jay-z-vanity-fair

Five years after sharing a cover with George Clooney for their special Africa issue, Jay Z suits up and steals the spotlight on Vanity Fair‘s November 2013 cover. In Lisa Robinson’s cover story, Hov opens up about selling drugs as a teenager, responds to Forbes estimating his net worth at around $500 million and answers the all-important question: whose music does Blue Ivy like better? The issue hits newsstands in NYC and L.A. today, and nationally October 8.

On drug-dealing past:

[My mom knew I sold crack] but we never really had those conversations. We just pretty much ignored it. But she knew. All the mothers knew. It sounds like ‘How could you let your son . . . ’ but I’m telling you, it was normal

[I didn’t feel guilty about selling crack] until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.

Read more quotes after the jump…

On Blue Ivy’s musical tastes:

She does like her mother’s music — she watches [Beyoncé’s concerts] on the computer every night. But my album came out and I don’t know if Blue ever heard any of my music prior to this album — she’s only 18 months old and I don’t play my music around the house. But this album was new, so we played it. And she loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, ‘More, Daddy, more . . . Daddy song.’ She’s my biggest fan. If no one bought the Magna Carta [album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy. And that’s not like a cliché. I’m really serious. Just to see her — ‘Daddy song, more, Daddy.’ She’s genuine, she’s honest, because she doesn’t know it makes me happy. She just wants to hear it.

On Obama’s 2008 election:

[The 2008 election] actually renewed my spirit for America. It was like, Oh, wow, man, this whole thing about land of the free, home of the . . . it’s, like, real — it’s going to happen, everyone’s getting to participate in it. But growing up, if you had ever told a black person from the hood you can be president, they’d be like, I could never . . . If you had told me that as a kid, I’d be like, Are you out of your mind? How?

On rumors of Beyoncé having a surrogate:

I don’t even know how to answer that. It’s just so stupid. You know, I felt dismissive about it, but you’ve got to feel for her. I mean, we’ve got a really charmed life, so how can we complain? But when you think about it, we’re still human beings. . . . And even in hip-hop, all the blogs — they had a field day with it. I’m like, We come from you guys, we represent you guys. Why are you perpetuating this? Why are you adding fuel to this ridiculous rumor?

On Forbes’ estimate of his net worth:

I’m not motivated by that. . . . I don’t sit around with my friends and talk about money, ever. On a record, that’s different.

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