Although Jay-Z has ventured outside of hip-hop with ownership in the Brooklyn Nets and launching a slew of successful 40/40 sports club bars, the rap mogul said he feels each accomplishment all relates back to the genre.
In Young Hov’s eyes, any success he has should be attributed to hip-hop.
On his 2009 single “On to the Next One,” Jigga bragged that he had President Obama “on the text.” Still, the man who once battled DMX while standing on top of a pool table is not desensitized. “I’m a fan of the journey as well,” he said. This fall, he will officially welcome an NBA franchise to his native Brooklyn as a minority owner of the Nets and curate and headline his first two-day music festival in Philly. Still, Jay doesn’t see his wins as just solo victories. Each win he notches adds to hip-hop’s growth. It’s a “we” thing. “I see myself as part of the collective of hip-hop. I don’t see myself as a thing that operates outside of it,” he said. “So when I do these sort of things, I’m like, ‘Man, we’ve come a long way.'” (MTV)
Last year, Hov gave his opinion on why peers hate on his accomplishments.
“It may sound arrogant,” he says, “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.” (Sky)
Back in 2010, rap mogul Rakim said hip-hop artists had to measure themselves to Young Hov’s list of achievements.
“I think as far as records, business, if it’s clothing, Jay-Z man,” Rakim said in an interview about his current favorite rapper. “We gotta start respecting those that’s making a large footprint in the game and when you look at what Jay-Z’s doing from his records to his business moves to his clothing to bong bong to his bong bong, that’s the measuring stick right now for all of the young brothers coming up. Don’t do what he’s doing, do as he’s doing and as you learn what made him successful. Don’t follow his footsteps but figure out what made him successful and get that paper y’all.” (Blok TV)
Prior to hitting 40, Jay delved into still wanting to have a long-run in hip-hop.
“I hear it all the time — ‘Yo, he should let the young guys, the new generation of guys come in,'” Jay explained in an interview. “But you don’t become the front-runner in music because someone lets you. You have to claim your shoes…If you grow up listening to hip-hop, you love hip-hop and that’s the end of it. But if you’re a 30 year-old rapper still trying to make music like you’re 15, then you’re making it narrow. At my age, I can’t relate to a 15 year-old. I deal with mature and relevant topics for my age group — it has to all be based on true emotions. The more diversity and the more mature we make hip-hop, the bigger the net you cast.” (Reuters)
Check out some recent Jay-Z footage below: