News: Jay-Z Reveals Father's Alcohol Struggles, "He Was Gone"

Monday, Nov 14, 2011 12:20PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap mogul Jay-Z opens up about the distant relationship he had with his late father, Adnis Reeves, and how his battle with alcohol ultimately took his life in the new GQ Magazine.

Within the cover feature, Jay speaks candidly on his late father.

Reeves loved all the things Jay-Z loves today-- sports, food, and especially music. He had the best record collection in the neighborhood. ... But when his brother was murdered, Reeves imploded. Slipped into alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse. "He was gone," Jay says. "He was not himself." Jay's mother, Gloria Carter, tried to push him to see his son; there were meetings scheduled that Reeves didn't show up for. They didn't see each other again until 2003. "[I talked about] what it did to me, what it meant, asked him why. There was no real answer. There was nothing he could say, because there's no excuse for that. There really isn't. So there was nothing he could say to satisfy me, except to hear me out. And it was up to me to forgive and let it go." By then the doctors had told Reeves to quit drinking, and Reeves had kept on drinking, and a month after he and Jay had that conversation--which Jay wrote about on The Black Album's "Moment of Clarity"--he died. (GQ)

In 2009, Jay spoke to renowned television host Oprah Winfrey about his late father.

"My mom had set up a meeting with [my late father] and I didn't want to do it. I had so many disappointments, 'You were supposed to come see me when I was younger.' ... I got a chance to really tell him everything that's on my mind, how I felt, how him leaving made my feel and we dealt with it and from there I was able to free myself, it allowed me to express myself and bring people in again..." ("The Oprah Winfrey Show")

On Jay's Black Album record, "Moment of Clarity," he reflects on his father's passing.

"Pop died, didn't cry, didn't know him that well/Between him doing heroin and me doing crack sales/Put that in the eggshell, standing at the tabernacle/Rather the church, pretending to be hurt wouldn't work/So a smirk was all on my face/Like "d*mn, that man's face is just like my face"/So pop, I forgive you for all the sh*t that I lived through/It wasn't all your fault, homie you got caught/Into the same game I fought, that Uncle Ray lost/My big brothers and so many others I saw/ I'm just glad we got to see each other/Talk and re-meet each other/Save a place in heaven 'til the next time we meet forever!" ("Moment of Clarity")

The rap mogul is expected to be a father next year. as his wife, singer Beyonce Knowles is expected to give birth to their first child.

"I'm excited! I think that is pretty easy," Jay explained. "Someone emailed me this morning and said 'Some people climb the ladder and grab the ladder. And some people pull more people up the ladder and you are a person who pulls more people up the ladder.' I was very humbled by that." (E! Online)

Check out a recent Jay-Z interview below:

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