"An Hour with Jay-Z from the Brooklyn Museum." Interview by Charlie Rose. Charlie Rose. Charlie Rose LLC, 8 Dec. 2010. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11337>.
I heard about this video earlier today, and I also heard (from an anonymous source) that interviews make perfectly good annotated sources. So here it is.
Jay-Z is a genius. Going from crack dealing to becoming the philosopher-king of hip-hop, sitting on a cool $450 mil, is no feat for chumps, suckas, or anyone without an incredible amount of drive, intelligence, and talent. It was fascinating to watch one of the biggest stars in the industry talk about his philosophy of music and rap culture. One of the points he emphasized over and over again is the importance of context in a consideration of hip-hop (the focus of his book Decoded), which vibes completely with my ethnomusicological training. You can't understand a song like NWA's "F*** tha Police" without taking into account the local and national scene from a black ghetto perspective, and if you try to you will only see a bunch of reckless, irresponsible "Niggaz Wit Attitude" instead of artists communicating the frustration of an important American social group. He conducts ethnography from the insider perspective, having been and done everything the rap game stands for. I hope I can find a transcription of this! Useful stuff.