Jay-Z Explains Concept Behind "Paris," Speaks On Fatherhood

Hov reflects on his father and digs through a few rhymes in a profile for "GQ" magazine.

Jay-Z recently covered GQ magazine's "Men of the Year" issue, allowing the publication to tag along during his travels in New York City, New York. During the interview, Hov touched on the concept behind his and Kanye West's single "Niggas in Paris," stating that it's not about flaunting wealth but more about reflecting on how they got it.

"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. Having so much fun and then stopping and saying, 'What are we doing here? How did we get here?'"

He touches on the particular line, "If you escaped what I escaped, you'd be in Paris getting fucked up too," explaining that it represents the struggle that he had to overcome in order to find success.

"I've known so many people that didn't make it," he says. "Most people can look at a picture of the kids they grew up with and it's like, 'Oh yeah—Adam went away to Harvard.' This is a whole different conversation."

The father-to-be also said that Beyonce was the one who decided to reveal her pregnancy at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, and opened up about his own father. "If your dad died before you were born, yeah, it hurts—but it's not like you had a connection with something that was real," Jay says. "Not to say it's any better—but to have that connection and then have it ripped away was, like, the worst. My dad was such a good dad that when he left, he left a huge scar. He was my superhero."

Read the full profile at GQ.com.

RELATED: Jay-Z, Rocawear's "Occupy All Streets" T-Shirts Removed From Rocawear Website

Advertisement

107 Comments

  • FUCK THIS PIG

    FUCK THIS STUPID PIG.

  • rapg

    i love hearing rappers trying to explain egotistic songs that show off how much monet they have and how little we have. lol its pathetic. just say what it is jay! youre just beating your chest and flaunting your money...song for the clubs/radio...and thats fine...just dont try and put deep meaning behind songs like this. explain black excellence instead.

    • Eduardo Traconis

      you werent there when they made the song, so you wouldnt know what he meant by it or what he was thinking and last time i check hova dont lie.

  • seraj

    "Most people can look at a picture of the kids they grew up with and it's like, 'Oh yeahAdam went away to Harvard.' This is a whole different conversation." most people know someone who's gone to harvard??! really? Damn, I think Jay-z has got some real identity issues; He's putting himself in the category of the white upper class. Not hating, but Jay is an uncle Tom..

    • seraj

      ... people who grew up in Marcy during the 70's have no real connection with people that have been to harvard, thats a fact. I guess going from extreme poverty to extreme riches must really f#&k with your head which is understandable, all im saying is he's got real identity issues..

    • Big Dan

      Out of about 30,000 applying a year, only about 2000 get accepted to Harvard, so Anonymous, most people, even the richest of the rich, don't know three of their current friends or just people they know, that are attending Harvard. So get your head out your sensitive a#$.

    • Anonymous

      man your dumb , im from Winnipeg manitoba Canada , and i know 3 people that went to harvard and still go.. narrow minded duck.

    • yo

      Reading and comprehension, dude - reread it and then try 2 understand what the man is saying...that's all I'm gonna say, lol.

  • KIZMAN

    You said you a gangsta But you never pop nothing We said you a wanksta And you need to stop frontin' You go to the dealership But you never cop nuttin' You been hustling a long time And you ain't got nothing -50 cent

  • fuck off

    hahaha jay z old ass look like a fuckin bum. his musik hasnt ben poppin for bout 10 years now.....

  • music/media industry

    All anybody who works in the music or media industry all they are looking for is people with balls in their mouth. Once they find the losers who can suck the most cocks they see how many balls they can fit in that person's mouth. For example, a "fan" sees something on the internet, all of a sudden they got balls in their mouth, they keep talking about how great that person in the media is, which is exactly what the top assholes in the industry want. Media tells them to buy this record or buy this movie, they stuff the balls down their throat. Music industry gives out fake awards immediately these morons stuff that shit right down their throat and they start ball licking. They start talking about how every asshole that the media and music promotes is the greatest goddam person on earth and is so much better and talented then every other living organism on the planet. They stuff those balls so far down their throat they start poppin out they ass and they they shove em right back in thier ass. Brainwashed ball sucking idiots.

