Jay-Z is having a pretty good year. Not only did the music mogul announce that his NBA team the Brooklyn Nets would be moving to his beloved borough soon, but he also scored yet another number one album. And if that wasn’t enough, he and his superstar wife are gearing up for the birth of their first child.
In the wake of this, Jay-Z covers GQ’s Men Of the Year issue and opens up about his love of art, his partnership with Kanye, and why he’ll be a hands-on dad.
After growing up idolizing his dad, Jay-Z says it destroyed him when his father left their family when he was just 11-years-old.
He remembers: “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. 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.”
They two reconnected in 2003, just a month before Jay-Z’s dad passed away. Luckily, they were able to talk about the past and Jay was able to confront his father and get some closure.
Jay-Z says: “[I talked about] what it did to me, what it meant, asked him why. There was no real answer. There was nothing he could say, because there’s no excuse for that. There really isn’t. So there was nothing he could say to satisfy me, except to hear me out. And it was up to me to forgive and let it go.”
Because of his experience losing his father, Jay says he plans on being a hands-on dad. Despite their wealth, Jay acknowledges that money can’t replace love.
He cautions: “Providing—that’s not love,” he says. “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.”
So what made the notoriously private couple break their silence about the baby in such a public way? According to Jay a gossip show was going to break the news and the couple wanted to make the announcement in their own way.
He told GQ, “It was actually Bey who wanted to [announce] it. You want to be in control of your life.”
GQ’s ‘Men of the Year’ issue will hit newsstands next month.