Last month Jay-Z surprised a lot of people with his latest entrepreneurial endeavor: an online lifestyle magazine called Life + Times. The site attracted attention for its wide-ranging yet curated mix of art, videos, music and profiles, but since there is no mission statement—and Hov himself stayed mum—an air of curiosity about the publishing project and its origins remained. Until now, that is.
Gwyneth Paltrow, a longtime friend of Jay and his wife, Beyoncé, recently got him to open up about Life + Times in a scoop for GOOP, Paltrow’s own online lifestyle mag. In the interview, the hip hop mogul said starting his own publication had been on his mind for a long time.
"I started working on it in its various incarnations over a year ago," Jay said. "I've thought about it forever. You know how it works, seeing other sites and being either inspired or saying, 'That's shit. I would do it like [this].'"
Speaking on editorial direction for the site, Jay said the criterion for what to publish is based on whether or not something "piques my interest." But even more important than the subject matter, Jay believes, is how to approach it.
"The DNA is to basically let the subject speak for itself. We don't want to tell you what to think," he said.
Paltrow and her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, are close friends with Hov and Beyoncé. The two men collaborated on Jay-Z’s 2006 album Kingdom Come.
Following his sit down with Paltrow, Jay turned the tables interviewing the actress for his own interview posted at Life + Times. The 38-year-old actress has garnered attention recently for her singing efforts, having performed on the musical show Glee and at awards shows including the CMAs and the Grammys. She cites Beyoncé as a source of her musical inspiration.
(Photo: GREGOIRE BERNARDI/DALLE/Landov)