Interview: Oprah & Jay Z

Jay-Z and Oprah

At 13 he was selling crack. By 30 he was a hip-hop legend—having gone, in his words, “from grams to Grammys.” Now Jay-Z charts his escape from the hard-knock life, describes the reunion that healed the wounds of his childhood—and even reveals the standing Sunday date he has with what’s her name.

Last year Oprah interview Jay Z for her magazine and he also was appeared on her show. It’s a long read, here is the link if you are interested in reading the full interview:

Here are the highlights and my favorite parts:

Oprah: So when you were 5, your family moved to the Marcy projects  — and then your father left when you were 11. When you look back at that, what did your 11-year-old self feel?

Jay: Anger. At the whole situation. Because 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 a such a high pedestal and he lets you down, you never want to experience that pain again. So I remember just being really quiet and really cold. Never wanting to let myself get close to someone like that again. I carried that feeling throughout my life, until my father and I met before he died.

Oprah: Wow. I’ve never heard a man phrase it that way. You know, I’ve done many shows about divorce, and the real crime is when the kids aren’t told. They just wake up one day and their dad is gone. Did that happen to you?

Jay: We were told our parents would separate, but the reasons weren’t explained. My mom prepared us more than he did, I don’t think he was ready for that level of discussion and emotion. He was a guy who was pretty detached from his feelings.

Oprah: Did you wonder why he left?

Jay: I summed it up that they weren’t getting along. There was a lot of arguing.

Oprah: And did you know you were angry?

Jay: Yeah. I also felt protective of my mom. I remember telling her, ‘Don’t worry, when I get big, I’m going to take care of this.’. I felt like I had to step it up. I was 11 years old, right? But I felt I had to make the situation better.

Oprah: How did that change you?

Jay: It made me not express my feelings as much. I was already a shy kid and it made me a little reclusive. But it also made me independent. And stronger. It was a juxtaposition.

Oprah: I read that when you were 12, you shot your brother in the shoulder. Did your father’s leaving have anything to do with that? Did it turn you into the kind of angry kid who would end up shooting his brother?

Jay: Yes — and my brother was dealing with a lot of demons. He was 16, doing a lot of drugs, taking stuff from the family. I was the youngest, but I felt like I needed to protect everybody.

Oprah: Do you and Beyonce have a pact that you just won’t talk about each otheR?

Jay: Yeah. When you’re a public person you have to leep some things to yourself or else some people will just —

Oprah: Eat it up. I know. But can I ask how in the world you kept your wedding a secret?

Jay: Late planning!

Oprah: How many people know?

Jay: Very few. The sad part is that we offended some. But people who love you understand. Because at the end of the day, it’s your day.

Oprah: So here we are, talking on a Sunday afternoon. If you weren’t sitting her with me, what would you be doing?

Jay: I’m gonna get killed for this, but I’ll tell you anyway. There’s a great pizza spot we go to every Sunday. It’s our tradition. It’s a small place in Brooklyn, you can bring your own wine, and there are candles lit. It’s a nice date.

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