The pair’s friendship had become strained recently, with West criticising Jay on stage late last year, claiming that his former friend hadn’t called him since his wife Kim Kardashian was the victim of an armed robbery in Paris. Kanye also alleged that Jay-Z had the power to put a hit out on him. Meanwhile, Jay-Z’s recent album ‘4:44’ featured lines thought to be a disses towards Kanye.
Now, speaking recently to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dean Baquet for The New York Times, Jay revealed that he last spoke to West “the other day, just to tell him, like, he’s my brother”.
“I love Kanye. I do,” Jay continued. “It’s a complicated relationship with us… Kanye came into this business on my label. So I’ve always been like his big brother. And we’re both entertainers. It’s always been like a little underlying competition with your big brother. And we both love and respect each other’s art, too. So it’s like, we both — everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I’m saying? And then there’s like a lot of other factors that play in it. But it’s gonna, we gonna always be good.”
“In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we’re 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that,” Jay added. “You know what I’m saying? There’s gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, ‘These are the things that I’m uncomfortable with. These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.’ I’m sure he feels that I’ve done things to him as well. You know what I’m saying? These are — I’m not a perfect human being by no stretch. You know.”
“I think he started out in a more compassionate position than me,” Jay went on to say of Kanye. “You know what I’m saying. I don’t know if he’s had the level of — I mean, I had to survive by my instincts. I’m here because I grew up a different way. And I got out of that… [West is] a very compassionate person. And a lot of times he get in trouble trying to help others. So I can identify with it. It’s just that there’s certain things that happened that’s not really acceptable to me.”
“We just need to speak about it,” Jay concluded. “But there’s genuine love there.”
Back in September, it was reported that Jay and Kanye could be set to reconcile in an attempt to settle a legal dispute.
West parted ways with Jay’s streaming service Tidal this summer due to a dispute over money. Sources close to Tidal revealed at the time that West was unhappy with the service, claiming they owe him over $3 million. A letter was reportedly sent by West’s lawyers to Tidal, stating that the company was in breach of their contract, and that it would be terminated. After a two-week back-and-forth, no resolution was found.
The dispute dates back to West’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’ album, which brought 1.5 million new subscribers to Tidal – a swell in users which was supposed to see Kanye granted a bonus, which Tidal is allegedly still yet to pay. It also concerned a number of music videos, which Kanye alleged that Tidal hasn’t reimbursed him for.
In response, Tidal claimed that Kanye is still under contract with the service, reportedly threatening to sue should he sign to another streaming company – a threat which saw Kanye state that he would counter-sue.