Posted: 2 October, 2013
Jay-Z Talks About Dealing Crack
Jigga reveals rags to riches tale.
Jay-Z might be one of the most successful musicians in the world, but he has opened up to Vanity Fair about his poor upbringing and dealing drugs.
Jay says "crack was everywhere" and "inescapable" in his younger years.
"There wasn't any place you could go for isolation or a break. You go in the hallway; [there are] crackheads in the hallway. You look out in the puddles on the curbs -- crack vials are littered in the side of the curbs. You could smell it in the hallways, that putrid smell; I can't explain it, but it's still in my mind when I think about it."
On the plus side, he said it has helped his business sense later in life. Um what?
I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer," he says. "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."
Jay-Z said his mum knew what was going on when he started dealing drugs.
"[My mom knew I sold crack] but we never really had those conversations. We just pretty much ignored it. But she knew. All the mothers knew. It sounds like ‘How could you let your son . . . ’ but I’m telling you, it was normal."
"[I didn't feel guilty about selling crack] until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes."