Hip hop mogul Jay-Z has a lot of aliases; Jigga, Hova, Shawn Carter, and perhaps most important among them, dad. Although he may be known by many names, the hardened Brooklyn-born rap artist leads a relatively private life — even though he has produced 13 solo albums, acquired a basketball team, and married Queen Bey herself. That doesn't stop the public from wondering though. What is life like for Jay-Z the family man?
Well, we did our best to find out.
Between music videos, live performances, and world music tours, in addition to being a father of three, Jay-Z has a lot on his plate, but he still makes sure he always has time for his firstborn, 7-year-old Blue Ivy Carter.
Little is known about his relationship with his daughter but whenever we see the two of them together they look so irresistibly cute! And it turns out that for the most part, with a few fabulous exceptions, Blue Ivy and her dad have a pretty normal father-daughter relationship. For a sneak peek into the life of the Carter family and to discover 20 lesser known facts about the relationship between "big papa" and little Blue Ivy, read on.
20 They Talk, Like Really Talk
I'm not sure about you, but I'd think twice about speaking out of turn to Jay-Z, but expressing her feelings is just another regular day for Blue Ivy. In an interview with David Lettermen, Jay-Z spoke about just how expressive his young daughter is, and how their communication really impacts their relationship. "Me and my daughter talk," he told Letterman. "I told her to get in the car the other day because she was asking a thousand questions and we had to leave for school ... So we're driving, and then I just hear a little voice: 'Dad.' I turn around and she says, 'I didn't like the way you told me to get in the car... the way you told me, It hurt my feelings.'"
19 She Saved His Marriage
After Beyoncé dropped her Lemonade album and the infamous 'Becky with the good hair' lyric filled the ears of her listeners, the world knew Jay had done something wrong. According to a family friend, Blue Ivy is the only reason the couple stayed together, and the first reason Beyoncé agreed to go to therapy to work on their marriage. In essence, Blue Ivy saved her father's marriage. Dad got to keep his marriage thanks to his daughter. Indiscretions happen, but for the Carters, it means trying to build to grow and get stronger and make the family unit even better than it was before.
18 Her Childhood Is Totally Different From Her Dad's
"For a lot of us, we don't have, especially where I grew up and men in general, we don't have emotional cues from when we're young," Jay-Z said in an interview. "Our emotional cues are 'Be a man, stand up, don't cry!'" But for his daughter, things are completely different. In his Netflix interview, Jay-Z comes clean about how Blue's childhood is much gentler than his own. He takes pride in knowing that he and his wife work to create an environment for her to be a kid and experience emotion, make mistakes, have an opinion and feel heard. Something he says he was not given a real chance to do.
17 Gwyne, Jay, & Blue
When it comes to the Carters, everything is all in the family, even friends. Jay-Z's longtime best friend Gwyneth Paltrow is like an aunt to Blue. Thanks to her dad, Gwynne's Hollywood daughter Apple is also a playmate and a good friend. For Blue Ivy and Jay-Z, their relationship is made even better because he can hang out with his best friend while she hangs out with hers and they can all hang out together. Doesn't get any better than that. The four of them were seen during the Superbowl in the box seats when Gwynne reached over to give little Blue a kiss for being so adorable.
16 The Serious One
In most parenting units there's the fun one and then the "ask your (father) or (mother)" for little Blue Ivy, surprisingly enough, Jay-Z is actually 'the serious parent.' Being the stern one may come as some surprise to fans since he always seems so gentle with his daughter, but when it comes to hard life lessons and real talk, Jay-Z doesn't lack in the realness department. When Blue is being a little girl and dancing about or asking a million questions, Jay-Z is sure to keep her on track and remind her of the tasks at hand. He makes sure that although she enjoys the gifts of the wealth her parents can offer her, that she doesn't take it for granted.
15 He's Wrapped Around Her Finger
Dad sheds a few tears for his little girl from time to time. Jay has on several occasions been said to shed a few tears when it comes to his kids. A family friend reported to Hollywoodlife that the rapper cried at the birth of his children. Now that's beautiful. It is really nice to see a man who can appropriately express emotion. And as for him and Blue Ivy's relationship, it's pretty clear that she has daddy wrapped around her tiny finger. From vacations in Europe to daddy-and-me time in New York, Jay and Blue have a pretty inseparable bond, no question.
14 Mr. Softie
Hardened rapper Jay-Z can be quite the softie when it comes to the likes of little Blue Ivy. As he continues to watch her grow, Jay is astounded by the person his daughter is becoming. He has in numerous interviews praised his daughter's growth and the person that he is helping mold her to be. He remains in awe of her good qualities, as most fathers are. He mentioned that her ability to express herself when she was displeased with how he once reacted was, "the most beautiful thing she has ever said" to him. Jay-Z being such a proud dad really helps define the type of relationship the two of them have.
13 He Gives Her Financial Responsibility
Jay-Z told his listeners to watch the throne, but no one knew that little Blue would be taking the reins so early on. Already Jay has equipped his daughter with a budget and a spending limit. She's 7! He says that although they have money, he wants to teach his daughter the true value of it. After growing up in a single parent home and not having very much financial clout as a child, Jay really understands the value of making a dollar last – a lesson he really wants to instill in his little girl. Don't spend it all in one place, Blue.
12 Every Day Is Special
Birthdays, anniversaries, or just Wednesdays, he tries to make every day a bit special by taking dad and blue only rides. Whether he is taking her to school or just downtown for some much-needed shopping trips, Jay-Z mentioned during the interview on Netflix that one of his priorities is making enough time for daddy-daughter special time with Blue Ivy.
For the two of them, every day is special. We can only hope that as Blue continues to grow her relationship with her father will continue to flourish, and now that she's a big sister, her responsibility will be even larger, and her time even more precious.
