Now that he’s about to be a father, Jay-Z is reflecting on his relationship with his dad and vowing to do better.
“My dad was such a good dad that when he left, he left a huge scar. He was my superhero,” the Watch the Throne artist told GQ magazine.
Jay-Z, who definitely plans to be a presence in the life of his daughter with wife Beyoncé, said not having known his father might have been easier to deal with.
“If your dad died before you were born, yeah, it hurts—but it’s not like you had a connection with something that was real… Not to say it’s any better—but to have that connection and then have it ripped away was like, the worst,” he said.
Jay’s father left the family when he was 11 after struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. The two reunited in 2003, but their meeting didn’t do much to ease Jay’s pain.
“There was no real answer. There was nothing he could say, because there’s no excuse for that. There really isn’t. So, there was nothing he could say to satisfy me, except to hear me out, and it was up to me to forgive and let it go,” Jay said.
His father, Adnis Reeves, has since died.
Learning from his own experiences, Jay understands how important it is to be there for his child, and he plans to make that a priority.
“Providing—that’s not love,” he said. “Being there—that’s more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They’re crying out for attention. They’re hurting for love. I’m not being judgmental—I’m just making an observation. They’re crying out for the love that maybe they didn’t get at home, and they got everything… all the material things that they need and want. So we know that’s not the key.”
—Tracy L. Scott