In a bit of synergistic ego-stroking, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jay-Z decided that the best way to show off their friendship to the rest of the Internet was to open up their chat logs to the world, with Gwynnie quizzing Jay for her rich-people-things site Goop and Hova returning the favor for his brand-new site, Life + Times. Jay’s site actually calls the chat with Paltrow “Straight Outta Compton?,” and things get even better (“better”) from there.
Let’s start with Paltrow’s investigation, which is mostly about Jay’s new website. Gwyneth’s reporting skills uncover …mostly nothing about Jay’s new venture (a quick look at the site paints it as a Tumblr for rich people, complete with pictures of high fashion and “experimental cuisine”). What we do learn is that Jay-Z does have involvement in picking content: “it has to pique my interest,” he said, which is about the vaguest answer one could expect from the “coolest man on Earth” (trademark: Gwyneth Paltrow, 2011).
There’s also a nebulous question regarding inspiration and creativity, although it mostly comes off as an opportunity for G-Pal to state that she’s someone who “has walked through museums with” Jay-Z. Finally, there’s a word association question that gives us insight into the man wh-oh, just kidding. It just lets Jay spout clichés like “Music: MARLEY (the perfect blend of love and gangster)” and “Sports: Muhammad ALI (enough said).” Where’s the lyricism, Jay?
Unsurprisingly, Jay-Z’s interview is much more interesting, due both to his more thoughtful questions and Paltrow’s everpresent willingness to talk about herself. Of course, the very first question deals with her burgeoning music career, from Glee to Country Strong and back again. We learn that she grew up around a musical mother, so if you want to blame someone for all of this, blame Blythe Danner for “passing on her musicality” to her daughter.
Jay’s incredulity over G-Pal’s ’90s rap knowledge (but she went to Spence!) leads to the best answer of the whole interview, where she tells of her love for acts like Public Enemy, LL Cool J, and (especially) N.W.A. Yes, the interview was titled “Straight Outta Compton?”, because she can apparently recite every word on that album–although she notes she can “sing,” not rap, every word of “Fuck Tha Police”. Coming soon to a Glee episode near you?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 12, 2011