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6 Things We Learned About Jay Z in the New Vanity Fair

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Jay Z covers Vanity Fair. (Vanity Fair)

More than 17 years after his debut album, you'd think we know all there is to know about Shawn "Jay Z" Carter. After all, the 43-year-old hip-hop mogul published a memoir entitled "Decoded" in 2010 and has opened up to Oprah Winfrey on more than one occasion.

But it looks like there is still plenty to learn about Jay Z. Here's the CliffsNotes version of the "Holy Grail" rapper's interview in the November issue of Vanity Fair:

1. Blue Ivy's as divided as the rest of us on whether or not she prefers music by Jay Z or Beyoncé.
Bey claims that Blue is a bigger fan of her dad, but he's not convinced. "That's not true," he tells the magazine. "She does like her mother's music — she watches [Beyoncé's concerts] on the computer every night. But my album came out and I don't know if Blue ever heard any of my music prior to this album — she's only 18 months old and I don't play my music around the house. But this album was new, so we played it. And she loves all the songs. She plays a song and she goes, 'More, Daddy, more … Daddy song.' She's my biggest fan. If no one bought the 'Magna Carta' [album], the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy. And that's not like a cliché. I'm really serious."

2. His past as a drug dealer taught him important lessons about business.
The entrepreneur says the time he learned much from the spent growing up in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood, where he says he sold but never used crack beginning at age 13. "I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer," he admits. "To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash — those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you're going to get locked up or you're going to die."

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3. Don't look for any Blue Ivy diaper bags anytime soon.
The mega-mogul parents earned an estimated $95 million between June 2012 and June 2013, according to Forbes, but Jay Z and Beyoncé have no plans to add to the family piggy bank with Blue Ivy merchandise. Although they filed to trademark the little lady's name, Jay says it was strictly a preventative measure. "People wanted to make products based on our child's name," he shares. "And you don’t want anybody trying to benefit off your baby's name. It wasn't for us to do anything; as you see, we haven't done anything."

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Jay Z with his girls. (Macca/Splash News)

4. Even if he wasn't the Jay Z, he's pretty confident that he could woo Beyoncé.
When asked if he could capture his pop star wife's heart if he were, say, a gas station attendant, Jay is fiercely confident. "If I'm as cool as I am, yes," he asserts. "But she's a charming southern girl, you know, she's not impressed … But I would have definitely had to be this cool." He jokes that Bey was a "good girl" until he came into the picture, but no longer. "Nah," he says with a laugh. "She's gangsta now."

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5. As cool as he is, he's still affected by those rumors …
You know how people said that Beyoncé was sporting a fake baby bump and that she really didn't give birth to baby Blue Ivy? Some of those speculative reports bothered Jay Z more than others. "I don't even know how to answer that. It's just so stupid," says the rapper. "You know, I felt dismissive about it, but you've got to feel for her. I mean, we've got a really charmed life, so how can we complain? But when you think about it, we're still human beings.... And even in hip-hop, all the blogs — they had a field day with it. I'm like, We come from you guys, we represent you guys. Why are you perpetuating this? Why are you adding fuel to this ridiculous rumor?"

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6. He expected to have hung up his mic by now.
Jay is as surprised as anyone that he's still cranking out the hits. "I know I said I wouldn't be doing it when I was 30, so that's how I know I love it," he shares. "Thirty years old was my cutoff, but I'm still here, 43 years old."

Read Jay Z's full interview in Vanity Fair, on newsstands October 9.

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