It's no secret that Jay Z came up in the school of the hard knocks, but recently, the biggest name in hip-hop opened up about his days of drug dealing and shared some pretty mind-blowing deets about his upbringing!
H.O.V.A. admitted to selling crack on the streets but swears he never used it himself. For him, it was just business.
And he says his experience slinging rock might actually come in handy as he gears up to try his hand as a sports agent!
“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. 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.”
Crack was a constant in young Jay Z's life. He has memories from his youth that will not go away, no matter how much time goes by. He recalled some particulars about his neighborhood, saying:
"It was inescapable. There wasn’t any place you could go for isolation or a break. You go in the hallway; crackheads in the hallway. You look out in the puddles on the curbs; crack vials are littered in the side of the curbs. You could smell it in the hallways, that putrid smell; I can’t explain it, but it’s still in my mind when I think about it.”
Of course, Mr. Shawn Carter has come a long way from his time in the Marcy Houses. He's now worth millions, he's married to Beyoncé, and he's changed the history of music forever.
So does he ever feel guilty about contributing to a drug crisis that continues to grow out of control? Jay Z explained:
"Not until later, when I realized the effects on the community. I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
The important thing is that you made it out, Jay. The past is the past. Just focus on living in the now, and signing more sports superstars!
[Image via Mario Testino & Vanity Fair.]