Today, the New York Times published an extensive interview between Jay-Z and Dean Baquet, the paper’s Executive Editor. The lavish T Magazine cover story, included an audio interview, text annotations by staff writers, and a beautiful impressionistic cover illustration by Henry Taylor.
Baquet took Jay-Z across a range of topics of race, marriage, and Jay-Z’s relationship with his mother, as well as his contentious relationship with business partner and friend Kanye West. Jay-Z and West have known each other for and worked together for nearly two decade, since one of West’s big breaks was as a producer for Jay-Z in the early 2000s.
Their collaboration peaked in 2011 with their Watch The Throne album and tour, but recently, West was yelling about Jay-Z while onstage last year, and Jay-Z even included a couple of apparent disses at Ye on his latest album (“You ain’t a saint / This ain’t KumbaYe”). Despite the public squabbling, Jay-Z sees little reason to be concerned over his connection with West.
“In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we’re 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that,” stated Jay-Z. “There’s gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, ‘These are the things that I’m uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.’ I’m sure he feels that I’ve done things to him as well. You know what I’m saying? These are — I’m not a perfect human being by no stretch.”
The high-profile nature of the two stars and the very public nature of their words certainly heightens any potential tensions, but friendship, and business partnerships, can endure a few minor storms.