For someone whose press coverage is usually overwhelmingly positive, Jay-Z has had quite the week. After announcing Rocawear’s “Occupy All Streets” t-shirts, he received an onslaught of criticism, which includes one of the protesters from the Occupy Wall Street saying: “Jay-Z, as talented as he is, has the political sensibility of a hood rat and is a scrotum.” Wow. It was erroneously reported that Jay-Z made the decision to ax the shirts when they had merely sold out on Rocawear’s website. The truth is they are still being sold as we speak, with the apparent support of the Occupy Wall Street organizers.
Recent controversy aside, there is no denying Jay-Z’s business savvy and his keen ability to cultivate a positive public image. A testament to that is his latest feature for GQ Magazine. The monthly dubbed him “The King of the Year” in their esteemed “Men of the Year” December 2011 Issue.
Mr. Carter channels his inner James Bond in a dapper suit from Ralph Lauren’s Black Label Collection on the elegant cover. In his interview, he discusses everything from Kanye’s perfectionism to the impact his father’s departure had on his life to changing his and Beyonce’s daughter’s diapers when she is born.
On Kanye West being a perfectionist and the dedication he has to music:
“He puts so much into everything, and he’s like, ‘You have to treat it like I treat it.’ It drives you crazy sometimes—like when you’ve put seventy-five versions of a snare on one song and he’s like, ‘No!’ and you’re like, ‘Come on, man.’ “
On the effect his father leaving him had on his life:
“If your dad died before you were born, yeah, it hurts—but it’s not like you had a connection with something that was real. Not to say it’s any better—but to have that connection and then have it ripped away was, like, the worst. My dad was such a good dad that when he left, he left a huge scar. He was my superhero.”
On what makes a family:
“Providing—that’s not love,” he says. “Being there—that’s more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They’re crying out for attention; they’re hurting for love. I’m not being judgmental—I’m just making an observation. They’re crying out for the love that maybe they didn’t get at home, and they got everything. All the material things that they need and want. So we know that’s not the key.”
On whether or not he will be changing diapers:
“Of course, of course. One hundred percent.”
What do you think of Jay-Z for GQ? Do you think his decision to sell “Occupy All Streets” t-shirts was the right one?