In case you weren't aware, Ryan Phillippe is a huge hip-hop fan. The actor even has a giant portrait of late rapper Sean Price tattooed on his forearm. That gives him a little cred when he goes on shows like Sway in the Morning on SiriusXM and delivers an analysis of Jay-Z's 4:44, which has been a hot topic on the set of his USA show, Shooter.
"[Omar Epps and I] spent a lot of time recently talking about 4:44, because at our ages and being fathers I find the whole thing to be an education, the whole album to be nothing but knowledge for men over a certain age and younger men too," Phillippe told Sway Calloway and co-host Heather B. "I feel like that's what Jay is trying to do with it is show you a roadmap for doing things the right way or a better way. I've listened to that album probably six, seven times since it came out, and I'm finding new stuff in it all the time."
At 42, Phillippe is just a few years younger than Jay, but he's been a father for much longer. With ex-wife Reese Witherspoon, he's dad to Ava, 17, and Deacon, 13, and his daughter Kailani with ex-girlfriend Alexis Knapp just turned 6.
"It hits me hard," Phillippe said of Jay-Z's honest account of his faults on the album. "As a dad, we've all fucked up, all of us in different ways."
In addition to 4:44, Jay-Z released a video in which he talks more explicitly about problems in his marriage to Beyoncé. "I just ran into this place and we built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn't totally built on the 100 percent truth," he said. "Then it starts cracking, and then things start happening that the public can see... We had to go a point and be like, 'Tear this down,' and then start from the beginning."
Phillippe appreciates the message. "The fact that he's speaking to fatherhood, and to being a better person, to me it's the exact album I was hoping it would be."
By the way, if you're still curious about Phillippe's rap credentials, skip ahead to the end of his interview to watch him spit some rather humorous lyrics.
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