Jay-Z recently sat down with Delta Sky Magazine and discussed how success has affected his music, why his new collaborative album with Kanye West has been delayed, why he empathizes with the less fortunate, and why people think he’s in some secret society.
On Why He Hasn’t Been Putting Out As Much Music
Success takes you away from the music. Before success, there weren’t interviews or photo shoots, it was just everyday studio. Now it’s a big thing to get in the studio. It’s like a process just to get there. And once I’m there, I have to dial into an emotion.”
On the “Watch The Throne” Delays
Ye is just in an extraordinary creative place — so much so that I need to get him to focus so we can finish this. But music is his refuge right now.
On Rumors that he is a part of a secret society
I may sound a little arrogant but I just think people can’t handle when somebody is successful. Something has gotta be wrong; you gotta be down with some higher power. And I guess when someone else is successful; it makes you feel like maybe you’re a failure. So it can’t be you, it has to be some other force.
On what influenced “Empire State Of Mind”
Where I am, it’s not typical. And my life is not typical for people from where I am from. [Empire State of Mind] is about this metaphorical, aspirational place that you can go and forget who you use to be. You know, to have this brand new start. And I haven’t said this before. I haven’t connected into those sort of emotions. I’m still trying to tap into them as a writer and human being.
On empathizing with the less fortunate
I wish I could have everyone change places for a day. I think that’s all it would take for everything to change. Empathy. It’s easy for me to empathize because I’ve really seen it. I’ve been there so I can never forget that. My job is to speak out and provide opportunity. Of course, [it feels good to be looked up to] and your ego tells you that you want more of that –but you don’t want too much of that. Fame is a super drug. I’ve seen so many people take it and just go the wrong route. I just try to stay quiet and not get caught up in all of the noise of what this means or what my brand means. Just try to remain, you know, a normal human being.