In conjunction with the release of his 11th solo album, The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z is gracing the cover of XXL magazine for the publication’s October issue. Speaking with XXL’s Special Projects Editor Bonsu Thompson, the self-proclaimed, “God MC” delves deep into many hot topics currently buzzing around him, including his mega success, BP3, jabs at his new singles “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and “Run this Town,” his tenure as the president of Def Jam and life as hip-hop’s ultra businessman. Check out a few excerpts below.
CRITICISM OF “D.O.A.”
“I’m not hating on young people. Like, when people say that, I’m like, What are you talking about? It’s just stupid. I’m not hating on young people… I’m not Bill Russell, [saying] Michael Jordan ain’t shit. I’m saying Lil Wayne and Kanye are like LeBron and Kobe. My job as someone at the forefront of the game is to leave it in a better position than when I came in. Same way that Russell [Simmons] left it to me. ’Cause this thing saved my life. Literally. So I have a responsibility to it karmically. And after that it’s on you. I did my part. I made ‘D.O.A.’ I said it. I made the statement. I made the push. Here, y’all take it from here.”
HIS LEGACY AS FORMER DEF JAM RECORDS PRESIDENT
“So if you ask me to grade my performance as the president, I’d say A-plus. No one can bat a 100. It’s impossible. I mean, everyone is looking at my shit. But if we really looked under the hood [of] every single [record exec] and the acts they put out in that time, I’d be comparable to anyone.”
The rapper graces the cover of the upcoming October issue of XXL and inside he tells the magazine he believes he's still as good as he's ever been.
"But when I say I'm the best, I don't say that outta my ass," he explained. "I say that with all my stats behind me. I put that against anybody. I mean anybody. I really believe that ... I believe in a lot of things. I believe that 'SportsCenter' is the best thing on TV. I shouldn't have to prove it. But I do have these stats to prove it. I'm talking about real run. I'm not talking about years off. I'm talking about straight — boom, boom, boom — back to back. We're not talking about heritage acts either. We're not talking about respect, what I've done. I'm talking #1 [albums] 10 times. The Beatles is the only one [to have more #1 albums]. They got 19, and if I get a surge of creativity, I could make nine albums next year."
Fans will take just one album, The Blueprint 3. The highly anticipated project — set for release on September 11 — has long been in the works. Earlier this year, Jay-Z told MTV News the album was taking longer to make than usual for him.
"For me, the process of making an album is difficult with so many things going on," he explained. "And me, I wanna make it beyond and above. I'm gonna take my time with it. I don't have any quotas, and that's a good thing. It may be too freeing. It's a good thing and a bad thing. You know, I think I need some restrictions, 'cause if I had restrictions, I would have done it in three weeks. I would have made what I believe to be a great piece of art." In recent days, a number of new Jay-Z songs have appeared online, including "Off That" with Drake and "Venus vs. Mars," both produced by Timbaland.
The Blueprint 3's main producer, Kanye West, said the album will be worth the wait.
"He's just been working on it and it's gonna be amazing when he drops it," West said. "I think it's good he's taking his time to give people the best product possible and not being rushed by this fast-food, media-outlet, Internet, everything-is-getting-leaked, people-stealing-your-songs-before-you-can-mix-them-and-put-them-online world we're living in right now."
The October issue of XXL is scheduled to hit newsstands mid-September.