O.K.: In fact, he wasn’t actually all that forthcoming, which should be expected at this point, right?
But, as someone who’s interviewed Jay-Z on TV before, what’s extremely cool to me about his humorous chat with the BBC’s Jonathan Ross—of Friday Night with… fame—is watching Jigga’s charm on open display.
As Mr. Carter parries with the chummy Brit, endlessly deferring Ross’s faux-friendly entreaties, his timing is impeccable, with each pause and sideways glance as perfectly placed as they are in his raps. Indeed, it’s a whole performance, yet a good part of it is silent.
But what most dawns on this writer as I watch the clip is that Jay didn’t merely become “the biggest rapper on the planet,” as the show’s web site notes, by clever alliterations, a clothing line, or, again, marrying one of music’s biggest stars.
In part, he did it by being a nice guy. Which sounds like a cliché, until you think of the fact that, in a field whose artists are lampooned for their ice grills, he smiles more than almost anybody. Now, laught at that.