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SIGN OF THE TIMES

Two months before the Recording Academy and its voters showered Jay-Z with a field-leading eight Grammy nominations, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet personally conducted an extensive two-hour interview with the 47-year-old artist/entrepreneur. With seeming prescience, Baquet kept the filmed conversation under wraps until the nominations were announced on Tuesday, but he obviously had the elaborate Times rollout planned well in advance.

The interview, edited down to 35 minutes and accompanied by commentary from critic at large Wesley Morris and pop-culture reporter Reggie Ugwu, appeared in video and text form Wednesday; it will be the cover story in the 12/3 holiday edition of the paper's glossy T magazine.

While the Grammys obviously aren’t discussed, the appearance of this wide-ranging conversation in America’s most-respected newspaper not only underscores Jay-Z's cultural significance, it also further validates the Academy’s anointment of the trailblazing artist/entrepreneur as the embodiment of its embrace of diversity.

Read and watch here.

Portrait by Henry Taylor      

TWO GRAMMY NERDS DISH ABOUT THE NOMINATIONS
Let the opinions fly. (12/13a)
TOP 20: XXX-RATED
Decking the halls with hip-hop. (12/13a)
A NEW FACET OF
WARNER BROS. RECORDS
Justin Tranter and Katie Vinten start a label. (12/13a)
RAINMAKERS: IT'S POURING DOWN VISIONARIES
The Max factor. (12/10a)
ROCK HALL ELECTS RADIOHEAD, ZOMBIES, FIVE MORE
What? No Todd! (12/13a)
GRAMMY NERDS BREAK IT DOWN
Wow, they really are nerds, huh?
REVERBERATIONS OF TAYLOR'S DEAL
What does it all mean? What did it cost? Answer the second question first.
IS IT COLD IN HERE?
It's fine, really. We'd just like to feel our extremities again.
EGGNOG
A sweet and creamy vehicle for the intoxicating liquor that blocks out the agony of the holidays.
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