  • @MBTM

    You wrote the stupidest goddam post ever written. Congrats!!! You got balls in your mouth(In aolmail "you've got mail" voice) "YOU'VE GOT BALLS IN YOUR MOUTH" So log into your account and see how many balls you can stuff in there.

  • @MBTM

    Balls In Your Mouth son Balls In Your Mouth you got em. that's right balls in your mouth bitch

  • @MBTM

    You got balls in your mouth That is what you do for a living. Stuff rapper's balls in your mouth Stuff music industry balls in your mouth Get a life.

  • @MBTM

    Balls In Your Mouth bro Balls In Your Mouth homie Balls In Your Mouth wannabe Balls In Your Mouth cock gobbler Balls In Your Mouth phony Balls In Your Mouth tv watcher Balls In Your Mouth dick sucker

  • @MBTM

    Balls In Your Mouth Balls Up Your Ass Balls In Your Mouth Balls Up Your Ass Balls In Your Mouth You Got balls, and they are in your mouth

  • @MBTM

    Balls In Your Mouth Balls In Your Mouth Balls In Your Mouth Balls In Your Mouth Balls In Your Mouth You Got Balls In Your Mouth Balls In Your Mouth Balls In Your Mouth

  • @MBTM

    cocksucking ball licking homo

  • @MBTM

    You are the classic balls sucker, licking balls left and right. Trying to sound all inteligent about a corrupt system and mostly assholes in the industry. The industry changed about 15-20 years ago and now it is run by a select few. Nothing to do with talent. Nothing to do with facts. Nothing to do with who is the best. Just a fat fucking cock up your ass.

  • MBTM

    Time to end this G.O.A.T. foolishness. In this constant debate about Jay-Z being the best ever I read things like "Nas will destroy Jay-Z" or "Eminem got a better flow than Jay" Those are OPINIONS. When will you fools learn that you can't win a debate with OPINIONS. Every rapper has a different style based on where they are from, the time period in which they were most successful, and their unique personality. We all can go on for days about our personal preferences but in a debate criteria like this is completely IRRELEVANT and automatically BIASED. The only way to win a debate is with cold hard FACTS. And the fact of the matter is that, when you weigh all of the tangible criteria (Sales, Critical Acclaim, Consistency, Longevity, and Impact) Jay-Z makes the strongest case for the G.O.A.T. Eminem has sold nearly twice as much as Jay-Z, and he is Jay's equal when it comes to longevity and impact. But Em lacks the consistency or critical acclaim that Jay-Z has (Im not talkin cult/fanboy classics, Im talkin CERTIFIED classics. XXL/Rolling Stone/Source approved) Eminem is VERY close though. Nas has enjoyed more critical acclaim and more overall respect in the hip-hop community through the years. And he's definitely equal to Jay with longevity and impact. But he hasn't been no where near as much of a consistent presence in hip-hop as Jay has. And he is obviously lacking in the sales department. Lil Wayne just may be the most consistent rapper of all time. He's no slouch when it comes to longevity and impact either. His glaring flaw? In his 12 year career Lil Wayne has yet to drop a truly critically acclaimed classic album (and it can be done in this climate. just look at kanye's discography). Also, contrary to popular beleif, Wayne lacks in the sales department. Sure, Tha Carter III and IV are blockbuster albums, but his OVERALL sales of 10 mil US pale in comparison to Jay-Z's 31 mil. 2pac is a touchy subject. When it comes to impact, pac takes the cake. No other rapper touched the world like 2pac did. He, like Em, has also sold more than Jay and he was very consistent in his time. Sadly, 2pac passed before his time which allowed Jay-Z to surpass him in longevity and critical acclaim. LL Cool J was the prototype for what a G.O.A.T. could be. He has enjoyed the most longevity, and he was fairly consistent, but his sales, acclaim and overall impact are no where near the likes of 2pac, Eminem, and ofcourse Jay-Z. Biggie, Rakim, Common, Snoop, the list goes on. All of these MC's are great but none of them have the total G.O.A.T. package like Jay-Z does. Jay-Z is the 3rd highest selling rapper of all time, and the richest. He's one of the most acclaimed (perhaps only rivaled by his boy Kanye). He dropped multi-platinum albums YEARLY from 96'-03', and he is still going strong today. He's been in the game since 88'. He's impacted hip-hop in countless ways from starting one of the 1st successful MC-owned record labels, to being the 1st non-athlete with a signature shoe, to surpassing the likes of Elvis with #1 albums. Jay-Z is without question the Greatest MC Of All Time. Period. You don't have to listen to him everyday (Im currently on my Kendrick wave). You don't even have to like him. But for goodness sake, RESPECT THE FACTS