11 He Teaches Her About Art
The paparazzi has definitely caught on to the more and more frequent sightings of Blue Ivy out on the town with her parents. She attends all sorts of functions with them but none quite took the icing on the cake quite like the event her parents took her to when the Carter family attended The Wearable Art Gala. when they thought it was wise to teach her to appreciate art. At Blue Ivy's first art auction, Jay-Z let her hold the paddle, and her very first course of action was to bid $19,000 on a piece of art. She wound up going home with a different, less expensive item, but art for art, right?
10 They Rap Together
As an ode to his wonderful daughter, Jay-Z featured Blue Ivy on two of his hit songs. Her first musical debut came when she was just a few days old when sounds of her voice cooing and soft cries could be heard on his song "Glory." Later, when she turned 5, she got her own verse on a bonus track on the 4:44 album. It doesn't get any closer than that. For a man who is really serious about his music, he has been known not to collaborate with just anybody, and according to fans, Blue Ivy did not disappoint.
9 They Go On Tour Together
The Carters absolutely operate in a family function business. Mother Beyoncé and father Jay-Z had been known to tour together before the kids, and once Blue Ivy made her debut, that did not change. Photos of Jay-Z and Blue in Berlin during the On The Run II tour went viral when fans were surprised to see dad taking time out from the busy tour schedule to just sit on a park bench and have a chat with his young daughter. Now that's a beautiful dad and daughter relationship. All that quality time is also a great opportunity for Blue to also collect some passport stamps.
8 Blue Is Always Dressed To The T, Thanks To Dad
What little girl under 10 wouldn't want her own stylist and personal shopper? Well, when your name is Blue Ivy Carter having one is kind of a given, especially when Jay-Z is your dad. Believe it or not, Baby Blue has had a stylist since she was only 2 years old, and he goes by the name of Manuel Mendez. The stylist documents all of his fashion triumphs with Blue Ivy on his social media pages but he would have never gotten the chance had it not been for Blue's dad who gave the okay. She's a fashionista like her mom, so of course, she deserves to explore her own style.
7 Compassion Before Anything
Jay said in an interview that when it comes to parenting the most important thing he wants to teach his kids is compassion. “The most important thing I think out of all this is to teach compassion and to identify with everyone’s struggle and to know these people made these sacrifices for us to be where we are and to push that forward — for us,” Jay-Z said. Although the rapper is very aware that his children are growing up in a very different setting than he did when he was a child, he still admits that they must know their history and act with compassion when living in the world in which we live.
6 She's His Mini-me
Sure, everyone says she looks like Beyoncé, but in reality, Shawn and Blue look even more alike, and like her dad, she knows it. They have the same nose, same eyes, and basically the same face. The only thing cuter than a little girl who twins with her mom is a little girl who can also twin with her dad. Jay takes pride in showing off his daughter. Photos of them making the same faces are paparazzi gold and they are everywhere. Having a mini-me makes their father-daughter relationship just all the more special. Not only can they get along, but they can look alike too.
5 Color Coordinated
You've probably noticed Blue taking a few fashion pointers from her stylish parents, but did you notice that on daddy daughter days Blue Ivy sports the same fashion or color as her dad? They love to color coordinate when they go out. Whether it's on vacation or on tour, or just a walk in the park, little Blue Ivy and her dad are often seen sporting similar kicks or similar colors. It's just the final touch on their mini-me father-daughter duo. One can only hope that as she gets older she continues to want to have matching outfits with her dad.
4 They Share A Love For Sports
"We go to most games together," Jay-Z said when fans commented on the photos taken at the NBA Allstar games of he and his daughter. Not only do they share an equal love of music, but they also share a love of sports. Baby Blue has tried a few times to get her mother involved in the games. She took her mom and grandmother to the NBA Allstar game and took pride snapping selfies with her fashionista mama. The only difference is that when she's with dad, she actually watches the game – she even gets to hold the game balls and meet the players.
3 'She's Genuine, She's Honest'
Jay taught his daughter to be candid, sometimes a little too candid... Blue Ivy's sass went viral when she shushed parents at the Grammy's. Apparently, they were clapping just a little too loudly for just a little too long. Blue Ivy had to shut it down, just like daddy taught her. This is not the only time Jay marveled in his daughter's candor when she expressed such enthusiasm for her dad's music, he knew that she wasn't just pulling his leg. "She's genuine, she's honest because she doesn’t know it makes me happy," he said. "She just wants to hear it," he told Glamour magazine.
2 She Taught Dad To Dance
Never before did you see Brooklyn native, Jay-Z dancing. Now he does it on the regular but only with his favorite sidekick, Blue. When Beyoncé and Shawn Carter renewed their vows in a secret ceremony, Jay-Z was seen taking a moment to get on the dance floor with his daughter. They danced the night away sources say. The best part of having a dad who makes music? Natural rhythm of course. They can groove together any time, we can only imagine what their studio sessions look like when little Blue is busy laying down the tracks on her parents latest albums.
1 'She's My Biggest Fan'
In addition to being a part of his music, Blue Ivy listens to his music over and over again on repeat, Jay-Z said in an interview with Hello Mag. "She loves all the songs," he said. "She plays a song and she goes, 'More, daddy, more ... daddy song.' She's my biggest fan... If no one bought the Magna Carta, the fact that she loves it so much, it gives me the greatest joy."
That's heartwarming that dad wants his daughter's approval on his art. It is so telling of how important their relationship is to him. I guess Jigga is going to have to clean up his lyrics if Baby Blue is going to have his music on repeat.
References: Insider Magazine, Netflix, Hello Magazine, CNBC, New York Post, Time Magazine, People Magazine, Billboard