Tuesday, October 27, 2009


*How did you get involved in the whole [DJ Hero] situation?

Jay-Z: They brought me a demo early on. The game play was great. Of course there may have been a couple of things like, the cross fader snapped back…little minor things. It didn’t look as good as it does now, but it was a demo so…but it was pretty much what it is now. The game play was cool, but what really drew me to the game was how they had the DJ’s mixes in there. There were these mash ups of different blends of music. You know I’m into that, I only believe in good music and bad music. I saw that as a vehicle and an opportunity to introduce hip-hop to so many different genres of music. You know, Guitar Hero is for rock, it’s fun, it’s great, but it’s one genre of music. This has blending of all kinds of music and I think that’s how people listen to music today. It’s a game of course but the over arching thing for me is it was bigger than that.

*Did it remind you of your Linkin Park [Collision Course] project?

Jay-Z: Yeah, of course, it was that.

*You have a pretty young record label, moving forward how do you see stuff like this working into how you work with artists that aren’t as established as yourself and [taking things] to the next stage in the music industry?

Jay-Z: The consumption of music is at an all-time high, so anytime that you can integrate music in different vehicles to get it out to an audience you want to do that. So Roc Nation that was pretty much the reason to start Roc Nation. I didn’t have to; I had a big comfy job at Def Jam. I think that the freedom to do these sorts of things going forward was most exciting to me. It’s like a very exciting time in the music business. It’s almost like cowboys and Indians. We are pioneers at this time, discovering new ways to get music out there. It’s exciting to me. We’ve always been entrepunurs; we’re going to embrace any type of vehicle that makes sense. We aren’t just going to do anything…showing up in a Wendy’s commercial.

*Going way back here, did you play video games when you were younger and what’s the first one you fell in love with?

Jay-Z: Space Invaders or Kaboom or Ms. Pacman or Stargate. Gotta be one of those…Asteroids too, where you hit the little rocks, it was cool. I remember Kaboom was one of the first ones that I would play endlessly on Atari. You know, you had to catch the bombs, that was one of the early games.

*In the arcade or the home system?

Jay-Z: The home system. In the arcade it was Stargate. I’d say that was the first game that I…not Defender, Defender was aight. Stargate, where you had to go through that little box and pick the people up and take them in the box, that was special. Space Invaders, um, yeah.

*Do you have a favorite DJ?

Jay-Z: A favorite DJ?

*From back in the days to now, growing up?

Jay-Z: Well my favorite DJ right now, I mean I don’t know if he’s the most technically skilled DJ, but as far as making the party go smooth is [DJ] Cassidy. Cassidy is my favorite DJ right now. Mark Ronson was at one time, before Cassidy. Then from the neighborhood [Brooklyn, NY’s Marcy Housing Projects], I’d say uh, KG. You never heard of this guy, but he would bring the music out and plug it up to the light pole. He was like everyone’s hero back then.

*Who is the most talented video gamer you know? You can say yourself.

Jay-Z: Well I used to be, but not anymore. My nephew didn’t be me their whole entire life, till now. They can destroy me now. I would never let them win because that meant they controlled the household, so I would just beat them mercilessly in [NBA] Live by a hundred. I’d let them build a little character, “Suck it up kid.” You know, dunk on them, different plays…I used to be really good, I was the guy in the neighborhood that other people went and got, “You have to play this guy.” I was that good, not anymore. I’m finished now.

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