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Jay-Z Likens Running a Record Label to Having a Child

Jay-Z
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Jay-Z is about to become a father for the first time, but the rapper and entrepreneur feels like he already has daddy experience because of the way he’s been overseeing his Roc Nation record label.

“I think running a label is a bit like having kids,” Jay tells MTV News. “When you know someone needs more help, you help them. When you see that someone can make it on their own … you see Kanye or J. Cole, you see that sort of talent — you let that talent be. You let that talent find its way.”

Jay-Z received some criticism for not being more personally involved with Cole’s debut, ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story,’ but he says he was content to let the young rapper find his own voice without his meddling. The strategy seems to have worked, as the album debuted at No. 1 and earned Cole a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

“I’m just really here to provide opportunity. I’m not here to do anything else,” he said. “I provide the opportunity, you figure out what you want to say to the world and how you gonna do it. It’s much more than just a [16-bar verse] and an endorsement deal; it’s an opportunity to let your voice be heard. It’s really about you, it’s not about me.”

Watch Jay-Z Discuss Running a Label

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