Jay-Z On Rolling Stone: King Of America
He’s had more Number One albums than Elvis Presley. He hangs with Barack Obama at the White House. And he’s riding high after leaving his longtime label Def Jam to work a $150 million deal with Live Nation, delivering some of his best live performances ever. At the age of 40, Jay-Z qualifies as an elder statesman of hip-hop, a fact that’s more remarkable considering other rap peers have hung up the mike to pursue careers in Hollywood. So how does he run the game?
In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, contributing editor Mark Binelli goes one-on-one with the New York legend, watching Jay-Z try on a new suit in his sprawling Manhattan office and tagging along to the Four Seasons, where the rapper goofs by mispronouncing actor Kelsey Grammer’s name at a watch auction (after calling the Frasier star “Chelsea,” he asks Binelli how to spell “faux pas”). It seems the man who made his name rhyming about hustling and hos in Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects is actually more comfortable around an unlikely new crowd: indie rockers. “I love the energy coming out indie rock right now,” he says, name-checking Grizzly Bear. “It has this rebellion thing that hip-hop is missing now, the thing that made hip-hop hip-hop.
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Tags: Barack Obama, Def Jam, Elvis Presley, JAY-Z, Mark Binelli, Rolling Stone, White House