5 Things We Learned From GQ's Jay-Z Cover Story

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[Photo: Nathaniel Goldberg for GQ]
WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

This week, GQ unleashed four different covers for the upwardly bro-bile magazine's 2011 Men of the Year issue — including Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Michael Fassbender and a totally manly shot of the manly Mila Kunis's manly cleavage. However, we were obviously drawn to the cover and accompanying story on Jay-Z, and not just because it was masterfully penned by longtime SPIN pal Alex Pappademas. This feature is one of the more incisive profiles we've seen of the Jiggaman in a while, cutting deep into the heart of exactly what "luxury rap" is in a story coincidentally dropping on the very day he pulled his controversial OCCUPY ALL STREETS T-shirts from the market. Here's some things we learned about our favorite business and/or man:

Sometimes Kanye annoys the living shit out of him.
Hey, us, too! "I think he just can't help himself," Jay told the mag. "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.' "

"Luxury rap" comes from an honest place, he swears.
Though he's been taken down a few pegs (uh, critically, not financially) for releasing the ballerest album to ever ball in the heart of the recession, Jay-Z says it's just a constant state of amazement in which he lives every day "It's not, like, 'We're here! We're balling harder than everybody,' " he says. "It's like, 'I'm shocked that we're here.' Still being amazed, still not being jaded." We have to say after years of being totally jaded and cynical, that answer sounds more than a little disingenuous. But once we can use our credit card to buy an island, we'll let you know if it's true.

Torrisi Italian Specialties is Jay-Z's favorite place to eat right now.
And they're booked through the next month, so good luck, Yelp losers!

When Jay-Z tastes something delicious, it sounds like he gets mad at it.
Writes Pappademas: "The first time he says, 'Are you serious right now?' after consuming a Blue Point oyster, I'm briefly convinced I've said something to offend him."

His new child will be exposed to Jay-Z's catalog.
"When the time comes, he'll start with Reasonable Doubt, go from there," he says. Most parents dread giving the birds and bees talk; Jay-Z is going to dread giving the Kingdom Come talk.

The whole thing is worth a read, and you can find it here.

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