Outside of the 40/40 Club in Manhattan, where the NBA 2K13 launch party was being held on Wednesday night, the red carpet was crowded – a wall of cameras that threatened to topple over onto their willing victims: Meek Mill, Nas, Tracy Morgan and Kevin Durant, and Jersey Shore‘s Ronnie and Sam, who showed up holding hands but posed separately. (“How ’bout some together?” urged a publicist, and they did.)
Earlier than his estimated arrival time, Jay-Z showed up, hands in pockets, for just another night. Publicists scrambled to get in position, hush-yelling into walkie-talkies, like the birthday boy was just getting to the surprise party. We welcomed him to the red carpet. He threw the Roc up, and fans across the street raised their hands back at him.
Back in May, I asked you what the chances were of you getting President Obama to appear at Made in America, and you said you weren’t sure. He appeared. You’re doing eight nights in Brooklyn starting this weekend. Knowing that if you say “I’m not sure” that it means yes, what are the chances that Obama appears?
No one’s appearing, no one’s performing. It’s Brooklyn! This is my one chance to be selfish. Can’t I? Can’t I be selfish? Thank you. Just for these eight shows – then I’ll get back to my “Jay-Z and Friends” shows. I get all of these guys to come out for me, so . . .
I know you’re done putting together the soundtrack for NBA 2K13, but I was wondering if you could add one more song. It’s by this New York-based blues band, and they have a Wikipedia page, and they’re called JD and the Straight Shot, and the lead singer is James Dolan, who also owns the New York Knicks.
You want him to get on there? If the song’s good . . . if the song’s great, then he’s on there! [Laughs]
You’re going to be doing eight straight nights at Barclays. You own the place – what’s stopping you from doing nine?
My stamina. When I got to eight, I felt like I would probably fall over from exhaustion. It was just eight shows. Eight shows for H.O. I should do H.O. merchandise! [Slaps his forehead] What the fuck is wrong with me?
Earlier tonight you tweeted a picture of yourself laying down in what looks like the locker room of the Barclays Center. In your tweet, you quoted R. Kelly. Are you two friends again?
I haven’t seen or spoken or heard from R. Kelly since Madison Square Garden. No, that’s not entirely true. Since the deposition. [Laughs]
Not guilty. Who took the picture, and whose idea was it for you to do that pose?
June Ambrose took the picture. I just was laying down there, I was just in all of my glory, and she took the picture. I was just like, “OK. I don’t usually do this, but, uh . . . bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce . . . ” [Sings R. Kelly’s “Ignition Remix”]
Your longtime friend and coworker Lyor Cohen just stepped down as head of Warner Music Group. Does this make you the most powerful Jew left in the music industry?
Yes! [Laughs] Sammy’s gone! It’s just me!