"Some sort of anger"

"When Obama brushed dirt off his shoulder during the 2008 presidential campaign in an obvious reference to Jay’s song ('Dirt Off Your Shoulder'), Jay was amazed. 'I was like, This is not happening in the world...growing up, if you had ever told a black person from the hood you can be president, they’d be like, I could never. If you had told me that as a kid, I’d be like, Are you out of your mind? How?' 

When I asked him if the only way black kids thought they could get out of the projects was by being a rapper or a basketball player, Jay said, 'Exactly. That’s the only thing we saw.' 

...But he added, 'The middle class has been eliminated; it’s so hard to make a living now. There’s a bigger gap between the haves and have-nots, and that’s what creates the problem. It’s going to bring some sort of anger, it’s going to boil over, and there’s going to be a conflict. Everyone has to participate in this American Dream, and if everyone’s not participating, then there’s a problem.'

'It’s not cool—the trajectory that this is going. We have to figure out how to include everyone.'"

-- The whole Jay-Z profile in the November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair is good, and fortunately it's all available to read online. This is just one standout bit.

(And you can see the video of President Obama dusting his shoulders off back in 2008 here.)

Real talk from Maria Bartiromo

From a fascinating (in my opinion, but I am obviously biased because of my job) story in the November 2008 issue of Vanity Fair-- covering the female reporters on CNBC:

Dressed conservatively in a khaki Escada pantsuit, with a green T-shirt and burgundy Manolos, [Maria Bartiromo] seems not to notice the women in the tiny dresses as she stops to give her autograph to an elderly gentleman visiting the exchange. She thanks him and turns to climb the stairs to CNBC’s mezzanine studio when a Fox correspondent rushes up to her.

She is wearing towering heels, tons of makeup, and a scarlet dress so tight you can see her underwear line and unbuttoned to expose her black lace bra. “Hi, Maria!” she shrieks. Maria’s eyes pop open, but then she smiles and kisses her. It’s only later that she says she was “taken aback.” The Fox reporter is a friend, and insisting that her name not be published, she says, “I did tell her, ‘Don’t ever show up here with your skirt up your butt and your shirt down low like that.’ I said, ‘It’s a distraction, it’s ridiculous, and it’s not what you want.’ I don’t know who’s telling her to do this, [but] there are a lot of women doing that.”

As someone who goes to a lot of financial industry events, I can attest to the fact that a lot of women are indeed doing that-- especially in Silicon Valley, it seems.

Maria, by the way, is obviously aware of her looks and uses them to her advantage in her career-- she has made moves to trademark the term "Money Honey," after all-- but she knows where to draw the line between being feminine and attractive and being just plain unprofessional. I love that in this interview, Maria calls a spade a spade-- and puts her remarks on the record with the VF writer.