Jay-Z Breaks Down Kanye West’s ‘Big Brother’ Tribute Song


Kanye West’s song “Big Brother” on his chart-topping album Graduation was meant to be an ode to Roc-A-Fella founder and CEO Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter recently explained his take on the tribute song.

by Mike Winslow and Jigsaw

West’s song to Jay-Z is a testament to the Chicago rapper/producer’s early days attempting to break into the music business and to Jay-Z, for having a positive influence over his career.

On the track West raps: “Not only did I not get a chance to spit it/Carlene told me I could buy two tickets/ I guess big brother was thinking a little different/ And kept little brother at bay, at a distance.”

Jay-Z defended himself from the allegations in the line and revealed that West actually wanted than two extra tickets.

“We know everybody sees things differently,” Jay-Z explained to AllHipHop.com. “You would think he didn’t get any tickets. He got four [tickets]. He wanted six. It’s true…it’s really true. He wanted two more tickets. But if you heard that you’d be like, ‘Damn, them n***as ain’t give the n***a no tickets.’ Come on!”

Jay-Z also explained a verse contained in the song that expresses West’s frustration with the mogul working with Coldplay, right after West recorded a song with the popular group.

West raps: “I told Jay I did a song with Cold Play/Next thing I know he got a song with Cold Play/Back in my mind I’m like damn, no way/Translate espanol ‘No way Jose/Then I went and told J Brown/ Should of known that was gonna come back around/ Should of told you like a man, should of told you first/But I told somebody else and that’s what made shit worse.”

Jay-Z explained the situation with Coldplay, while praising West for following his creative instincts.

“[With] Coldplay – I introduced him!” Jay-Z revealed. “I gave him the number. I made the song happen. I did that. [Mimicking a phone call] ‘Coldplay, here’s Kanye. Here. [Passing phone to imaginary Kanye].’ Its great though, because its his truth. That’s what’s brilliant about him. It wasn’t no bulls**t – it was the way he felt.”

In related news, West’s Roc-A-Fella/Island Def Jam album Graduation moved another 70,000 copies last week, pushing his total album sales to almost 1.5 million copies.