    • Big Dan

      I just read some comments on Jigga saying most people can look at a picture and point out oh, Adam when to Harvard and that just highlights my point about Jigga now making songs to impress the white media. If dude had said, Adam went to college okay. But Harvard, common Jigga. How about unfortunately, in the hood, some people look at pictures and go Mike, he is upstate, John, he got hit by a stray, Mary, she (maybe) went to college

    • Big Dan

      I like your analysis, except as you got deeper, you forgot your own premise. At the end of the day, it IS about opinions and if you love Nas more than Jay-Z, I will never be able to convince you that Jay-Z is way better or vice versa. Because its all subjective, it becomes difficult to actually make an informed assessment. I'm sure there is at least one fan in Atlanta that thinks Gucci Mane's got the skills to send Jigga running back into retirement. I am also not sure you should use sales in your equation. Jigga outselling Nas does not make him better and if you want to go on that, then you can not turn around and say Jigga is still better than Em even though Em has and will outsell him any day. Furthermore, I've always said there is some unknown kid out there that will mop the floor with any so called G.O.A.T and he has yet to sell a record. As far as critical acclaim, Nas may not be consistent, but no one has ever questioned his lyrics in that regard, although I'm not impressed by the drug related stuff. His "shortcomings" have been that his beat selection is weak, which should not take away from his skill when being rated. By the way, where is Tupac, where is LL, Biggie? To highlight the opinion aspect, personally, I'm so anti drugs that my bias will ensure I rate a "Dear Mama" miles over any Nas song where he is trying to tell me how much weight he moves. Also, if you look at what (lyrics) readers on sites such as these will copy and paste as a quotable, I'm thinking, I don't get it. Furthermore, you have to look at someone's entire body of work. Jigga is not done yet and now, he seems more interested in making songs that impresses the white media for want of a better term, such as when he talks about his Basquiats on his walls etc. But I guess he should be commended for not staying stuck in one lane. He's moved on from just trying to impress the hood. I'm sure he has made the assessment that he is bigger than rap and needs to "expand" lyrically as well, so can't fault him. Nas on the other hand, he seemed stuck on grabbing tales that will impress the hood, the gun talk, the drug talk, that he was never a part of - not saying he should have been. I guess what I'm trying to say is there might only be one or two rappers out there that just make songs..you know for the sake of making music to entertain people as opposed fostering an image they want to project, be it gangsta, world's biggest drug dealer, or rap's richest mogul and that's why I hold off on my vote. Here is an exercise. If you give a bunch of rappers a hot beat and tell them to write and record a song with the following guidelines, no talking about money, drugs, gangsta nonsense, all the crap that makes a rap song nowadays, who do you think will come up with the winner. There's your G.O.A.T!

