JAY-Z Says Blue Ivy Used to Question His Icon Status: ‘I’m Cool!’


JAY-Z is an undeniable music, business and cultural icon, but it’s taken his kids a bit longer to come around to his cool factor.

In a multi-part interview with Gayle King for CBS Mornings, the superstar breaks down his journey to superstardom as he and King tour the Brooklyn Public Library’s Book of Hov Exhibit, opening up about growing up in Brooklyn, making a name for himself, and his life now, as a father of three, husband to Beyoncé, and an icon.

Speaking of his children, the 53-year-old rapper reveals that, although it’s taken some time, his 11-year-old daughter has finally started to regard him as a “cool dad,” even turning to him for fashion advice.

Blue Ivy is the eldest daughter of JAY-Z and Beyoncé, followed by the pair’s 6-year-old twins, Rumi and Sir.

“She used to be frontin’ on me a little bit,” JAY-Z tells King when asked if any of his kids think he’s cool. “But 1698335119 I catch her. I catch her in the corner, you know? Now she asks me, you know, if this is cool, if her sneakers [are cool].”

King clarifies, “She wants your advice?” to which the mogul responds, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

“There was a time where she was like, ‘Daaaaad,'” he quips, doing an impression of Blue covering her face in embarrassment.

“I’m cool. I don’t know what you sayin,'” JAY-Z recalls telling his daughter. “I’m cool! You got cool parents! At your house, your parents [are] cool.”

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

It’s hard to deny his cool factor when the Brooklyn Public Library has turned the entire building into an exhibit dedicated to his legacy. JAY tells King that it was important to him and his team that the exhibit — created by JAY-Z’s company, Roc Nation — be in a public library, where anyone can see it free of charge. 

One central aspect of the installation is its deep dive into the GRAMMY winner’s 13 studio albums. JAY first hit the rap scene as an independent artist before joining Def Jam Records in the early 2000s. He explains how his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, is particularly meaningful to him. 

“I needed to grow into this album,” he tells King of the 1996 album released by his own record label, Roc-A-Fella Records. “And had I gone to a label, I don’t think I would’ve been able to fully explore what was really happening, because I had the freedom and the independence to really talk about the real stuff that was happening in the streets, and happening for me and my friends at the time.”

The exhibit also showcases one of JAY’s most notable business moves — reclaiming his music nearly a decade ago.

He says the move was “the fight of my life.”

“From being an independent company from the beginning. And then going through the Def Jam system, not really understanding how that works. And them having my masters… then goin’ back to Def Jam as the president,” he explains. “And then saying, ‘OK, I’ll do this job. And part of this job is I have to — my masters has to revert back to me.”

CBS Mornings

JAY notes that it was important for his children to see his work, and he plans to hold the ownership before they go to his three kids. “You know, if they decide to sell it, then it’s up to them,” he says.

Reflecting on his many endeavors, JAY tells King that there’s one thing that matters to him most: “Being a beacon and helping out my culture, people of color.”

“I pull the most satisfaction from that,” he declares.

He adds that while making music was his first love, and something that once consumed him, “the idea of taking that platform and reproducing it for others or doing something like Reform … I think I derive the most joy from that.”

JAY launched the REFORM Alliance with fellow rapper Meek Mill in 2019. The nonprofit aims to “drastically reduce the number of people who are under control of the criminal justice system by changing laws and public opinion,” according to ABC News, who acquired a press release at the time.

King’s exclusive sit-down with the “Hard Knock Life” rapper premieres in two parts this week, with part 2 airing tomorrow morning.

King previously admitted that their interview, which took place inside of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Book of Hov Exhibit, came after “several very annoying asks” as JAY doesn’t do many interviews.

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