Based off the cover alone I can see the impending insults destined to flood the c-section now. A few choice quotables and the full cover are under the cut. Props to my future ex-spouse Aura.
READ: Jay-Z x Clash Magazine
Clash: So ‘The Blueprint 3’; how long have you been recording it for?
Jay: Forever. My whole life. I must have honestly started the process three or four times. But it actually started out in the UK when I was playing Manchester. Kanye came along to my show and brought me a CD full of beats and they were all sequenced. So he’s like, “This is the album!”, and I was, “Woah – slow down”. Kanye thought it was done and ready. But that was pretty much the foundation for what would become ‘The Blueprint 3’.
Clash: And when it comes to the subject matter of a record, is that you speaking or do you assume a character?
Jay: Even a record like ‘American Gangster’ wasn’t actually me looking to be the person in the film, it was my interpretation of the emotions I felt whilst watching it. I took emotions that related to my life from the movie scenes and talked about them in that way to make an album. It was a concept album, but not about the movie. It was influenced by the movie, so it was still me as me speaking and feeling, you know?
Clash: There’s no current affair bigger than Obama at the moment and you name check him a fair bit on the LP and you played his inauguration ball. How do you think he’s getting on now he’s well into his first year as president?
Jay: It’s going great. He has a lot to deal with. It’s going as well as it can go considering what came before. You know? You gonna hit on some things and you’re gonna miss on some things, but you gotta try. You can’t not do anything. I like his courage and I think he’s handling the job rather well. There’s a lot of challenging issues and you know, it’s going to take some time.
On Kanye and Rihanna:
Clash: But you’ve fostered talent since the early days. On the track ‘Everyday A Star is Born’ you seem to be giving a nod to the likes of Kanye and Rhianna who you have brought to the public’s attention.
Jay: With Kanye I feel like he’s my little brother. We’re a family.
Clash: And when Rhianna had her problems earlier this year, was did you all feel part of that?
Jay: Of course. We are a family, simple. If we need to close round to help someone, that’s what we do.
On “Death of Autotune”:
Clash: You mention that people thought it was a diss song and this whole cycle of beefs seems to have consumed hip-hop culture. You’ve been embroiled in ones with the likes of Nas, Lil Wayne and the Game over the years yet on the record you say ‘we’re not in the same league, so how am I in your way’. It sounded as though you were becoming weary of it all.
Jay: It’s really just common sense. For many you have been making music and at the forefront for so long, people like, “Man, you gotta let the new guys in”, and I’m like why? That’s never happened in the history of the world. It doesn’t work like that. You have to claim your spot. No one’s in your way. If I was to stop making music tomorrow doesn’t mean suddenly there is this gap. You don’t get elected. The people decide where you are. Whether I’m here or not, if they want you to be at the top then the people will move me out the way. On you go…