    • insanemacbeth

      "LL Cool J was the prototype for what a G.O.A.T. could be. He has enjoyed the most longevity, and he was fairly consistent, but his sales, acclaim and overall impact are no where near the likes of 2pac, Eminem, and ofcourse Jay-Z." i defo agree with this this point, above ^^^^^^^. L.L. defo was the standard bearer for what the G.O.A.T., and mentioned this, in the song "4,3,2,1". but L.L. had been surpassed, a long time ago! i myself believe that RAKIM is the greatest emcee of all-time; but JAY-Z is the G.O.A.T. when you put skills, cultural impact, sales and all the other criterion in the mix. i started to believe this, when i heard the JAY-Z 'TAKEOVER: CORPORATE' freestyle, on FUNKMASTER FLEX's show.

    • @bad kid

      exactly. mbtm post is pure bullshit. the assholes in the industry that mbtm loves to suck the balls of they control who goes where, who does what, and what happens. They almost basically 100% control the shit. So anything they want to happen in the industry happens. Nothing to do with talent. Nothing to do with facts. Nothing to do with who can rap. Music industry is nothing put morons with balls in their mouth.

    • Bad Kid

      So by your logic Nelly and 50 cent should be considered goats also...its funny first you say you cant win debates with opinions. Then you say Jay z recieved critiical acclaim...huh guess what those are opinions from magazines, no difference. Why Are you bringing up his business ventures? That has nothing to do with shit.

    • @fartbook

      It's not well said. Its straight ball sucking bullshit.

    • @reem

      You got balls in your mouth as well.

    • reem ram Ups

      100% cosign down to the kendrick wave you a real nigga

    • @MBTM

      you got a cock up your ass buddy. take the dick out ya mouth. no such thing as facts in the music industry and you have all these assholes who are involved with it such as media and investors and labels. No such fuckin thing. Stick the post up your ass and quit gobbling down balls.

    • I-am NigelClarke

      Very well said. It took me a while to come around.

  • Anonymous

    What about your child by that Island girl you don't claim. Are you ashamed of him because his mother is a whore??

  • illness

    damn im a hov fan and all but the nigga looks softer than shit in this homo ass pic...

  • @cool

    Does jay-z now their are black people born in Paris? and their are homeless black people in Paris as well? now if they said "Niggas Winning Oscars Making history" then that would be ballin

    • Brooklyn Uncultured Retard

      Brooklyn Zookeeper is an idiot. There are mad black folks in France. Most of them are from Africa, but some are from the French Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Martinique, etc). I'm gonna go ahead and assume Brooklyn Zookeeper is black because black folks usually know even less about foreign countries -- they're too busy repping their neighborhoods and focused on fighting each other.

    • Anonymous

      smh brooklyn zookeeper is a dumbass. i bet you're cleaning up other dudes' shit in the brooklyn zoo

    • ghh

      French Black people are everywhere in Paris.

    • BROOKLYN ZOOKEEPER

      PARIS IS NOT KNOWN FOR BLACK PEOPLE. STOP WITH THE U KNO THERE ARE 20BLACK PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN FRANCE BULLSHIT.

  • Yeaboiiii

    Hittman is the G.O.A.T. All the real heads know this. He's crafted several number one singles, went from Dre's 2001 to worldwide stardom (eclipsing Eminem and Snoop in the process) and combines genius songwriting ability with charisma and a craft for classic albums. His long line of 5 star albums prove this for all his haters.

  • Yeaboiiii

    Hittman is the G.O.A.T. All the real heads know this. He's crafted several number one singles, went from Dre's 2001 to worldwide stardom (eclipsing Eminem and Snoop in the process) and combines genius songwriting ability with charisma and a craft for classic albums. His long line of 5 star albums prove this beyond doubt.

  • Anonymous

    http://soundcloud.com/this-j-bird-bitch gettin all up in that ass

  • Yeaboiiii

    Hittman is the G.O.A.T. All the real heads know this. He's crafted several number one singles, went from Dre's 2001 to worldwide stardom (eclipsing Eminem and Snoop in the process) and combines genius songwriting ability with charisma and a craft for classic albums. His long line of 5 star albums prove this, for everyone hating on Hittman's success.

