Jay Z cuts a dapper figure in a suit and tie on the cover of Vanity Fair's November 2013 issue, which is available on Oct. 9. In what might just be his most revealing interview yet, Jay opened up about everything from his checkered past as a drug dealer in the streets of Brooklyn to his current status as a husband and father. The oft-private hip-hop megastar even talked about something that we rarely hear about from him: his relationship with Beyoncé Knowles. On their early courtship, Jay said that he worked hard to "wine and dine" his wife of five years, adding, "You've got to try first. You got to dazzle." See more quotes from Jay Z on handling rumors, Blue's musical tastes, and why he and Beyoncé decided to trademark their baby's name in November's Vanity Fair:
- On Blue Ivy's musical tastes: "She does like her mother's music — she watches [Beyoncé's concerts] on the computer every night. But my album came out and I don't know if Blue ever heard any of my music prior to this album — she's only 18 months old and I don't play my music around the house. But this album was new, so we played it. And she loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, 'More, Daddy, more . . . Daddy song.' She's my biggest fan. If no one bought the Magna Carta [album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy. She's genuine, she's honest, because she doesn't know it makes me happy."
- On his past as a drug dealer: "I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. 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."
- On his early courtship with Beyoncé: "[In 2001] we were just beginning to try to date each other. You've got to try first. You got to dazzle . . . wine and dine."
- Would Beyoncé have dated him if he wasn't "Jay Z"?: "If I'm as cool as I am, yes. But she's a charming Southern girl, you know, she's not impressed . . . But I would have definitely had to be this cool."
- On rumors that Beyoncé wasn't really pregnant with Blue: "It's just so stupid. You know, I felt dismissive about it, but you've got to feel for her. I mean, we've got a really charmed life, so how can we complain? But we're still human beings. And even in hip-hop, all the blogs had a field day with it. I'm like, 'We come from you guys, we represent you guys. Why are you perpetuating this? Why are you adding fuel to this ridiculous rumor?'"
- On trademarking Blue's name: "People wanted to make products based on our child's name, and you don't want anybody trying to benefit off your baby's name. It wasn't for us to do anything; as you see, we haven't done anything."