(Photo: GQ Magazine)
GQ magazine has named Jay-Z one of their 2011 Men of the Year, and in a new interview the hip hop mogul and megastar opens up about his pending fatherhood, losing his own father and his platinum-selling collaborative album with Kanye West, Watch the Throne.
Shedding light on the now infamous moment when his wife Beyoncé revealed that she was pregnant at the MTV Video Music Awards this year, Jay admits that going public was his wife's idea.
"It was actually Bey who wanted to [announce] it," he said. "You want to be in control of your life."
When the baby comes, Jay said he would be sure to expose it to classic music — including his own catalog — given how much of an impact his parents' record collection had on him.
There will be a lot of [Reasonable Doubt]. And a lot of other records, all pivotal, important records," he said. "There'll be Ready to Die, there'll be Illmatic."
Jay said being hands-on as a father was much more important than simply providing financially.
"Providing — that's not love," he said. "Being there — that's more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They're crying out for attention; they're hurting for love. I'm not being judgmental — I'm just making an observation. They're crying out for the love that maybe they didn't get at home, and they got everything. All the material things that they need and want. So we know that's not the key."
Asked if he would get his hands dirty changing diapers, Hova said he would.
"Of course, of course. One hundred percent," he said.
Reflecting on being abandoned by his own father at a young age, Jay spoke candidly about the emotional pain it caused him.
"If your dad died before you were born, yeah, it hurts — but it's not like you had a connection with something that was real," he said. "Not to say it's any better — but to have that connection and then have it ripped away was, like, the worst. My dad was such a good dad that when he left, he left a huge scar. He was my superhero."
He also speaks openly about what he calls his best post-retirement album, this year's Watch the Throne, and working with his old friend and famed perfectionist, Kanye West.
"I think he just can't help himself," Jay said of Kanye's demanding work habits. "He puts so much into everything, and he's like, 'You have to treat it like I treat it.' It drives you crazy sometimes — like when you've put 75 versions of a snare on one song and he's like, 'No!' and you're like, 'Come on, man.' "
Also named to the annual “Men of the Year" issue was actor Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Inglourious Basterds), Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. Read Jay-Z’s full interview at GQ.