Were you the only model that didn’t have to try out for the video?
Yeah. Kanye called me and said he was shooting the video. He said, “You do your acting thing, [so] it would be dope for you to do.” He told me the treatment, and it wasn’t the typical “video-girl” role. I knew the record was the most-anticipated video.
How did you land the most lines in the video?
We were on set, and ’Ye pulled me to the side. [He said,] “Drake, you’re an actor. Shakur, you’re an actress. Improvise the shit.” Drake came from Degrassi, [so] it’s easy when you have natural talent next to you.
Double D’s don’t hurt either. Are you 100 percent real?
People think I have all fake body parts. [This is] all my hair, all my everything. I take it as a compliment, like, “Wow, you think I look so good that I have to be fake?”
You come from a traditional Egyptian family, where your mom is very submissive. Are you the same?
Absolutely. I feel men should be honored like the kings they are. I don’t use that term loosely. A real man deserves to get treated like a king. It’s the 21st century, and I’m all for women’s rights, but I personally believe that it’s a man’s world and women are created to keep men company. She’s supposed to be able to learn from him, take from him and have that security blanket. That’s what life is about.—Bonsu Thompson
NEW ERA presents YOUR LIFESTYLE. FITTED. Their new digital lifestyle magazine pulls from different aspects of the fitted baseball cap market, including retail spotlights, interviews and product previews. Pay close attention to the embedded video clips within the articles. NBA 1st round draft pick BLAKE GRIFFIN took the cover of the premier issue. Our very own DJ CLARK KENT is featured in a candid interview in text and video at his lab in Brooklyn. To view the fruits of NEW ERA’s latest venture click the following link: FITTED DIGITAL MAGAZINE
In conjunction with the release of his 11th solo album, The Blueprint 3, Jay-Z is gracing the cover of XXL magazine for the publication’s October issue. Speaking with XXL’s Special Projects Editor Bonsu Thompson, the self-proclaimed, “God MC” delves deep into many hot topics currently buzzing around him, including his mega success, BP3, jabs at his new singles “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and “Run this Town,” his tenure as the president of Def Jam and life as hip-hop’s ultra businessman. Check out a few excerpts below.
CRITICISM OF “D.O.A.”
“I’m not hating on young people. Like, when people say that, I’m like, What are you talking about? It’s just stupid. I’m not hating on young people… I’m not Bill Russell, [saying] Michael Jordan ain’t shit. I’m saying Lil Wayne and Kanye are like LeBron and Kobe. My job as someone at the forefront of the game is to leave it in a better position than when I came in. Same way that Russell [Simmons] left it to me. ’Cause this thing saved my life. Literally. So I have a responsibility to it karmically. And after that it’s on you. I did my part. I made ‘D.O.A.’ I said it. I made the statement. I made the push. Here, y’all take it from here.”
HIS LEGACY AS FORMER DEF JAM RECORDS PRESIDENT
“So if you ask me to grade my performance as the president, I’d say A-plus. No one can bat a 100. It’s impossible. I mean, everyone is looking at my shit. But if we really looked under the hood [of] every single [record exec] and the acts they put out in that time, I’d be comparable to anyone.”
Jay-Z HIS STANDING IN THE GAME
“But when I say I’m the best, I don’t say that outta my ass. I say that with all my stats behind me. I put that against anybody. I mean anybody. I really believe that… I believe in a lot of things. I believe that ‘SportsCenter’ is the best thing on TV. I shouldn’t have to prove it. But I do have these stats to prove it. I’m talking about real run. I’m not talking about years off. I’m talking about straight—boom, boom, boom—back to back. We’re not talking about heritage acts either. We’re not talking about respect what I’ve done. I’m talking No. 1 [albums] 10 times. The Beatles is the only one [to have more No. 1 albums]. They got 19, and if I get a surge of creativity, I could make nine albums next year.”