Jay Z looks very dapper on the cover of Vanity Fair's November issue, in which he discusses his rags-to-riches journey from teenage drug dealer to business magnate -- recently topping Forbes' list of the richest celebrity couples, alongside his equally fabulous wife, Beyonce.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” he said of his early life in Brooklyn.
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.
Hova also said his mother knew he was dealing crack as a teenager, but "All the mothers knew. It sounds like ‘How could you let your son . . . ’ but I’m telling you, it was normal.”
Though the 43-year-old rapper and mogul admitted to living a "charmed life" with Beyonce and Blue Ivy, rumors -- like the one that Beyonce used a surrogate to deliver their daughter -- still affect the family.
It’s just so stupid. You know, I felt dismissive about it, but you’ve got to feel for her. I mean, we’ve got a really charmed life, so how can we complain? But when you think about it, we’re still human beings. . . . And even in hip-hop, all the blogs -- they had a field day with it. I’m like, We come from you guys, we represent you guys. Why are you perpetuating this? Why are you adding fuel to this ridiculous rumor?
As for Blue Ivy's future in the music biz, she's already a fan of her father's latest album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail."
She loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, 'More, Daddy, more.… Daddy song.' 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 that's not like a cliché. I'm really serious.
Read the Vanity Fair interview here.