Jay-Z is considered the GOAT by many hip hop fans and publications. The 54-year old Brooklyn native has been celebrated for his longevity and business acumen. However, an underrated aspect of his life that seemingly gets spoken about less is his generosity and service to his friends.
The Roc Nation founder once cleared DMX’s $12m Def Jam debt, and even helped rapper Nipsey Hussle kickstart his career by purchasing 100 copies of the late rapper’s $100 mixtape, Crenshaw. The Reasonable Doubt rapper also never charges his close associates for features, according to No Limit rapper Silkk The Shocker.
During a recent interview with The Art Of Dialogue, the 47-year-old revealed that Hov turned down the $100,000 he attempted to give him for rapping on his 1999 song “You Know What We Bout.”
“Our relationship was dope because when I did the song with him, I thought I had a budget for him,” Silkk recalled. “I was like, ‘Yo, I got a hundred racks’ — that’s a lot of money back in the day too! I’m sure he could’ve used the extra $100,000; who ain’t gonna use that? When I hit him up, I’m like, ‘Yo, the song is dope, you killed it. Where I should I send that bread to?’ Jay was like, ‘Nah, it’s good, man. Just keep it and we’ll figure out something later on down the line.’”
Silkk also added that Jay’s magnanimity isn’t extended to everyone. “He won’t do it for anybody, though; he won’t even do music for anybody. What I came to learn was that it’s bigger than [money] for him,” he said. “To me, that’s consistent with [where he is] today — if you look at him, it’s not a fluke that he’s successful.”
He continued, adding “I don’t care how rich you are, you gonna be like, ‘Man, send my bread.’ But he was just dead cool. He ain’t even second-guess it like, ‘Yeah, send me half of it.’ The good part about it: down the line, I kinda did something for him and I just thought it was solid.”
Silkk The Shocker’s comments tally with previous claims by Jay, who revealed he never charges for features on other artists’ songs.
“(It’s based) mostly relationships… It’s actually always been mostly relationships. Sometimes it’s talent. Pretty much every song that I’m on, I’m asked to be on. I don’t ask people to be on their songs,” Hov said last year in an interview with Kevin Hart for His Hart To Hart series. “I never charge,” he added.
The father of three went on to note that because he never charges, he rejects more requests than he accepts.
“I try to be straight up,” Hov said. “Sometimes it slips through the cracks. Sometimes I want to do it, and my life is in a certain place, and I’m moving and I can’t do it. But I typically try to be straight up with people. I don’t like to drag and waste people’s time.”
Released in 1999, “You Know What We Bout” appeared on Silkk the Shocker’s third studio album Made Man. Revisit the track below.