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The Jay-Z Interview

Amy Linden, Vibe, 2003

NOTE: The Black Album was not only Jay-Z's eighth studio album, reportedly it was also meant to be his swansong: a collection of jams meant to close the door (or at least leave it slightly ajar) on a wildly successful career as an artist and mogul. But seeing as it's a man's prerogative to change his mind, Jay stayed "retired" for about as long as Sarah Palin served as a governor. Seven years after this Vibe cover story ran, Jay-Z is the biggest rapper in the whole darn world, selling out arenas, heading up a multi million dollar empire, hobnobbing with Obama, a flat-out rock star. Oh, and he took the chain off the hottest chick in the game (that would be Beyoncé) and replaced it with a ring. Now with Decoded, Jay adds published author to his already lengthy list of accomplishments and potential money making endeavors–AL

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