Living up to the show’s title, East Hampton’s Jay-Z is the latest guest on David Letterman’s Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. This episode of the hour-long interview show became available streaming on April 5.
During Letterman’s interview with him, the hip-hop superstar discusses the music business, family, race, politics and his path to stardom, which began in a sixth-grade English class.
“My love of words—I just connected with her. She took us to her house on a field trip. She had ice in her refrigerator way back when no one had it. I thought, ‘Oh, man. I might be an English teacher,’” Jay-Z said of his inspiring teacher.
Talking of everyone’s favorite subject—no matter which side of the aisle we fall—the rapper surprisingly told Letterman that Trump is helping America, though perhaps not in the way Republicans would like.
“I’m beginning to lose confidence in the Trump administration,” Letterman said, broaching the subject with his usual sardonic wit. “What do you think of that?”
Jay-Z responded seriously. “I think it’s actually a great thing,” he said. “I think that what he’s forcing people to do is have a conversation and people to band together and work together…you can’t really address something that’s not revealed,” Jay-Z continued. “He’s bringing out an ugly side of America that we wanted to believe was gone, and it’s still here, and we still gotta deal with it.”
The rapper noted, “we have to have tough conversation. We have to talk about the N word and we have to talk about why white men are so privileged in this country.”
Letterman concurred. “I completely agree. We don’t need anymore evidence,” the host said. “I mean, is he a racist? Is he not a racist? I’m telling you, you’re having a debate about whether a guy is a racist, chances are that guy’s a racist.”
The pair also talked about what makes a good rapper.
Jay-Z shouted out the skills of Snoop Dogg‘s “great voice” and Eminem‘s “amazing cadence,” noting, “There’s multiple ways to be really good—some people just have it all.”
The rapper also confirmed that he and Kanye West are good and called him “brilliant,” despite talk of them feuding. “We’re beyond friends…my little brother is Kanye, and like your little brother, things happen sometimes,” Jay-Z said. “The thing I respect about him is he is the same person, like he interrupted our studio session and stood on the table and started rapping,” he said, recalling that they had to ask Kanye to get down before he shouted, “I am the savior of Chicago.”
Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction airs monthly on Netflix. The next episode airs May 11. Southampton’s Howard Stern is slated to appear in an upcoming episode of this first season.