The Miami Music Festival (yawn) came to a close on Sunday, as the Miami International Book Fair kicked off its week-long series of literary events with George W. Bush (read about it). But tonight via satellite from the New York Public Library, however, Jay-Z and Dr. Cornel West are scheduled to spit the truth at the 26th annual street fair.
Jigga's sitting down with Dr. West to discuss Decoded, his new book. Earlier today, Jay-Z made an appearance on the Howard Stern Show and talked about his high-brow art collection, childhood in the Marcy Projects, and at one point even discussed the Miami Heat's LeBron James. We recapped it all for you.
The next four or five generations of the Carter-Knowles family is pretty set financially. If not for Jigga's estimated $400-million worth, his art collection will surely appreciate in value.
"I got into art about five years ago, or so," he told Stern. "I try to buy things that resonate with me. I have everything from Andy Warhol to Tim Noble to Sue Simmons."
On Oprah's Reaction to Jay Using the "N" Word:
"We come up in different eras. The 'N' word, to her, has a different meaning. It's so close to the civil rights movement, and the last word people heard as they were being hung from a tree," he said. "For our generation, we took that word and turned into a term of endearment."
"People give words power," he added. "If we take words off a network, or we take words off the table, the words just change. We have to change the attitude, and not the words."
On his Marcy Projects Home Life:
At the age of 12, Jay's father left the family; he was struggling with the violent murder of his brother. But before times got tough, Jigga's childhood memories were seemingly happy.
"Our house was the party house," he said. "We had a huge record collection." The music, however, was not community property. "My mom and pop had their names on their own records--they can share kids, but they didn't share records."
"Hustler is anybody who has the drive to make something happen for themselves. It just so happens for us, being on the street, hustling meant we had to find a different way because there were no jobs available, you know, the school system was shot. We had to hustle to find a different way to make means for ourselves."
On LeBron James:
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As part owner of the New Jersey Nets, Jay wanted to see LeBron in his team's colors of navy, red and silver. Howard asked, "Did you make the major play for him?"
Jay assured Stern that everyone in the NBA wanted King James, but his approach was different. "He's a friend of mine. We had the conversation, but it's a different conversation for me and him because we have a relationship. For me it was just present the opportunity, and let him make the decision."
Following Jay's comment, Stern's longtime sidekick, Robin Quivers, took a stab at the Miami Heat. "Now that you see how LeBron and those guys are playing in Miami, aren't you glad (you didn't sign James)?" Mischievously chucking, she added, "They're having a great time."
Watch Jay-Z and Dr. Cornell West tonight via satellite at the Miami International Book Fair. A limited number of autographed copies of Decoded will be available for purchase on a first come, first serve basis.