The do-it-all man of Hip Hop linked up with Vanity for a chat about all things Carter. Every so often in interviews like this you get reminded that hey this man was a drug dealer at one point. It's the classic tale of rags to riches in the urban entertainment culture. Many have taken those necessary business skills they honed on the streets to the board rooms and meeting halls of bigger business settings. The Forbes list is much better company than your local police stations most wanted list.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
One of the more telling quotes from this conversation is one that all who deal in the streets have to answer within themselves at some point. How do you feel about what you did to your community? Did/Do you feel remorse?
“Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
Honestly it's not an easy position to understand unless you've been in it. It's not surprising that such drastic situations fueled the creative energies of many of today's top artists. When your mindset is succeed or die that's no room for failure.
On a lighter note Jay-Z shares feelings on pursuing his wife and the joy of seeing his daughter's reaction to some of his music. It's a nice balance struck to hear about the personal man and not just the public figure.
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