Calvin “Klein” Bacote, a former stickup guy and friend to Jay Z, recently spoke on his relationship with the Brooklyn rapper during an interview with Complex.

Bacote recalled Jay Z’s willingness to take an attempted murder charge for him in 1989. He says the New York City wordsmith never had someone to look up to, and despite Jay Z volunteering himself, Bacote felt that Jay taking the case would have resulted in a missed opportunity for the then up-and-coming rapper.

“I had accumulated so much money during that time that I wasn’t happy making money,” Bacote said. “Money was like pretty much the saddest thing for me. And the only thing that really kinda like excited me was going to war. You know, gunplay was what I was really more about. It was all or nothing. My back up against your back. Your back up against mines. Not even caring about what the reasons are. No one was safe. I had just previously got acquitted for murder. I came home and caught the case with Jay Z. Jay Z was willing to take the charge in 89. You had to keep in mind about when Jay mentioned me in The Black Album.

“At that point in time he never had nobody like myself that he looked up to that much,” he added. “Jay was like ‘Yo, I got this.’ I thought about it. Saying that if this man takes this case, this case is gonna have him in jail for a long time. He’s gonna miss his moment. He’s gonna miss his opportunity. Let me take my chance on taking the case. Try to get him off the case, which we actually did. And here he is.”

Towards the end of his interview, Bacote was asked if Jay Z was a good hustler. In response, he revealed that like himself the rapper was “a hell of a hustler.”

“Was Jay Z a good hustler? I’m a hell of a hustler too, but he’s a hell of a hustler. You gotta give it to him. He took nothing and turned it into something,” Bacote said.

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