Jay-Z Celebrates Kanye West's Growth, "'Big Brother' Is The Best Song He's Written Since 'Jesus Walk
"It makes me proud as someone who's watched his growth from the beginning, when he came in as a hungry producer, to now he's a rock star," Hov said about Kanye. "I'm happy for him on that level. And I'm excited for creativity as well, because I think that's a win for that as well. You know, people mimic success. And in order to mimic that success, you have to put in a lot of work. You have to really care about the music."
Kanye and 50 released their third solo albums last week. According to Nielsen's SoundScan Kanye sold 957,000 CDs - the highest debut since 50 Cent released The Massacre in 2005, which sold 1.1 million. Meanwhile, 50 Cent's Curtis sold 691,000.
According to Jay, Kanye's love for music played a bigger role in the sales department than the publicity surrounding the rivalry with 50.
"It's pretty much how much [Kanye] cares about it," Hov emphasized. "It's not done for any other reason but to be the best music out at that specific time. You know, at times you could hear other people's music, and you hear, 'Okay, that's your girl single, that's the thug single'. It's none of that. Every single song he makes, he makes because he thinks it's the best record at that specific time. He may not think it next week, but that week, he thought that was the best record that he could make."
Graduation features a track titled "Big Brother," which Kanye dedicated to Jay-Z. Hov revealed that it's one of his favorite songs on the album.
"'Big Brother' is the best song he's written since 'Jesus Walks,' as far as structure, emotion, everything," Jay explained. "I think it's a fair portrayal from a little brother's perspective. You know, you've got your big brother and you want to go out with him, he's like, 'Nah, get back in the house!' Things like that, until you come of age."
"At Roc-A-Fella, we've always lived by tough love," Jay continued. "Everyone knows that. It's nothing given. Everyone has to work for theirs, and that's how you make strong individuals, by not carrying them. That's how you make a Kanye West. You make him fight for his position."
On Monday night (September 17), a remix to 50 Cent's "I Get Money," featuring Jay and Sean "Diddy" Combs, leaked onto the internet. Hov divulged to EW why and how the track came about.
"I just wanted to show that we're not enemies," he explained. "[50 Cent] called me to ask for the remix, and I told him he couldn't put the remix out until the first week came. I didn't want it to affect any type of numbers. [Laughs] So as you see, it came out the 17th, when the SoundScan cycle is finished. So just to show, I'm still competing! We're not enemies, we're just competing."