- Scott Gries / Getty Images
- Jay-Z addressed his current relationship with Kanye West in an interview with The New York Times.
- Tension between the two rappers began when West called out Jay-Z during his now-infamous rant in Sacramento during his Saint Pablo tour.
- Jay-Z said that he and West will “always be good” but things “happened that’s not really acceptable to me.”
On Wednesday, The New York Times released a lengthy interview with Jay-Z in which the rap legend touched on topics including politics, going to therapy, and even the status of his relationship with Kanye West.
After Jay-Z helped launch West’s career – first hiring West as a producer on his Roc-A-Fella Records label and then signing his as a rapper – their collaboration hit its peak when they teamed up to release the landmark 2011 “Watch the Throne” album.
However, things soured between the two last year when, on his Saint Pablo tour, West went on a now-legendary rant in Sacramento. Stopping the show, West called out everyone from Beyoncé to Mark Zuckerberg, but then took a shot at Jay-Z.
“I’ve been sitting here to give y’all the truth,” West said to the crowd. “Jay Z, call me, bruh. You still ain’t calling me. Jay Z, call me… Jay Z. Hey, don’t send killers at my head, bro. This ain’t the Malcolm X movie. We growing from that moment. Let ‘Ye be ‘Ye.”
Two days later, West checked himself into a hospital.
Jay-Z fired back on his “4:44” album. In the song “Kill Jay-Z” he raps: “You ain’t a saint / This ain’t KumbaYe / But you got hurt because you did cool by Ye / You gave him $20 without blinking / He gave you 20 minutes on stage / [What] was he thinkin’?”
Jay-Z had dished out $20 million as part of his contract to cover expenses for West’s Saint Pablo tour.
Here’s footage of West’s rant:
In The New York Times interview, the paper’s executive editor Dean Baquet asked Jay-Z when he had last spoken to West.
“I [talked to] Kanye the other day, just to tell him, like, he’s my brother. I love Kanye. I do. It’s a complicated relationship with us,” Jay-Z said. “Kanye came into this business on my label. So I’ve always been like his big brother. And we’re both entertainers. It’s always been like a little underlying competition with your big brother. And we both love and respect each other’s art, too. So it’s like, we both – everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I’m saying? And then there’s like a lot of other factors that play in it. But it’s gonna, we gonna always be good.”
“I think he started out in a more compassionate position than me,” Jay-Z continued. “You know what I’m saying. I don’t know if he’s had the level of – I mean, I had to survive by my instincts. I’m here because I grew up a different way… But [West is] a very compassionate person. And a lot of times he gets in trouble trying to help others. So I can identify with it. It’s just that there’s certain things that happened that’s not really acceptable to me. And we just need to speak about it. But there’s genuine love there.”