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November 18, 2010

Is Jay-Z literate?

via nymag.com

I'm not certain that he is, based on this excerpt from an interview he did with the blog Vulture.

Who are your literary influences?
Oh, man. I don’t look at it like that. I just pretty much look at life. My influences, whether they wrote a book or not, is Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X — who did write a book — you know. Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Gandhi. Nice people like that. [Laughs.]

What do you read?
I read everything. Mostly I’m not into fiction, except for The Odyssey, which is pretty fictional. Depends on who you ask. The Celestine Prophecy, The Seat of the Soul, The Odyssey. I read stuff like that.

More so than fiction, yeah.

A footnote in Decoded reads, "Shout-out to Alfred, Lord Tennyson." Do you read poetry?
Yeah, sometimes. But not as much.

Is that what's hot in the streets? Alfred, Lord Tennyson?

Anyson, I'm less concerned with the fact that Jay-Z doesn't do a lot of reading, or doesn't read a lot of novels, as he claims in this interview, than the fact that he felt obligated to cop a plea.

A strong reader would have been like, "Nah, I'm not doing a lot of reading these days, because I'm worth like half a billion dollars. Any time I spend with my huge, camel-like nose buried in a book could be spent traveling the world, eating the finest of crab meats, and dropping loads on Beyonce's gargantuan ass."

Whenever I strike it rich, the first thing I'm gonna do is stop doing all of this goddamn reading.

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Posted by Bol at 01:11 PM | Permalink


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