Atlanta rapper Killer Mike has opened up about his admiration for rap mogul Jay-Z and explains why he feels that Hov’s real blueprint is bigger than his 2001 solo album.

In Mike’s eyes, Jay paved the way and created a lane for some of today’s hip-hop entertainers.

“What Roc-A-Fella–the few short years it was in existence–did, was allow young black men to see it differently,” Mike said. “What two guys from Harlem and a guy from Brooklyn could do. First of all, just that; bring two boroughs together. Then going to get a crew of MCs from Philadelphia and creating a style that still is mimicked today. The Jay-Z style, that hybrid out of Philadelphia. I adore Jay-Z for being that person ten years ago and today. I adore him and admire him for giving me Beanie Sigel, for giving me Freeway, for giving me Young Chris and those flow patterns and that whisper rap. I appreciate that.” (XXL Mag)

He also credited Jay for helping bring a mainstream spotlight to Philadelphia’s hip-hop scene.

“You wouldn’t have the set up today for Philadelphia for [rapper] Meek Mill, who I love, if you had not had Roc-A-Fella,” Mike added. “So when I’m talking about Blueprint, I’m talking about [co-founders] Jay-Z and Damon Dash and Kareem ‘Biggs’ Burke, because those three men did what a lot of black men couldn’t do. For a very finite amount of time, they put bullsh*t to the side and made the world pay attention. And eventually they made every knee bow. That’s why I adhere to lessons I learned from the Roc-A-Fella run.” (XXL Mag)

In 2009, Mike singled out rappers like Jay and Nas for following in his footsteps.

“I don’t wanna hear none of that bullsh*t from none of the n*ggas,” Mike said in an interview. “I dropped I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II last year. If you wanna hear hardcore hip-hop, go to the store, go get I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II…I don’t wanna hear that bullsh*t, these n*ggas who got millions of dollars talking about bringing sh*t back. They ain’t bringing sh*t back. It’s here — you looking at it….Buy me…When that Killer Mike drops, hardcore hip-hop will be back for the second, third time. You know, the same guy that said ‘rap is dead’ three years before Nas said it. I’m here. F*ck with me. Jay dropped ‘D.O.A.’ and everybody went crazy. And I love Jay. A week before that, I dropped ‘Man Up.’ Go listen to that song and go listen to ‘D.O.A.'” (MTV)

However, the Atlanta rapper later came forward and clarified what he said.

“I misspoke,” Mike explained in an interview. “It was about hardcore hip-hop. I had just come off stage and a lot of times, because I know a lot of you guys asking me questions, I tend to talk like I’m talking about a friend and it appeared like I had been — not disrespected but being disrespectful to Jay and 50, but I done got money with both of them. Jay allowed me an opportunity to make money. He let me on The Blueprint 2. 50 has me open — for him. First thing I want to say, I want to apologize for that even appearing disrespectful. But what I really wanna say to the audience is, hardcore hip-hop was, is and will always be and even though I appreciate the bigger guys turning to that, so that more people can pay more attention to it, that doesn’t disallow the audience from finding dope sh*t.” (Hip Hop Wired)

Check out some recent Killer Mike footage below: