Hip Hop superstar Jay-Z was in town to perform at the Bell Center and to promote his new album "Blueprint 3." He arrived directly from the airport, dressed in black along with sunglasses and a baseball cap. As we often see a tougher "gangsta" image of Jay-Z in his music videos, in person he was friendly, took time to answer the many questions we all had and even cracked a few jokes.
Jay-Z has been in the hip-hop industry for years and recently obtained the honor of beating Elvis Presley's record for number one albums for a solo artist. He humbly responded that it was surreal and that he sees it as being in immortal company. He went on to say that for a rapper to obtain that kind of success is unheard of. So to be at the top of the game and have number one albums year after year is a really big thing.
In regards to his music, the New York native explained that his goal is to grow as an artist. "Sometimes while you experiment, some people are stuck in what you had previously made. I am not that type of person. I don't like to stay in the same place and wear the same clothes I had on last year. I am a forward moving person." His latest album also reflects this statement as he briefly pointed out that he wanted to make a forward type of record and that he had fun making the album as well.
Racism is a topic that often comes up in relation to rap and hip-hop music. Jay-Z had previously made a statement in an interview with Oprah Winfrey's magazine that rap music has done more for racism than anything at this time. "When you are talking to someone and you are trying to educate them, especially kids, they think they know more than everybody. They put their guard up and get defensive about it. Racism is taught in the home," he explained then went on to discuss the matter further. "If you look at the concert tonight, you'll see a diverse group of people just enjoying music together, all listening to the same type of music. I don't want to take anything away from the people. Some people even lost their lives to give me the right to make that bold statement. That's what happens and that was the progress to this point. Rap music has done more than a lot of people."