Jay-Z Talks "Decoded" Motivation And Roc Nation Profit Sharing

Hov calls "Big Pimpin'" harsh, and explains how Roc Nation remains profitable.

With both his book Decoded and a hits compilation album in stores during the fourth quarter, Jay-Z sat down with the Wall Street Journal to explain being an author, entrepreneurship and where the two intersect. With Decoded’s November 16 release date on the horizon, Jay-Z explained how lyrics—even those to one of his biggest mainstream hits—take on a different meaning after being seen on the printed page.

“Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing,” he explained. “Not ‘Big Pimpin’. That’s the exception. It was like, ‘I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing?’ Reading it is really harsh.”

Jay-Z also added that the notion of building a legacy comes up often, and he revealed the personal goal of trying and failing to beat Michael Jackson’s Thriller each time he crafts an album. He also credited the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs and Master P, citing a responsibility to “make sure that thing is intact for the next generation.”

When the conversation turned to his transition from Def Jam to a $150 million profit-sharing deal with LiveNation, sustaining profitability was a key talking point. Jay-Z pointed to concert dates such as Glastonbury and Coachella as stepping-stones to his recent Yankee Stadium performance with Eminem.

“It’s been two years since the LiveNation deal and I haven’t put out one artist,” Jay-Z added. “But right now Roc Nation is profitable, because we manage and we have a publishing company. So we came up with a plan to put together a touring schedule that would make this thing profitable. We really concentrated on building that profile.”

The full interview, including an exceprt from Decoded and Jay-Z’s plan to throw a concert in New York’s Central Park, is available via the Wall Street Journal’s Web site.

4 Comments

  • Anonymous

    get the money man do you like titties? big bootys? drugs? jackass pranks? check out the new hiphop booty webshow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEwG5BCujS4

  • Anonymous

    Yo if yall havnt read prodigy's letter from jail yet you NEED TO DO IT NOW i read a while ago but looking back on it is kinda scary, he really is part of something bigger than we all know of (who really knows what it is) But look it up Makes You Think

  • dali lamma

    nice turn around... he came to umass last year and got pissed on stage when people werent amped enough for big pimpin. called the song a "cultural phenomenon". but i agree with the fact lyrics are harsher on paper. didnt nas call him out for shit talking women a while ago? ya SLAUGHTERED him on ether

    • bruh bruh

      IM FROM THE SOUTH AND TO BE HONEST NIGGAS WAS NOT EVEN FEELING JAY Z IN THE SOUTH UNTIL "BIG PIMPIN" WITH UGK.I MEAN WE PLAYED"CANT KNOCK THE HUSTLE" OR "WEEK AGO"BUT UNTIL BIG PIMPIN HE WAS JUS ANOTHER LYRICAL BASED NIGGA THAT WE WAS NOT FEELING.NO LIMIT AND CASH MONEY WAS RUNNING THE STREETS BACK THEN.SO IT REALLY THE SONG THAT TOOK HIM TO THE NEXT LEVEL.BUT JAY SO DAMN ARROGANT HE WILL NEVER GIVE CREDIT TO NOBODY

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