As one of the driving forces behind A Genius Leaves The Hood: The Unauthorized Story Of Jay Z, a documentary that details the life of Brooklyn wordsmith Jay Z, producer/director Choke No Joke shed some light on the newly-released film during an interview with Vlad TV.
According to Choke, A Genius Leaves The Hood touches on a number of Jay Z’s life moments including the emcee-turned-entrepreneur choosing his rap name, getting his first big deal, linking with his wife Beyoncé, and more.
“The documentary is about Jay Z’s life from beginning to present,” Choke No Joke said. “It starts off with Jaz-O who I got on the project. Jaz-O gives the birth story of Jay Z. How Jay Z came about. How he got his name. What his original name was. So, it starts with him then it goes all the way up through stages. The birth of Jay Z. Jay Z the independent artist. Jay Z that gets a deal. Jay Z that meets up with Damon Dash, forms Roc-A-Fella with Biggs as well. Jay Z that gets with Beyoncé. The demise of Roc-A-Fella. Jay Z’s success away from Roc-A-Fella. And then the political side of Jay Z. The business man. You know, up until his current situation.”
Choke also shared that in his opinion it was Jay Z’s decision to surround himself with “better business people” that helped pave the way to where he is today.
In addition to speaking on Jay’s business practices, Choke commented on the former feud between Jay Z and fellow Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Dame Dash. He revealed that he initially sided with Dame, but eventually came to the realization that the rapper’s decision to break away from Dame was a wise one.
“Surrounding his self with better business people,” Choke said, when asked about the one decision that helped Jay get to where he is today. “Not just keeping it hood, keep it street. He embraced corporate America. And whether they were using him at points to sell their brands. He was open to have these conversations with these people where other people in the business may not have went that route. Or, you know, wanted to keep it real…Back in the day, I’ll say like 10 years ago when this was all going on and I was working closer to Dame, I felt like what Jay did was wrong. But as years went on and more information developed and I matured and wasn’t just siding with the people I was working with, I saw that Jay made a smart move. It was very intelligent of him to make the moves that he made. Dame was more pigeonholed in his ways…Now knowing what I know now it was better for Jay to break away from Dame.”
A Genius Leaves The Hood: The Unauthorized Story Of Jay Z is currently available for download on iTunes. The documentary is directed by Barion Grant and includes appearances from Hot 97 personality Mister Cee, journalist Kim Osorio, M1 of Dead Prez, and more.