In an interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet for T Magazine's holiday issue, Jay-Z Carter admitted that he and rapper Kanye West are currently having some turbulence in their friendship. The two collaborated on West's 2011 album Watch The Throne, as the Times culture critic-at-large Wesley Morris points out. Come 2017, the two aren't as close. (Baquet, ever the gentlemen, apologizes for asking about their friendship, claiming he had to ask one "gossipy" question.) Carter attributes this to industry competition.
"It's a complicated relationship with us," Carter told Baquet. "I've always been like his big brother. And we're both entertainers. It's always been like a little underlying competition with your big brother." Even the most influential musicians are not immune to the green monster of envy.
Carter continued, "Everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I'm saying?"
Still, they are longtime friends, and Carter seems assured that he and West will stay that way. They're in a rough patch now, but this, too, shall pass. "In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we're 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that."
The music producer and artist declined to name specifics, instead alluding to "certain things" that West has done that Carter hasn't liked. He said, "It's just that there's certain things that happened that's not really acceptable to me...And we just need to speak about it. But there's genuine love there."
He could be alluding to West's 2016 meeting with the then-President Elect Donald Trump. In mid-December of last year, the Life of Pablo artist met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York City. West said on Twitter that he met with Trump to discuss "multicultural issues" like bullying, the public school system, and "violence in Chicago."
Considering the year we've had, this hardly seems bizarre anymore. Give it some time and this will all be in the past. Then, hopefully, we'll get another collaboration between West and Carter.
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