Jay-Z

(Shawn Corey Carter)

Jay-Z
Jay-Z
  • Born: December 4, 1969
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Rapper, Songwriter, Record Producer, Record Executive, Entrepreneur, Investor

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Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
As kids we didn't complain about being poor; we talked about how rich we were going to be and made moves to get the lifestyle we aspired to by any means we could. And as soon as we had a little money, we were eager to show it. Money, Coins & Minting
By the time I got to record my first album, I was 26, I didn't need pen or paper - my memory had been trained just to listen to a song, think of the words, and lay them to tape. Time
Everyone who makes music is a good collaborator at their foundation because in order to make music, you have to connect to it in a way that other people can't. Music, Chants & Rapps
Growing up, politics never trickled down to the areas we come from. But people from Obama's camp, and Obama himself, reached out to me and asked for my help on the campaign. We've sat and had dinner, and we've spoken on the phone. He's a very sharp guy. Very charming. Very cool. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Hip-hop has done so much for racial relations, and I don't think it's given the proper credit. It has changed America immensely. I'm going to make a very bold statement: Hip-hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations.
Hip-hop is more about attaining wealth. People respect success. They respect big. They don't even have to like your music. If you're big enough, people are drawn to you. Respect ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;Success
I can think of no one more relevant and credible in the hip-hop community to build upon Def Jam's fantastic legacy and move the company into its next groundbreaking era.
I collect art, and I drink wine... things that I like that I had never been exposed to. But I never said, 'I'm going to buy art to impress this crowd.' That's just ridiculous to me. I don't live my life like that, because how could you be happy with yourself? Life ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I grew up in Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, and my mom and pop had an extensive record collection, so Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder and all of those sounds and souls of Motown filled the house.
I have inherited two of the most important brands in hip-hop, Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella. Reid and Universal Music Group have given me the opportunity to manage the companies I have contributed to my whole career. I feel this is a giant step for me and the entire artist community. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think relationships are broken up because of the media.
I was forced to be an artist and a CEO from the beginning, so I was forced to be like a businessman because when I was trying to get a record deal, it was so hard to get a record deal on my own that it was either give up or create my own company.
I would run into the corner store, the bodega, and just grab a paper bag or buy juice - anything just to get a paper bag. And I'd write the words on the paper bag and stuff these ideas in my pocket until I got back. Then I would transfer them into the notebook.
I'm a mirror. If you're cool with me, I'm cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don't like what you see, then you've done something. If I'm standoffish, that's because you are.
I'm far from being god, but I work god damn hard. Religion & God ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'm hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That's what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that's from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time
It was a very intense and stressful situation. There was playing in the Johnny-pump (an opened fire hydrant) and the ice-cream man coming around and all of these games that we'd play, and suddenly it would turn just violent and there would be shootings at 12 in the afternoon on any given day.
It was a weird mix of emotions. One day, your best friend could be killed. The day before, you could be celebrating him getting a brand-new bike.
It's hilarious a lot of times. You have a conversation with someone, and he's like, 'You speak so well!' I'm like, 'What do you mean? Do you understand that's an insult?
I've never looked at myself and said that I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people. I've always wanted to stay true to myself, and I've managed to do that. People have to accept that.
My brands are an extension of me. They're close to me. It's not like running GM, where there's no emotional attachment.
My thing is related to who I am as a person. The clothes are an extension of me. The music is an extension of me. All my businesses are part of the culture, so I have to stay true to whatever I'm feeling at the time, whatever direction I'm heading in. And hopefully, everyone follows. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
One of the reasons inequality gets so deep in this country is that everyone wants to be rich. That's the American ideal. Poor people don't like talking about poverty because even though they might live in the projects surrounded by other poor people and have, like, ten dollars in the bank, they don't like to think of themselves as poor.
Racism is taught in the home. We agree on that? Well, it's very hard to teach racism to a teenager who's listening to rap music and who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg. It's hard to say, 'That guy is less than you.' The kid is like, 'I like that guy, he's cool. How is he less than me? Music, Chants & Rapps
Rap for me is like making movies, telling stories, and getting the emotions of the songs through in just as deep a way. And I grew up in rap and movies the same way. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Successful people have a bigger fear of failure than people who've never done anything because if you haven't been successful, then you don't know how it feels to lose it all. Failure
That's why this generation is the least racist generation ever. You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, having fun, enjoying the same music. Hip-hop is not just in the Bronx anymore. It's worldwide. Everywhere you go, people are listening to hip-hop and partying together. Hip-hop has done that. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
The average rap life is two or three albums. You're lucky to get to your second album in rap! Life
The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't always have the things you need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do anything to lift that burden. Life
They say a midget standing on a giant's shoulders can see much further than the giant. So I got the whole rap world on my shoulders, they trying to see further than I am.
When the TV version of Annie came on, I was drawn to it. It was the struggle of this poor kid in this environment and how her life changed. It immediately resonated. Life
When you're growing up, your dad is your superhero. Once you've let yourself fall that in love with someone, once you put him on such a high pedestal and he lets you down, you never want to experience that pain again. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
Wherever I go, I bring the culture with me, so that they can understand that it's attainable. I didn't do it any other way than through hip-hop.
You make your first album, you make some money, and you feel like you still have to show face, like 'I still go to the projects.' I'm like, why? Your job is to inspire people from your neighborhood to get out. You grew up there. What makes you think it's so cool? Money, Coins & Minting