I bet you totally forgot about this article. If you’re my age (mind your business), you read Dream Hampton’s 1998 interview in Vibe where Jay-Z speaks candidly about his days hustling–mainly in Virginia. You can see Dream Hampton’s full interview with Jay-Z here, but since his memoir’s coming out in November, it’s only appropriate that we re-live the old way Jay use to tell his business ;-) Peep a few snippets below:
The one name that is a constant in relationship to Jay, from believers and non believers alike, is Danny Dan—also from Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Marcy Houses. It is said that when Dan was buried in the late ’80s, he was wearing at least $100,000 worth of jewelry. His funeral, which was talked about for five years after, was one huge fashion show. But more than the jewelry or the girls in furs is the remarkable detail that Danny Dan died with a will. “Danny Dan was a cat in the projects, coming up,” says Jay. “He was very influential in my life, but from afar. Holmes was doing it. He’d always put something away, not touch it. I was like, I need to be doing that.” Danny Dan was five years older than Jay and was know for being the kind of reckless driver who would push German sedans past 100 m.p.h. down New York’s crowded streets. “He always said he’d die in a car crash, and he did,” say Jay. “Coming back from D.C. on I-95.” Those that talk say Danny’s death left a vacancy, further south, in Virginia and that Jay moved on it, opened it up further, and creamed off.
I ask him how a city (she’s referring to his segway hustling into Virginia’s market) is opened and am surprised by the answer. “Everything that has ever happened has to do with a girl.” Not that shit about blaming women’s obsession with Dynasty on your appetite for destruction. “No, no, far more specific. You meet somebody and befriend her. You need her and the most thorough nigga in town. Because girls yap, she’ll tell you who that is, who has money. You meet him; you’ve got something for him—better prices. He’ll bring everybody else in line.” And resistance?
“A lot of little fires. But in small towns you ain’t wildin’ out. You go to jail. This is like a Commonwealth; they’ll lock you up for cursing. It takes a special nigga to do a small town. Anybody can D.C. You strong-arm D.C. Ya’ll can shoot at each other every weekend.” D.C. Exactly. Locals there got so fed up with New York frontiersman they began firing at almost anything with a N.Y. license plate. “I know. It was sweet for a minute, New York niggas fucked up. A lot of shit happened ’cause of bitch.” Ho-hum. “You gotta believe that. You go into a nigga’s town, you shining, and you messing with all their broads. You go into their town; drive whatever you want. Shine, fine. But don’t fuck my baby’s mother, man. And my man’s baby’s mother and his man’s baby’s mother. ‘Cause now we sitting at Sizzler like this nigga fucked all our baby’s mothers. Now it’s a problem.”
Can’t wait for the memoir!