  • Yeaboiiii

    Hittman is the G.O.A.T. All the real heads know this. He's crafted several number one singles, went from Dre's 2001 to worldwide stardom (eclipsing Eminem and Snoop in the process) and combines genius songwriting ability with charisma and a craft for classic albums. His long line of 5 star albums prove this, for any remaining doubters.

  • Yeaboiiii

    Hittman is the G.O.A.T. All the real heads know this. He's crafted several number one singles, went from Dre's 2001 to worldwide stardom (eclipsing Eminem and Snoop in the process) and combines genius songwriting ability with charisma and a craft for classic albums. His long line of 5 star albums prove this, of course.

  • YADIG

    FUCK THIS CAMEL YMCMB ALL DAY, WAYNE KISSIN BABY IN THE MOUTH WITH TOUNGE ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS IN HIPHOP, WAAAAAAAAAY>>>>>THIS CAMEL FUKIN BEYONCE DMFF ALL DAY NEW CREW I'M REPPIN CASE YOU AIN'T KNOW DICK MOUTH FARIY FUCKERS REMEMBER IT BITCHES

  • Yeaboiiii

    Hittman is the G.O.A.T. All the real heads know this. He's crafted several number one singles, went from Dre's 2001 to worldwide stardom (eclipsing Eminem and Snoop in the process) and combines genius songwriting ability with charisma and a craft for classic albums. His long line of 5 star albums prove this.

  • Anonymous

    "If your dad died before you were born, yeah, it hurtsbut it's not like you had a connection with something that was real," Jay says. FUCK YOU ITS THE LACK OF CONNECTION THAT HURTS

  • WAIT

    What about the verse, "Pop died, didnt cry, didnt know him that well...."

  • Anonymous

    i DONT KNOW ANYBODY THAT WENT TO HARVARD?WHAT PEOLPE ARE U TALKING BOUT JAY?

    • Anonymous

      jay is speaking in general terms (aka white people also) this is GQ magazine not WORD UP or THE SOURCE ..he's talking to a more broader audience not just your local neighborhood people ,etc..

    • Broward County

      That's clearly because you are a moron. Birds of a feather flock together, you know...

  • Anonymous

    This beat aint bad ya'll stop frontin on go getters n dudes who at least have the balls to experiment in an industry where everyones a dick rider Check this shit out tho http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xweI4TbakQ8&feature=feedu

  • cj

    warning: "Please do not feed the trolls".

  • Agent Orange

    I can't help but to cringe and scoff every time I hear "Paris". It just sounds like a fake and bootleg song to me. Reminds me of a chopped up song off of youtube that anybody can make on a computer.

  • Azhar

    It's a shame i know people make dumb comments on here just to get people to respond....but honestly how can you look at Hov as anything else except and inspiration...u can argue about who's a nicer mc currently, but u can't argue about his impact and how he is still relevant today as an artisit, mogul, icon, etc... Real Rap Jay is a beast in the culture of hip hop....and u don't have to be a fan to realize that... and how gay do you have to be to call him a camel... shit is corny, tired, and lame....

    • Delano20

      Meaning, I agree with Azhar

    • @azhar

      you suck too much cock, its no good for you

    • ^^^^^^^^

      Damn I really thought I was the only one on here who had sense left, I guess this makes us two, cuz everyone talks shit all day long, illuminati this and devil worshipper that, people don't understand that its entertainment, plus like u said u cant deny this mans ambition, came from one of the hardest projects, and is having lunch with Warren Buffet haha hows that for u haters, not to mention all the other endeavors he has going, clothing line, part of a label, part of a basketball team, etc...

