Jay Z and Kanye: What Happened?

Photo Credit: Hot 97 Summer Jam 2016/THZ Library

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter is most famous for his contribution to rap and being married to The Beyonce. He is, perhaps, second most famous for his friendship and collaboration with fellow rapper Kanye West. They have worked together on countless albums both as producers and performers and Jay-Z is credited with helping to give West his producing start with his 2000 album The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. They have worked together ever since, with Jay even publicly supporting West when he has faced controversies over public statements or behaviors.

West infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Music Video at the 2009 VMAs to declare that “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.” His defense of his best friend’s wife played into the unpredictable, often vilified persona he embraces and gave Beyonce the opportunity to show her gracious side when she allowed Swift to make her acceptance speech later in the night when Beyonce won another award.

Things have not been peachy between Jay, Beyonce and West for some time now, with a variety of speculation as to why. West has made public statements about his falling out with Jay and Jay’s family, a fact which is surprising considering his behavior in 2009. It turns out that Jay has little problem with someone defending his wife in front of millions, even if it is a little embarrassing and quite unorthodox; but, he has much more of a problem when that person is no longer defending his wife in public, but, instead, actually ragging on her.

Jay-Z’s most recent album, 4:44, has increased the speculation surrounding his rift with West and Jay was recently asked about it in an interview.

On the show Rap Radar, Jay was asked specifically about his single “Kill Jay Z,” and whether there were disses in the track directed at West.

In it, he raps, “I know people backstab you, I feel bad too/ But this ‘f—everybody’ attitude ain’t natural” as well as “But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane.”

Jay set the record straight by saying “It’s not even about a Kanye diss. It’s not a diss, I’m talking to myself the whole time.”

He also stated that a line in his song that references someone dropping out of school and losing their principles. West dropped out of Chicago State University in order to focus on his passion for music and his debut album as a rapper was titled College Drop Out. Again, Jay insists about those lyrics: “I’m talking to myself the whole time.”

That being said, Jay did open up about the rift between the two rapper/producers for the first time during the interview.

Referencing a concert in Sacramento last year where West ranted and rambled onstage about his mental health as well as about his strained relationship with Beyonce and Jay, Jay said he got hurt by that. “You got hurt, because this guy was talking about you on stage. But what really hurt me, you can’t bring my kid or my wife into it,” he continues, referencing the fact that West mentioned that he hasn’t spent time with Jay and Be’s first child, Blue Ivy. “We’ve gotten past bigger issues, but you brought my family into it, now it’s a problem with me.”

At the Sacramento concert, West seemed to accuse Beyonce of “playing politics” while also referencing his actions at the 2009 VMAs: “I went down seven years on behalf of you. Beyonce, I was hurt because I hear that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me.” He continued that his fans shouldn’t diss Beyonce but added “We are all equal. But sometimes we be playing the politics too much and forget who we are just to win.”

Jay Z said he was hurt by this because he believed he and West could have worked out their issues if he hadn’t dragged Beyonce into it. “Me and him would have been talked about it, been resolved our issues. And he knows he crossed the line. He knows. And I know he knows. ‘Cause we never let this much space go between one of our disagreements and we’ve had many. That’s part of who we are.”

It seems that Jay’s red line, acknowledged by West, is his family.

In the interview Jay was also asked about another public feud that got a lot of attention a few years ago: his fight in the elevator with Beyonce’s sister, Solange Knowles.

In video released of the incident, Solange can be seen repeatedly hitting and kicking at Jay as the three share an elevator together; Jay attempts to stop her and Beyonce stands stoicly by.

The moment has been epitomized in a remix of one of Beyonce’s songs, Flawless, featuring Nicki Minaj: “Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.”

Beyonce and Jay-Z have an estimated combined net worth of more than $1 billion.

In the Rap Radar interview, Jay said: “We’ve always had a great relationship,” referring to Solange. “We’ve had one disagreement. Before and after, we’ve been cool. That’s my sister,” he continued. “Not my sister-in-law, no, my sister. Period.”

There has yet to be a response from Kanye West who is currently reported to be working on a secret project with Kid Cudi.

A Kanye West and Jay-Z collaboration, “No Church In The Wild:”

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