The New York Times charged novelist Zadie Smith with the task of profiling Jay-Z for the Times’ T Magazine and the end result is filled with some rather hilarious/interesting nuggets. For instance, when you go out to eat with Jay, he will order for you, based solely on what he feels you should have to eat.
I’m at a little table in a homey Italian restaurant on Mulberry Street waiting for Mr. Shawn Carter, who has perfected the art of triangulation. It’s where he likes to eat his chicken parms…He likes to order for people. Apparently I look like the fish-sandwich type.
Other nuggets from the piece that I found interesting or amusing for one reason or another:
Jay-Z has a Stringer Bell thing going on…
The persona is cool, calm, almost frustratingly self-controlled: “Yeah, 50 Cent told me that one time. He said: ‘You got me looking like Barksdale’ ” — the hot-blooded drug kingpin from HBO’s “The Wire” — “and you get to be Stringer Bell!” — Barksdale’s levelheaded partner. The rapper Memphis Bleek, who has known Jay-Z since Bleek himself was 14, confirms this impression: “He had a sense of calm way before music. This was Jay’s plan from day one: to take over. I guess that’s why he smiles and is so calm, ’cause he did exactly what he planned in the ’90s.”
Jay-Z is punctual and looks younger than he actually is…
He’s not late. He’s dressed like a kid, in cap and jeans, if he said he was 30 you wouldn’t doubt him. (He’s 42.)
Jay-Z can predict the future…
“I was speaking to my friend James, who’s from London, we were talking about something else, I just stopped and I was like, ‘What’s going to happen in London?’ This was maybe a month before the riots. He was like, ‘What?’ I said: ‘The culture of black people there, they’re not participating in changing the direction of the country. What’s gonna happen there?’ He actually called me when it blew up, he was like, ‘You know, I didn’t really understand your question, or the timing of it, until now.’ ”
The whole thing is an interesting read. Go read it all here.
(Pic via Instagram)