Rappers Jay Z and Kanye West have had a rocky relationship over the years, with lots of ups and downs. They’ve been friends, they’ve fallen out, they’ve each made jibes about the other through their music. In one word, it’s complicated.
The latest update about the frenemies comes straight from the mouth of Jay Z. The 47-year-old recently did an interview for The New York Times Style Magazine, in which he revealed that the two of them have finally buried the hatchet. The feud between them that’s been raging for the past year (well, not exactly raging, as the rappers were on no-speaking terms) is officially over.
It all started almost exactly a year ago. Last November, Kanye West held a concert in Sacramento, California. Everything seemed to be going great, until after about 30 minutes, the 40-year-old rapper unleashed one of those notorious Kanye West rants. He pleaded with Jay Z to call him, while claiming that Beyoncé had refused to perform at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, unless she won the Award for Video of the Year, over Drake and Kanye himself. After the meltdown, Kanye wrapped the gig early, cancelled the rest of the tour, and went to rehab for “exhaustion.”
After the outburst, Jay Z confessed in an interview for Rap Radar that he was deeply hurt, that Kanye, someone he regarded as a little brother, would talk about his wife in such a manner and in front of a huge audience. “We’ve gotten past bigger issues. But you brought my family into it, now it’s a problem with me. That’s a real, real problem. And he knows it’s a problem,” Jay Z said back in August.
Turning the page
Now, it seems the pair have moved past their differences, however, or at least they are giving it a try.
“I talked to Kanye the other day, just to tell him, like, he’s my brother. I love Kanye. I do,” Jay Z told The New York Times Style Magazine. “It’s a complicated relationship with us. Kanye came into this business on my label. So 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.
“And we both love and respect each other’s art, too,” he continued. “So it’s like, we both — everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I’m saying? And then there’s like a lot of other factors that play in it. But it’s gonna, we gonna always be good.”
The album with Beyoncé
In the same interview Jay Z confirmed that he and wife Beyoncé had worked on a joint album. This was during the making of their separate latest albums, Beyoncé’s Lemonade (2016), and Jay Z’s 4:44 (2017). The rapper was quick to point out that he wasn’t writing about their marriage problems; instead, their music was a sort of therapy session for both of them.
“We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together. And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became. There was never a point where it was like, ‘I’m making this album.’ I was right there the entire time.”