"Yes Sir I'm cut from a different cloth", in the words of the Big Homie Hova, BK stand up.
Well I got the chance to see Mr. Young Mediterranean himself last week. It was great seeing him and it was something straight out of one of his video’s first he pulls up while I am walking down the street. The call time for the event said to be there at 11:30 am and here I go walking down the block at 12:15 pm, all ways good though. This dude pulls up in a Black Phantom (Rolls Royce) I mean that damn thing was clean as hell. It has the suicide doors (reverse opening) and he puts the leg out while sporting the nice trench coat (tan color, like timbs) with a fresh pair of S. Carter sneakers www.reebok.com/rbk, he was looking fresh and he was on the phone being so cool (a theme throughout the interview) I walked right in front of dude and it took everything not to stream "Hova! Hova! Hova!" but I was cool and calm.
I finally go inside and it is standing room only. Jay Z was being taped for a show on the Yes Network called Center Stage hosted by Yankee announcer Michael K. The show is coming on if I am not mistaking real soon but check your local listings. Jay came out nice to the encore beat playing in the background and thunderous applause, but they didn’t have something right so he did it again, this time even more ruckus.
They jumped right into the interview covering everything from his childhood to his taking over the reigns at Def Jam; as well as everything in between. First off was how Jay got into music and a little bit about how he starting writing. He said things that were well documented like he starting writing in books and once he went outside he started using paper bags and finally moving on to the coop that makes him Hova, the mental exercise and how he uses memory to write the rhymes and than delivers them. It is an art within itself to hear about a guy doing that and than to have Biggie be the same way you just know greatness is not made but born. Everybody that is trying that now, it sounds like it, thoughts all over the place but this guy is consistent with his.
Speaking on his childhood he spoke about his pops leaving and how he got the name Jay Z, they use to call him Jazzy from the way he dressed (My cousin LoLo use to call me that, just remembered that) and he just took the Jay and Z part and it stuck. He spoke on the projects and the dynamics of the hustling game and how the end is death or jail. He spoke on the true story behind 99 problems that he was pulled over and had some things in the car but would not let the cops check the trunk and a sniff dog was nowhere around and how a few minutes was difference between jail and his life now. He said as he was riding down the street the K9 (that if were closer would of been disastrous for him) Unit was riding the other way going towards where he came from.
He talked about the beginnings of the ROC and how he, Dame and Biggs could not get a deal anywhere and the places that did offer things were basically going to rob and destroy his future. So he went the only route he knew how, he did it himself. They first started selling out the trunk and giving some away on consignment to the stores one of the first being Beat Street downtown Brooklyn on Fulton Street in the Fulton Mall.
From there he put out his first single "In My Lifetime" he basically White Labeled it (that is when a artist puts out music with no cover art and independently). The Host said that he put this out first but some in the crowd said that no his first release was Reasonable Doubt, and the host said no it was "In My Lifetime" and Jay said "See He know what he talking about" Micheal K said I said the first single not the first album, Reasonable Doubt was later and he was correct.
The show was great, Jay is an incredible interview, funny witty and charming as he has pointed out numerous times throughout the interview without sounding cocky. This dude is a man's man, no wonder men want to be him and woman want to be with him. Listening to him its not hard to see why the hottest chic in the game (acording to Sir Hov on Public Service Announcement from his 'swan song'the Black Album) Jay spoke on Beyounce and stated that people seem to doubt her singing ability and writing ability because of her beauty and said that people tend to overlook her because the music she comes out with are huge and she does not get the props she deserve.
When Micheal K asked him what is some of the things that he wished he could do over in his music career he said nothig really and than dropped that his second album would of been a classic if not for his ambition to get that plaque (Platinum) he said that there are three songs on there that he wish he could have not put on there, one being the "Sunshine" joint with Babyface and Foxy Brown he said it wasn't a good look, I think the song was great, but after his explaning why it could of been on something else, he was right. The album had joints on it like "Face Off, Friend or Foe 2, Streets is Watching, Imaginary Players, You Must Love Me" that album was sick and those not get the proper respect it is due, even from Hov himself.
He found out he was big after seeing the line of people that came out for signing of his third album "Hard Knock Life" he said that there was helicopters and police and he couldn't get out the door of the store and the crowd was crazy, that stop was Virginia and than it happened in every state that he went to after that. And he saw the change from when he could go shopping and people would be like "hay I like your music" to not being able to be out much without being mobbed.
He spoke about the start of Rocawaear and how he went to iceburg, with his partners and ask for the (private) plane and a bunch of other incedentals they said no. He said he was at a show and saw how everybody in the audience had on Iceberg cause he was shouting them out in his music. he looked at it and him and his partners went to Iceberg owners and asked to be the spokesmen and get lots of money and the plan and cars and they said, get out, and they decided to start rocawear. (Maybe they should have gave him the plane). Rocawear became one of the most profitable urban clothing lines and grossed upward of 500 Million to date. They started witht- shirts and hats and than took it everywhere, while Iceberg has seen its better days past them by and you would be hard pressed to see them in many stores today.
Jay went on to talk about many things but the one thing he stayed clear of was the mess with Cam'Ron and the break up of the Roc. Always reffering to the company as 'we'. Talked about his business ventures like the watch and his music taste being all over the spectrum and his watch deal and he showed off the S.Carter sneakers he had on and went on to mention that he was the only non sports athlete to have his own shoe; that it was the biggest shoe opening in Reebok history. They thought it would sale a few 100 pair and sole 10K in the first week alone. Spoke little about the signing of Rick Ross and his take over of the Roc. He said he was ready to leave and than the Def Jam thing came and said how could he pass it up.
When asked about who he would like to see perform he said Marvin Gaye would be the person he would like to see most, when asked what was his greatest acheivement as far as professional he said the gig at Madison Square Garden, he was also asked about how it feels to perform with Paul McCartney (at this years grammy; where he won with Lincoln Park) he said cool, he siad dude is a Knight but I am too, Sir Hova of Brooklyn and the crowd went wild.
All in all it was a great show and Young Mediteranean, Young Hov, S (DOT), El Presidenti, Jay Z, Jigga, Hova, Shawn, Hov'ee, whatever you call him, just remember the dude is a legend so lets not forget that, PEACE TO SIR HOVA OF BROOKLYN