Being remembered in the same light as “Bob Marley and all the greats” certainly isn’t a bad legacy to wish for yourself but it’s also asking for quite a lot. Fortunately, in JAY-Z’s case with over 50 million album sales to his name worldwide, it is not just a pipedream but a highly plausible bequest.
Speaking to The Times in a rare interview, the hip hop icon discussed race, family matters, the pandemic, his greatest music achievements and more.
When speaking of his proudest moments he declared: “I’m most proud of overcoming my circumstances and providing opportunity for people who look like me and who came from the same situation that I’ve come from.”
The star then went on the discuss the pandemic and the hope he holds about coming out of the other end of it with greater societal cohesion, “We have to bounce back and we have to be great and we have to rebuild. I’m forever an optimist,” he said.
“In the beginning, it was time for everyone to sit down and really connect, and really focus on family and being together, and take this time to learn more about each other.”
Of course, this also entailed addressing the ongoing race issues that have plagued America in particular in this last year. “As a human race we’re still on basic things. We’re still on Stop Asian Hate,” he said.
“We can’t sit and cry over spilt milk, but we do have to acknowledge that there’s milk, right? But yes, to answer your question, it’s very frustrating… Are we here today? No. Are we further than 50 years ago? Yes.”
When summing up the musical luminary was asked what legacy he would like to follow in the wake of his career, to which he candidly declared: “I’m not beyond ego, right? Hopefully, they speak of me [with] the names of Bob Marley and all the greats. But that’s not for me to say.”