JAY-Z Reflects on Race, Social Media, and His Legacy in Rare Interview

In a rare interview with The Sunday Times, JAY-Z took a moment to share his thoughts on the racial tensions in America, the use of social media, and his own legacy.

While promoting his new partnership with PUMA, the hip-hop icon and businessman shared his thoughts on the strained racial climate of the United States, pointing out both the country’s progress and its road ahead. "It’s very frustrating," he said. "As a human race we’re still on basic things. We’re still on Stop Asian Hate. We can’t sit and cry over spilt milk, but we do have to acknowledge that there’s milk, right? Are we here today? No. Are we further than 50 years ago? Yes."

He also touched on the effects of social media on the younger generation, explaining that there is a form of pressure for kids to use "a microphone" that they have access to all the time. "You can’t give someone a microphone for 24 hours a day and [have them] not think they have to use it," JAY-Z, who is the father of a nine-year-old and two three-year-old children with wife Beyoncé, added. "These kids, it’s unbelievable. Imagine having a microphone and you’re asked about social justice questions at 18 years old? It’s like, 'What? I’m meant to know the answer, and if I don’t answer the correct way, if I don’t say everything right, even if my intentions are right, and I don’t say the same right thing, it’s going to be everywhere.'"

The mogul ended the interview by reflecting on the kind of legacy he wants to leave behind. Even for someone whose career has experienced an exceptional length of longevity, the TIDAL founder is still on the fence with his answer. "I have no idea," he admitted. "I’m not beyond ego, right? Hopefully they speak of me [with] the names of Bob Marley and all the greats. But that’s not for me to say."