Jay-Z covers the November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair
. He was photographed by Mario Testino for the cover. In the interview, Jay-Z talks about his tough childhood and his daughter Blue Ivy. Jay-Z says they won't make products based on Blue Ivy's name and that they trademarked it to protect her from exploitation by others. He also talked about his upbringing in a neighborhood where crack was everywhere and he was a drug dealer.
On Blue Ivy, His Biggest Fan
: "She's my biggest fan. If no one bought the Magna Carta
[album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy. And tha's not like a cliche. I'm really serious. Just to see her - 'Daddy song, more, Daddy.' She's genuine, she's honest, because she doesn't know it makes me happy. She just wants to hear it."
On Being a Drug Dealer
: "I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash - those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you're going to get locked up or you're going to die."
On Growing Up Poor
: "We were living in a tough situation, but my mother managed; she juggled. Sometimes we'd pay the light bill, sometimes we paid the phone, sometimes the gas went off. We weren't starving - we were eating, we were O.K. But it was things like you didn't want to be embarrassed when you went to school; you didn't want to have dirty sneakers or wear the same clothes over again."
Photo: Mario Testino/Vanity Fair