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International media giant, Oprah Winfrey and International Hip-Hop icon, Jay-Z, sat down for an exclusive interview for the October issue of her O, The Oprah Magazine. Oprah and Jay took a trip down memory lane last month, strolling through his old stomping grounds of Marcy Projects and reflecting on how a little boy from Brooklyn turned his name into one of the most momentous names in Hip-Hop’s history. Obviously thrilled with the interview, Oprah made headlines by gleefully expressing to her best friend Gayle that she was being replaced by Hov.

She called in to Gayle’s radio show and told her that Jay was her “new best friend” and even went so far as to mention that he “smelled so good.” Regardless of his good hygiene and personal standing with the talk show legend, Jay gave Oprah gritty details on his humble beginnings on the street corners of Brooklyn. He tells her he was a product of his environment with no real role models to soften the blow of a crass project lifestyle inevitably leading him to sell drugs.

“There wasn’t a teacher or lawyer or nurse or doctor or and accountant in the neighborhood?” she asks. To which he answers, “Well, we were living in Marcy by then, so no. And if anyone did become something like that, they moved out. They never came back to share the wisdom of how they made it. If anyone made it, you never knew it. That’s why I’ve always said that if I become successful, I’d come back here, grab somebody, and show him how it can be done.”

Jay’s drug dealing lifestyle was undoubtedly dangerous and Oprah made a point to note it as such. She asks him about a near death incident he had, a time when the MC almost suffered an early demise from the bullets of a TEC-9 machine gun, an experience he calls “divine intervention.”

“Weren’t you shot at three times—within six feet—and you lived to talk about it?” she asks. To which he replies, “That was divine intervention. Divine intervention and nobody knew how to shoot…It was one situation, three shots…”

When asked if the shooter had a “bad shot”, Jay responds,

“Well, no one really practices shooting a TEC-9 machine gun, right? And when you’re a kid with little bony arms—no wonder nobody could aim. “

Moving on from the haunting childhood memory, O asks him a question heavy on the hearts of many people outside the Hip-Hop community, why he uses the “N-word.” When asked if he thinks it’s necessary, Jay makes a point to say that his generation disarmed the word, likening it to a metaphor of taking the “firepin out of a grenade.”

“It’s just become part of the way we communicate. My generation hasn’t had the same experience with that word that generations of people before us had. We weren’t so close to the pain. So in our way, we disarmed the word. We took the fire pin out of the grenade.”

Oprah even gets the usually mum mogul to dish about his wedding to R&B royalty, Beyonce. He admits that the couple’s sudden shot-gun wedding caused rifts between them and old colleagues that missed the ceremony. When Oprah asks him how many people attended he candidly answers,

“Very few. The sad part is that we offended some. But people who love you understand. Because at the end of the day, it’s your day.”

Oprah’s monumental interview with Jay-Z hits newsstands September 15.

Jay-Z Opens Up To Oprah in October Issue of “O’, The Oprah Magazine”  was originally published on