4:44’s Moonlight. But Jay confirmed our suspicions when he used Issa’s HBO show as an example of the changing TV landscape. At the 00:04:10 mark Jay says “When you look at TV, you don’t see a fair, equal, representation of people of color... Insecure is on TV and it’s like ‘Oh Sh-t!’. It’s like a big deal. It’s 2017. That should be an everyday occurrence.”
Get Out film
The most profitable movie of 2017, 'Get Out', had a lot of people in their feelings with its unique exploration of racism. But JAY-Z found the movie especially creepy. Specifically the scene where Daniel Kaluuya is hypnotized by a cup of tea and spoon. At the 00:49:00 mark Jay details his first experience with therapy. “It was like a probation thing. I hated it, the lady was giving me tea and sh-t. That’s why when I saw 'Get Out' I was like ‘Oh sh-t, she had my f-cked up!’ She was giving me tea and she rang a little bell at the end when it was done... And I always left there feeling separated.”
Mumble rappers, including Future, have been in their feelings since Jay shut down the “Money Phone” trend with the scathing line on "Story of O.J.". He raps, “Y’all on the gram holding money to your ear, there’s a disconnect we don’t call that money over here”. Hov also referenced Future’s public spats with Ciara and her husband, NFL star Russell Wilson, with the line on "Kill Jay Z". Jay explains his reasoning for the line around the 00:55:30 mark. “The way his (Future) situation plays out, because he’s such a public figure, mine would’ve played out that way and maybe four times more… it was a line to say that could happen to me in my future. It just so happens his name is Future.” He also voiced his confusion over the money phone controversy "I had to listen again like 'How is this being misinterpreted?' because I just said it ain’t money to us. It ain’t. That’s just an honest statement.”
Before Tidal was a competitor to Apple Music and Spotify, being a part owner was simply a vision in JAY-Z’s mind. The task of taking on the music industry was so daunting that friend and long time collaborator, Pharrell Williams recommended Jay accept a lucrative offer from Apple instead. “Pharrell he’s brother of mine, he loves me. So he see’s the obstacle that is at the time Apple... They got like a trillion dollars. More. It’s hard to see, like how are you even going to get started?,” Jay recalls around the 00:40:00 mark. We all know that Jay didn’t accept the offer and did indeed go on to revive the streaming service. Maybe one day we will find out exactly how much money JAY-Z turned down from Apple.
JAY-Z acknowledged his culpability in the elevator incident on "Kill Jay Z" with the lyric “You egged Solange on. Knowin' all along, all you had to say you was wrong”. Apart from that lyric, much of their relationship has been shrouded in mystery and hearsay. In a rare and personal moment, JAY-Z opened up about Solange at the 1:00:00 mark. “We’ve had one disagreement ever. Before and after we’ve been cool... That’s my sister, I will protect her. You know? That’s my sister. Not my sister-in-law, my sister. Period.”
Beyoncé and JAY-Z
The infamous elevator fight at The Standard Hotel (444 West 13th Street) was rumored to be the inspiration for the title of Jay’s new album. It turns out the theory is completely true. Around the 1:08:30 mark Jay Z tells the story of him and Beyoncé unknowingly returning to the scene of the incident. “This is before the song, way before the song. Just walking in New York...We didn’t realize we were on that block and we walked past it and we we’re like ‘Oh sh-t.. F--k this place’ (laughter)”