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Jay-Z sat down with The Truth’s Elliott Wilson to discussed various topics,  including being criticized by social activist Harry Belafonte, who says that he and Beyonce have turned  their back on social responsibility and giving back. He also dished his feelings  on the George Zimmerman verdict, and pegged Drake as his biggest  competitor.

Jay Z on if he was offended by Harry Belafonte I’m  offended by that because first of all, this is going to sound arrogant, but my  presence is charity. Just who I am, [is charity], just like Obama is. Obama  provides hope. Whether he does anything, that hope that he provides for a nation  and outside of America is enough. Just being who  he is. You’re the first black president. If he speaks on any issue or anything,  he should be left alone. […] Of course we want to challenge [Obama] to do  better, but I felt like Belafonte just went about it wrong. The way he did it,  within the media, and then he bigged up Bruce Springsteen. It was like, ‘Whoa,  you just sent the wrong message all around. You just bigged up the white guy  against me in the white media.’ I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m saying  what it was just the wrong way to go about it. […] My presence is charity!  Just this guy who came from Marcy projects apartment 530C, to these places of me playing in Yankee  stadium tonight.

On the George Zimmerman verdict I was really angry, I  didn’t sleep for two days. I was really angry about it. We all knew there was  still a bit of racism in America but for it to be so blatant… Ask yourself the  question, ‘Didn’t Travyon have a right to stand his ground?’ He was being  chased, he fought back. He may have won. That doesn’t mean he’s a criminal. He  won. If you chase me and you try to  attack me and I defend myself, how can I be in the wrong? How is that right?  This guy went to get some skittles and go back to watch the All-Star game. He had plans. He had no intentions of  robbing anyone’s home. […] It’s a thing where it’s like a reminder of, ‘We  still got a long way to go.’ It’s beautiful because this generation right now,  they don’t see color in that way. […] They’re funding George Zimmerman because they want to hold on to  their guns. […] We all know it was wrong.

On the new crop of rappers I’m doing all of this stuff  for the next generation to come in and take advantage of it. So, whatever took  me 15 years to accomplish, it takes them 5 years to accomplish. It encourages me  when I see this young crop of next new legends. I’m ecstatic. I’m willing to  help, I’m like, ‘What do you need?’ I’m offering help in anyway. I’m constantly  opening doors for that next generation to come in. I feel good about it. I’m  happy because there was a point when I was like, ‘What’s gonna happen next?’ A  couple years ago, there wasn’t no Kendricks, Coles and Drakes. It was like wait  a minute, ‘Where is this about to go?’ After we finish our tour of duty, who is  going to pick up the manual and take it  further.

On Drake being his biggest competitor Drake, we have a  great relationship. I know he feels like, ‘I’m the next one, I’m right here,’ we  hear the lines, ‘feelin’ like the throne is for the takin, watch me take it..’  you know he’s feeling it. It’s cool, it wasn’t meant with malice or disrespect,  it’s just like ‘I’m comin, acknowledge my existence.’ There is a respect thing  but there is also a competitive thing and its been done the right way. He’s  definitely the one that’s reared his head as the guy. He’s definitely Kobe  Bryant.

On comparing himself to great artists and poets There is  no difference. Shakespeare was a man who wrote poetry. I’m a man who writes  poetry. Why not compare yourself to the best?  I’m supposed to be here to be  second best? I’m not doing this for that. If other people are cool with settling  or not putting themselves in that light, that’s their personal preference. If you don’t want to be in that light, that’s fine. I’m not mad at  you! I don’t have an opinion on what you want to do, if you want to be second,  that’s cool, so don’t have an opinion on me wanting to be Jean Michel [Basquiat]  or Shakespeare.

People don’t realize, I put a lot of my life into what I am doing right now.  I didn’t just have a hit record and get lucky, I put a lot of my life into it so  the things that come out of it, is not due to this bravado and arrogance, I have  confidence because of the work I put in. I put in so much work! I’m claiming  four classics.

I totally agree with everything that was being said!