Jay-Z Called Chappelle ‘Super Brave, Super Genius’ While Promoting Netflix Film

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Jay-Z has seen Dave Chappelle’s controversial Netflix special The Closer and is defending his friend. During a Twitter Space promoting Netflix’s The Harder They Fall (which Jay-Z co-produced), Vulture and New York’s Craig Jenkins asked if Jay-Z had any thoughts about The Closer. “I think that Dave is super brave and super genius,” the musician responded. “If you spend time with him, he’s brilliant.” Noting that Chappelle “pushed a lot of buttons,” Jay-Z described experiencing moments of discomfort when he watched the special. “But I think that what happens with true art is it has to cause conversation,” he said. “And, you know, sometimes it’s gonna be abrasive and sometimes it’s gonna be off-putting to folks. But it opens up an opportunity to have a dialogue about, you know, whatever the issue is.” Jay-Z, who was recently inducted by Chappelle into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then said that people have to speak with each other when they disagree, pointing to “fake conversations” about race before Donald Trump took office. He went on to conclude that art is divisive, clarifying that he was not specifically referring to Chappelle’s work. “When you’re making great art, you have to be fearless and you have to create something that you believe in,” he said. “And that’s what it’s about.”

Jay-Z Defends Chappelle’s Netflix Thing While Promoting His