Jay-Z Reflects on Beyonce, Says Hip-Hop Has Lost Its Edge
In his upcoming cover story with Rolling Stone, Jay-Z opened up on wife’s creative influence, competing with younger emcees, and Hip-Hop losing creative ground to indie rock.
Dubbed the “King of America” in the article’s title, the normally guarded Jay-Z was more candid about his married life with fellow superstar Beyonce. He explained they occasionally seek each other’s input on their musical directions, and marveled at her eye for talent.
“Sometimes on creative stuff, one of us will ask, 'Do you think this is cool?'" said Jay, who married Beyonce in 2008. "She's a magnificent A&R, if she ever decides to do that, for things like pitch. So I defer to her on those sort of questions."
21 years since his first recorded song, the 40 year old Jay-Z remains an elite and commercially viable emcee in a culture driven by youthful musical expression. His last album, 2009’s Blueprint 3, has sold 1.7 million copies and produced 5 singles. He hopes to continue breaking ground and redefine the expectations of aging emcees.
"For me to be able to compete at Lil' Wayne's level at my age, that's rarefied air,” he explained. “It's never been done."
Regarding Hip-Hop’s creative health, the Brooklyn mogul believes the culture’s rebellious edge has been lost to indie rock. In past interviews, he’s theorized indie rock’s growth may possibly push Hip-Hop to become more creative and competitive.
"I love the energy coming out indie rock right now,” Jay-Z told Rolling Stone. “It has this rebellion thing that Hip-Hop is missing now, the thing that made Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop."
The full interview will be available in Rolling Stone’s June 24 issue.