Jay-Z stopped by BBC Radio 1 for a conversation and then a performance in the Live Lounge. His interview with Clara Amfo discussed the progress he’s made in his career, his new album 4:44, and Blue Ivy’s potential as a rapper. He also admitted to watching one of the bootlegged Game of Thrones episode.
Eventually, the discussion moved toward the rapper’s thoughts on the current sociopolitical climate in the United States, and the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Though he didn’t say his name, he did offer up some unambiguous vitriol for the American president:
I believe that we are resilient, especially us as black people and especially the culture. We’ve been through so much more than this guy. This guy, I’m looking at him like, man, this is a joke, with all—I can’t even say with all due respect—with all disrespect. I just think he’s not a very sophisticated man, especially when it comes to the idea of until everyone is free, no one is free, period. That’s just a fact. We are all linked some kind of way. So if you oppress a certain people, everyone is in danger. You know, karmically and in real life. If I’m being oppressed and you have this big, nice mansion, I’m coming inside there. That’s gonna happen; that’s just how life is. So on just a practical level, that just makes sense. On a spiritual and karmic level, if we’re all children of God, then we’re all brothers and sisters, and at some point, if you’re doing that to your brother, then that can’t last.
In a tribute to the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Jay performed “Numb/Encore,” the most ubiquitous track from Collison Course, the rapper’s 2004 collaborative album with the band. He also spoke about Bennington’s death:
Money or fame, that doesn’t mean anything if you’re not happy inside. I really think that hopefully his death serves as a wake up call that mental health is a real thing. You never know that people are going through. You think that because they’re performers and he’s sold millions of records…That doesn’t equate to happiness. Hopefully his death wakes a lot of people up and a lot of people start taking care of themselves.
Watch Jay’s interview and his performances of “Numb/Encore” and “Family Feud” below.