The artist talked about going to therapy with Beyoncé, their daughter Blue Ivy, and the late-night host who can’t rap.
Jay-Z’s episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman is excellent and informative on multiple levels.
Joe Pugliese / Netflix
The artist talked about everything from his tumultuous relationship with his father, to how he started to sell crack at age 16, to when he first began rapping.
It was candid, emotional, and sometimes hilarious — like when he shaded a current late-night host.
“I'm dying to know somebody who can't really rap,” Letterman asked.
“Come on, man. Alright, man, how about this?” Jay-Z replied. “Who's on TV…late night. Right now. [Who's] not even remotely funny.”
He also addressed his falling out with Kanye West, how he views him as a little brother, and how he stood on a table during one of their recording sessions and shouted, “I am the savior of Chicago!”
“Let me talk about one of your peers, Kanye West. Are we friends? Are we not friends?” Letterman asked.
“That's my brother. We're beyond friends, really. My little brother is Kanye,” Jay-Z said. “And like your little brother, things happen sometimes. The thing that I respect about him is that he's the same person. He interrupted our studio session and stood on the table and started rapping, and we were like, 'Could you please get down?' And he was like, 'No! I am the savior of Chicago!' He didn't have a record! One hundred percent, he's brilliant.”
He talked about his marriage, his infidelity, and going to therapy with his Beyoncé, his wife.
Letterman opened up that segment by indirectly referring to his own relationships with female staffers on his show, which he addressed in 2009.
Jay-Z responded by saying, “Much like you, I have a beautiful wife who's understanding and knew I'm not the worst of what I've done. We did the hard work of going to therapy. We love each other. So we really put in the work, for years.
“Like you, I like to believe we're in a better place today, but still working and communicating and growing. I'm proud of the father and the husband that I am today because of all the work that was done.”
Letterman asked Jay-Z about his views on President Donald Trump, who Letterman referred to as a “dumbass.” Jay-Z said he believes his presidency is actually “a great thing” that’s forcing people to have “the tough conversation[s]” and will mobilize young people across the country to vote.
“He's bringing out an ugly side of America that we wanted to believe was gone, and it's still here. We still have to deal with it. And we have to have the conversation, we have to have the tough conversation, we have to talk about the n-word and we have to talk about why white men are so privileged in this country,” Jay-Z said.
“I think it takes people like you speaking out, and especially all the young people across the country, to say, 'Nah, this ain't right, I don't feel like this. I don't represent what he represents, and I'm gonna change that.' I believe that it's gonna get more young people more active than ever. I think we'll see record-breaking numbers next election. I think we'll break every record.”
He also addressed his fear of becoming a father, and having a “low emotional IQ.”
“I was terrified. I was worried about being a good father. We had a high IQ for other things… But [my] emotional IQ was minus 100 or so.”
But after Blue Ivy Carter was born, things just “clicked in.”
And he told the most adorable story about Blue, and the most beautiful thing she’s ever said to him.
“I told her to get in the car the other day because she was asking a thousand questions and we had to leave for school. I got in the car, and I'm faced this way — I'm just painting a picture of how healthy my children are at this present time. I just hear a little voice, 'Dad?' I turn around. She said, 'I didn't like when you told me to get in the car, the way you told me.' It hurt. She's six! 'It hurt my feelings.' I was like, 'That's the most beautiful thing you've ever said to me!'”