Jay knew his father up until age 11, he tells GQ, and then he left which hurt him more than not knowing him at all. "If your dad died before you were born, yeah, it hurts-but it's not like you had a connection with something that was real," Jay told GQ. "Not to say it's any better-but to have that connection and then have it ripped away was, like, the worst. My dad was such a good dad that when he left, he left a huge scar. He was my superhero."
He didn't see his father again until 2003, after much goading from his mother to meet him. "[I talked about] what it did to me, what it meant, asked him why. There was no real answer. There was nothing he could say, because there's no excuse for that. There really isn't. So there was nothing he could say to satisfy me, except to hear me out. And it was up to me to forgive and let it go."
Now faced with becoming a parent himself, along side Beyonce, Jay says he wants to provide for his child what he didn't have. "Providing -- that's not love," Jay tells GQ. "Being there -- that's more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They're crying out for attention; they're hurting for love. I'm not being judgmental-I'm just making an observation. They're crying out for the love that maybe they didn't get at home, and they got everything. All the material things that they need and want. So we know that's not the key."
In addition to putting in the time with his daughter, Jay-Z also willing to roll up his sleeves and get dirty. When asked if he'd be changing diapers, he said "Of course, of course. One hundred percent."