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All Quotes by author - Jay-Z
" As kids we didn't complain about being poor; we talked about how rich we were going to be and made moves to get the lifestyle we aspired to by any means we could. And as soon as we had a little money, we were eager to show it. "
" Belief in oneself and knowing who you are, I mean, that's the foundation for everything great. "
" Excellence is being able to perform at a high level over and over again. You can hit a half-court shot once. That's just the luck of the draw. If you consistently do it... that's excellence. "
" Hip-hop has done more for race relations than most cultural icons; and I say save Martin Luther King, because his 'I Have A Dream' speech was realized when Obama was elected into office. "
" I came into this music business at 26 years old. I was a fully developed man at that point. At that age, I didn't have anything to prove. "
" I learned to ride a ten-speed when I was 4 or 5. My uncle gave me the bike, hand-me-down, and everyone used to stare at me riding up and down this block. I was too short to reach the pedals, so I put my legs through the V of the frame. I was famous. The little kid who could ride the ten-speed. "
" I listen to everything - from Sarah McLachlan and Alanis Morissette all the way down to rap like Scarface, UGK and Lauryn Hill. "
" I love what I do, and when you love what you do, you want to be the best at it. "
" I'm a mirror. If you're cool with me, I'm cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don't like what you see, then you've done something. If I'm standoffish, that's because you are. "
" I'm hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That's what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that's from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter. "
" I treat people based on who they really are, not the name. Everyone has to be respectful and be a human being. No one's above... That's how I carry it with anybody. "
" I try to make music with emotion and integrity. And authenticity. You can feel when something's authentic, and you can feel when it's not: you know when someone's trying to make the club record, or trying to make the girl record, or trying to make the thug record. It's none of that. It's just my emotions. "
" It was a weird mix of emotions. One day, your best friend could be killed. The day before, you could be celebrating him getting a brand-new bike. "
" I've got a nice collection of paintings - a Basquiat, a black-and-white Warhol that's like a Rorschach test, and I commissioned Takashi Murakami to do a ten-foot joint for me. It's almost like the explosion in Hiroshima with his famous skeleton head. There's a wall above my fireplace reserved for it. "
" I've never looked at myself and said that I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people. I've always wanted to stay true to myself, and I've managed to do that. People have to accept that. "
" I was forced to be an artist and a CEO from the beginning, so I was forced to be like a businessman because when I was trying to get a record deal, it was so hard to get a record deal on my own that it was either give up or create my own company. "
" I would run into the corner store, the bodega, and just grab a paper bag or buy juice - anything just to get a paper bag. And I'd write the words on the paper bag and stuff these ideas in my pocket until I got back. Then I would transfer them into the notebook. "
" One of the reasons inequality gets so deep in this country is that everyone wants to be rich. That's the American ideal. Poor people don't like talking about poverty because even though they might live in the projects surrounded by other poor people and have, like, ten dollars in the bank they don't like to think of themselves as poor. "
" Politics - I still think it's a bunch of liars and a bunch of self-interest. It's not about the people: it's about themselves and their rise to power. They are voting on things based on whether they will have the support of the people when they vote next time. They don't have the balls to say, 'I believe in this. I don't care what happens.' "
" Providing - that's not love. Being there - that's more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They're crying out for attention; they're hurting for love. I'm not being judgmental - I'm just making an observation. They're crying out for the love that maybe they didn't get at home, and they got everything. "
" Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama's running so we all can fly. "
" Shakespeare was a man who wrote poetry. I'm a man who writes poetry. Why not compare yourself to the best? "
" Successful people have a bigger fear of failure than people who've never done anything because if you haven't been successful, then you don't know how it feels to lose it all. "
" That's why this generation is the least racist generation ever. You see it all the time. Go to any club. People are intermingling, hanging out, having fun, enjoying the same music. Hip-hop is not just in the Bronx anymore. It's worldwide. Everywhere you go, people are listening to hip-hop and partying together. Hip-hop has done that. "
" Wherever I go, I bring the culture with me, so that they can understand that it's attainable. I didn't do it any other way than through hip-hop. "
" Your job is to inspire people from your neighborhood to get out. "
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