While in London, Jay sat down with Clash Magazine for an interview as well as a photo shoot with photographer Rankin. Hit the jump for some excerpts of the interview as well as some pics. Links to the full interview/shoot are below as well.
Clash: So ‘The Blueprint 3′; how long have you been recording it for?
Jay: Forever. My whole life. I must have honestly started the process three or four times. But it actually started out in the UK when I was playing Manchester. Kanye came along to my show and brought me a CD full of beats and they were all sequenced. So he’s like, “This is the album!”, and I was, “Woah – slow down”. Kanye thought it was done and ready. But that was pretty much the foundation for what would become ‘The Blueprint 3′.
Clash: And when it comes to the subject matter of a record, is that you speaking or do you assume a character?
Jay: Even a record like ‘American Gangster’ wasn’t actually me looking to be the person in the film, it was my interpretation of the emotions I felt whilst watching it. I took emotions that related to my life from the movie scenes and talked about them in that way to make an album. It was a concept album, but not about the movie. It was influenced by the movie, so it was still me as me speaking and feeling, you know?
Clash: There’s no current affair bigger than Obama at the moment and you name check him a fair bit on the LP and you played his inauguration ball. How do you think he’s getting on now he’s well into his first year as president?
Jay: It’s going great. He has a lot to deal with. It’s going as well as it can go considering what came before. You know? You gonna hit on some things and you’re gonna miss on some things, but you gotta try. You can’t not do anything. I like his courage and I think he’s handling the job rather well. There’s a lot of challenging issues and you know, it’s going to take some time.
On Kanye and Rihanna:
Clash: But you’ve fostered talent since the early days. On the track ‘Everyday A Star is Born’ you seem to be giving a nod to the likes of Kanye and Rhianna who you have brought to the public’s attention.
Jay: With Kanye I feel like he’s my little brother. We’re a family.
Clash: And when Rhianna had her problems earlier this year, was did you all feel part of that?
Jay: Of course. We are a family, simple. If we need to close round to help someone, that’s what we do.
Read the rest of the interview here.