Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

JAY-Z opens up about his Kanye feud and “The Story Of O.J.”

(Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images)

This year’s 4:44 marked a more open, vulnerable period in the artistic life of JAY-Z, with tracks openly apologizing to his wife, Beyoncé, and a more confessional, autobiographical tone in general. Now that openness has extended to a candid new hour-long interview the rapper and mogul gave today to Rap Radio, which you can hear below. (Meanwhile, the full video of the interview is only available to Tidal subscribers, because there’s open, and then there’s “open,” if you get our drift.)


Per Rolling Stone, the conversation touches on a number of the more newsworthy elements of JAY-Z’s life at present, especially his increasingly public strife with long-time friend, protege, and tour-mate Kanye West. Referring to lines from 4:44’s “Kill Jay Z” that referenced “’Ye” by name, he said, “It’s not even about Kanye, it really isn’t. His name is there, just because it’s just the truth of what happened. But the whole point is ‘You got hurt because this person was talking about you on a stage.’ But what really hurt me was, you can’t bring my kids and my wife into it. Kanye’s my little brother. He’s talked about me 100 times. He made a song called ‘Big Brother.’ We’ve gotten past bigger issues. But you brought my family into it, now it’s a problem with me. That’s a real, real problem. And he knows it’s a problem.”

JAY-Z also touched on the controversy around his song “The Story Of O.J.,” the lyrics of which have been called anti-Semitic by the ADL. “I pretty much said, if you want to be good at property and things like that, follow this path. It’s almost like saying ‘Kobe Bryant shot a lot of shots, and if you want to be good at basketball, practice and shoot a thousand shots and do what he did.’ And then Kobe Bryant comes out and says, ‘What are you saying, all black people play basketball?’ That’s how ridiculous it is,” he said, adding, “Context is everything.”

Share This Story

Get our newsletter