The Roots' ?uestlove shared some of his experiences with hip hop mogul Jay-Z when Jay was the president of Def Jam. It was during his tenure as president that Jay-Z brought the acclaimed Philadelphia-based hip hop band to hip hop's most revered label.
According to ?uestlove, Jay-Z always wanted the band to maintain their integrity.
"(Jay-Z) didn't want to be known as the bad guy that killed The Roots," ?uestlove said. "I told Jay, "Like man, that would be nice to have all my records debut at No. 1 and stuff." But he's like, "Yeah, but you're just looking at that. I got to deal with beef with this cat and that cat. Every year some rapper's going to take a potshot and I got to take the gloves out the closet and start training." ... And (Jay-Z) sees me as an artist making my dream come true. Like, he wants to be seen as a true artist, not the richest guy in hip-hop. Meanwhile, I would like 13 zeros in my account."