Culled from Looking so swagged up on the cover of Vanity Fair‘s November 2013 issue, 43-year-old entertainer Jay Z got to share with the magazine his Rags-to-Riches Story, wooing Beyoncé, how they reacted when the media said her pregnancy was fake, and how their daughter Blue Ivy is his “Biggest Fan”.
On his well known crack dealing days in Brooklyn.
I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up.
Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on
the whole, but in the beginning, no.
I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
On his daughter Blue Ivy being his biggest fan:
“She does like her mother [Beyonce’s] music – she watches [Beyonce’s concerts] on the computer every night.
But my album came out and I don’t know if Blue ever heard any of my music prior to this album — she’s only 18 months old and I don’t play my music around the house.
But this album was new, so we played it. And she loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, ‘More, Daddy, more . . . Daddy song.’
She’s my biggest fan. If no one bought the Magna Carta [album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy.
And that’s not like a cliche. I’m really serious. Just to see her — ‘Daddy song, more, Daddy.’ She’s genuine, she’s honest, because she doesn’t know it makes me happy. She just wants to hear it.”
On wooing Beyonce before they began dating:
“Well, you know, you’ve got to try first. You got to dazzle…wine and dine….she’s a charming southern girl, you know, she’s not impressed. But I would have definitely had to be this cool.”
Jay Z told Vanity Fair Robinson that “of course” he pursued Beyoncé, and when asked if he hadn’t been Jay Z—say, he had been a gas-station attendant and she pulled up—would he have been able to date her, he responded:
If I’m as cool as I am, yes. But she’s a charming Southern girl, you know, she’s not impressed. . . . But I would have definitely had to be this cool.”
Jay confirmed that the line on his latest album, “She was a good girl ’til she knew me” is about Beyoncé, and when Robinson asks if she’s not a good girl anymore, Jay laughed, saying:
Nah. She’s gangsta now.”
On the fake rumors that Beyonce wasn’t pregnant:
“It’s just so stupid. You know, I felt dismissive about it, but you’ve got to feel for her. I mean, we’ve got a really charmed life, so how can we complain? But when you think about it, we’re still human beings. And even in hip-hop, all the blogs — they had a field day with it.
I’m like, We come from you guys, we represent you guys. Why are you perpetuating this? Why are you adding fuel to this ridiculous rumor?”
On trademarking Blue’s name:
“People wanted to make products based on our child’s name and you don’t want anybody trying to benefit off your baby’s name. It wasn’t for us to do anything; as you see, we haven’t done anything.”