  • Mu

    Has Jay-Z fallen off as an emcee? Yes. Is he still arguably the greatest emcee ever? Hell Yes. So I don't know if all you dickheads have negative things to say about him because your life sucks and he reminds you of that or if yall internet thugs are too young to remember what he's accomplished in this game. Either way... Stop it. You look pathetic. If Jay-Z died today (God forbid) you assholes would get to see the impact he's made. Appreciate a living legend while he's still fucking here. Hip-hop will never get the full respect of other genres until it grows the fuck up. Do rock heads hate on Steven Tyler because he doesn't make classic records anymore?? DUMB FUCKS...

  • Anonymous

    go sell some occupy t shirt you money hungry bitch. is money the only important thing for you?

  • DK

    American Gangster was the last time we heard the real Jay.

  • Big Dan

    Jay-Z has another kid. Looking at the picture, there is no denying it. So why does this dude run around acting like this one with Beyonce is the first one and worse, keeps talking about how his father was not there, so he will be there for his kid, when that is not the case with the first one? I saw him on Charlie Rose and dude did not even squirm when talking about becoming a father for the first time. In this interview, he said providing is not being a father, being there is, so what's up? The other kid is a boy, his first (I assume) son and the kid is getting treated like he is non existent.

    • ..

      @MU & Rating, Stop defending ur favorite artists to the death as soon as any 'bad' is said about them... Jay Z has a 8 year old son , tests confirmed it

    • Big Dan

      It wasn't just rumors. There were pictures. The lips, the eyes, if that wasn't Jigga's kid, then he is not married to Beyonce. I said I assume the other kid is his first, I did not say I assume he has another kid. Y'all really need to learn to read AND comprehend. If he has another kid and pretending that this is his first, that is foul. Now y'all got me scouring the internet. Go check out this You Tube post and tell me this isn't Jigga's kid - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFAa9Hga17g Rating, you dad wasn't there was he?

    • Rating

      Get a job at Mediatakeout or Bossip if you enjoy creating alternate realities to people's lives. And so what if he has a kid(which he doesn't). I bet your father has 3 or four kids your mother will never know about, and that's not speculation

    • Mu

      What you're reporting is shit for the tabloids and gossip pages... You said yourself that you "assume" shit, and we know what happens when you do that (if you don't know, you make an ASS out of yourself). Bring facts or shut the fuck up

  • RIP_Proof&Dilla

    I miss when Jay was Jay instead of Kanye JR.

  • who's gonna suck it?

    who's gonna suck this pigs cock because you saw the pig on tv? Huh? Who's gonna do it? Fucking ball suckers.

  • Anonymous

    Jay winning again.

  • Vlad Kush

    why is it that everbody else's version of this is better than the original? http://vkushbeats.com $5 Beats/ $29 Exclusives use the employee coupon code"kush50" for huge discount!

  • btpstreet

    What thell Hov mean most people can look at a pic and say oh yeah Adam went to Harvard. Your more likely to make it in the Rap game than get into Harvard. Real Talk

  • So Icy Boi!

    dis camel is gay. I fucked Beyonce. lmao swag

  • thealmightypeeper

    ^ your a pathetic. you have nothing else to do but to piss people off with that comment. climb a tree or do something in your life kid.

  • So Icy Boi!

    fuck dis camel face. he a wack rappa. Gucci da goat. swag

    • segrv

      wow truth you really couldnt tell you were being had? wow...

    • Anonymous

      ^ this. the only thing i hate more than a troll is a dumb nigga that has zero common sense and keeps responding to them. i'd rather be a troll than to be a gullible ass moron with no common sense

    • Ruff11

      @Truth You're so dumb that you're not even understanding that he's trolling..telling somebody else to read a book nigga go learn common sense and logic instead of catching feelings and paying attention to internet trolls.

    • So Icy Boi!

      yous a bitch. Gucci mo talented & creative den Gay-Z. swag

    • Fizzy

      speaking of people who didn't make it...

    • TRUTH

      Gucci the goat? really....the nigga that throws random hookers out of cars and gets ice cream cones tatooed on his face?......go read a book...then kill ya self.

Most Popular News

Most Discussed News