Jay-Z, photographed for Interview magazine by Craig McDean in a studio in New York City in December 2009.
Hov is wearing a “Perfecto” leather motorcycle jacket by Schott NYC and sunglasses by Oliver Peoples. He also has on an Audemars Piguet “Royal Oak Offshore Rubber Clad” stainless steel timepiece ($25,000), and a $50,000 shamballa bracelet made by the Denmark company Shamballa Jewels. Co-founder Mads Kornerup first met Jay in New York in 2001, and he soon became the muse for their first-ever bracelet.
The corresponding interview, which was featured in the magazine’s February 2010 issue, was conducted by film critic Elvis Mitchell. During their time together Hov spoke on how the maturity on Reasonable Doubt came about in-part from life experiences facilitated by his mother, Gloria Carter: “Well, when I did my first album, I was 26, so I was a little more mature than a lot of other guys—you know, to a lot of the rappers’ credit, they’re making albums when they’re 17. I can’t imagine the shit I would’ve said when I was 17. I can’t even tell you how reckless my thinking was at that age. Nas made Illmatic when he was 19, which was an incredible accomplishment—I can’t even understand it. But when my first album came out, I was 26, which is why it was a little bit more introspective. Plus, I was already out on my own at 15, 16 years old. My mom didn’t put me out, but she did the best thing for me. She allowed me to search. She gave me a long leash, like, ‘All right. It’s tough out there. Go ahead.’ So I grew up really early and I’ve always been aware of these things. My awareness of them just intensifies with every year.”