Jay-Z on Race, Friendships and Therapy

I watched this interview that Jay-Z did with the New York Times and his words just stuck with me. Especially when he confronts his emotions and how that has impacted his life. One the things that is striking in this interview is how openly introspective he appears. It is a rare thing for a black to open up about his emotions to the world.

The strongest thing a man can do is cry. To expose your feelings, to be vulnerable in front of the world. That’s real strength. You know, you feel like you gotta be this guarded person. That’s not real. It’s fake.

Something else that my friend pointed out is the way he presents himself to the world. Here is a man who is a considered a legend in the rap world for not just his music but his ability to build a business. Instead of letting his ego be on display by spreading out, he is actually quite contained. Watching him and his mannerism closely gave me a sense that he is comfortable with who his is. That comfort comes across in the way he is able to speak openly about his life and the things he values without being scared of judgement.

There is also the discussion on race which I find to be interesting on two levels. There is the discussion of OJ Simpson and the idea the money does not erase blackness. I related to this on the level of someone who had to realize that my education does not exempt from the racism of being black. Second idea, which I am still ruminating on, is his position that Donald Trump is good for the discourse on racism in America. Alhough, Jay-Z is clear that the discourse is not ideal, I find it hard to understand if the level of trauma with this president can lead to positive change.