Mr. Carter (a.k.a. Jay-Z), has launched a super cool website canvassing everything that's piquing his interest in the worlds of art, music, technology, design, sports, leisure, and style. I caught up with Jay and asked him about the impetus for starting it, including, among other things, what it's like to be the coolest man on Earth.
Q: Life + Times is incredible—aesthetically, culturally … When did you get the idea to start it and how long have you been working on it?
A: I started working on it in its various incarnations over a year ago. I've thought about it forever. You know how it works, seeing other sites and being either inspired or saying, "That's shit. I would do it like ..."
Q: I love seeing everything through your filter, how do you decide what you are going to cover? How personal is this?
A: Well there is a basic metric for what we cover but, more importantly, I believe it's how we cover it. The DNA is to basically let the subject speak for itself. We don't want to tell you what to think. As far as how personal? I would say it has to pique my interest.
Q: As someone who has walked through museums with you, eaten with you, heard music with you, I know firsthand how creativity in all areas lifts your consciousness. Do you feel that as a cultural figure of importance it is part of your responsibility to share what inspires you?
A: I think it's every human's job to inspire others, to feed one another's senses. Inspiration begets inspiration times infinity. Imagine if the person that was inspired to create the phonograph didn't share it with the world.
Q: In one word answers, name someone or something in food, music, art and design, style, and sports that inspires you today and your favorite spot to be leisurely.
Food: Batali (he's like a rock star)
Music: MARLEY (the perfect blend of love and gangster)
Art: BASQUIAT (where music and art met and fell in love)
Style: MARC JACOBS (he takes the Bronx experience like 40 below boots and bubble gooses and puts it on the runway)
*Disclaimer: I know it's one goose 2 geese..
Sports: Muhammad ALI (enough said)
And my favorite spot to be leisurely is wherever family, friends, good food and wine are.
Q: You are the coolest man on Earth, how the f did you get like that?
A: I'm around great women, starting with my mom. Women keep men cool. The hotter the chick the cooler the guy ... that sounds like a really bad rap line!