“You know I thug ’em, f-ck ’em, love ’em, leave ’em, ‘Cause I don’t f-ckin’ need ’em,” are the words of a 30-year-old Jay-Z in his 2000 hit “Big Pimpin,’” but these same words are ones that a decade later the music mogul would regret.
In this new age of social media, celebrities are constantly being held accountable for what the public may deem inappropriate behavior. But, Jay-Z, who has always seemed to think one step ahead of many people, took accountability for his words back in 2010, well before cancel culture existed.
On May 3, fans on Twitter began discussing an 11-year-old Wall Street Journal interview with Jay-Z where he reflected on his verse in ‘Big Pimpin’’. The journalist asked him what it’s like to see his lyrics written down. He responded, “Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not ‘Big Pimpin.’ That’s the exception. It was like, I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh.”
Nowadays it’s assumed that someone might call out the legendary rapper for his misogynistic undertones in his verse, but as it turns out fans decided to do more than just cut Jay-Z some slack.
One person said that she “Honestly prefer big pimpin Jay-z over financial literacy Jay-z.”
Someone else wrote, “It’s OK Jay butttt imma still rap that ish like I wrote it!” Another fan who understood where Jay was coming from said, “Jay-Z is 51 year old married father of 3 kids, it makes sense for him to regret Big Pimpin. It’s still my favorite hit single from him though,” although at the time of the interview Jay-Z didn’t have any children yet.
But even if fans did take offense to his 21-year-old verse, many would agree that the Brooklyn native has made up for it by now. Hov has received praise from fans for years for educating them with his bars about financial literacy and speaking out about the treatment of the Black community in America.
Just last week, he blessed DJ Khaled on his tenth track “SORRY NOT SORRY” alongside his former foe Nas. In it, he talks about being an investor, intermittent fasting, and even shouts out his superstar wife Beyoncé. Fans were already itching for a listen when Khaled revealed Nas and Jay would be on a song together, a move no one could ever foresee happening after the two’s historical beef. It wasn’t just the fans who fell in love with Jay’s verse but Nas himself as well.
Khaled shared an IG video of Nas commending Jay-Z while speaking on FaceTime. He said, “I’m just here tweaking lines and sh-t. I’m in here, like, rewriting four bars.”