Jay-Z Says He Couldn't Relate to Michael Jackson and Prince

Jay-Z Says He Couldn't Relate to Michael Jackson and Prince

Published November 15, 2010

Michael Jackson may have been the greatest entertainer to ever live, but Jay-Z couldn't related to him.

Speaking with Howard Stern on the king of all media's Sirius XM Satellite radio show to promote his "Decoded" book, Hov discussed a passage in which he acknowledges Jackson's "Thriller" as the greatest album ever made, but notes that he couldn't relate to genius musicians like MJ and Prince growing up. In fact, he couldn't relate to many of his musical idols until hip-hop came into play.

"It brought an incredible talent closer to home," Jay told Stern. "It resonated closer to me, cause yeah, Michael Jackson and Prince, they were so far removed from who we were everyday and the music they were making was so difficult to make that rap brought it closer for us to tell these stories and have these emotions and speak these emotions."

"It brought it in a real way," he continued. "We were telling stories of things that happened yesterday. It became news, it became instant, it became things that were happening in real time."

Jay also discussed the book's epilogue in which he details meeting Oprah Winfrey. While Hov created buzz when word spread that he took Oprah back to the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn last year, Hov and Oprah apparently had a difference of opinion on a controversial topic.


"It’s actually comfortable for me because I know the things and the emotions that I stand on are true," Jay said of discussing the n-word with Winfrey. "And I can have that conversation with anybody and Oprah is one of our heroes, so for her to understand it meant a lot to me. But no, I wasn’t nervous. We come up in different eras, so the n-word to her, has different meaning. It’s so close to the civil rights movement and the last word  people heard as they were being hung from a tree. For our generation, we took that word and turned it into a term of endearment, because, people give words power. If we take words off our network, or we take words off the table, the words’ll just change. We have to change the attitude and not the word. "

Jay-Z's "Decoded" hits stores tomorrow.

Written by Carl Chery, BET.com Staff

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