CBS sets Jay-Z special

The one-hour primetime special profiles the life and impact of the billionaire hip-hop artist and mogul

Shawn Corey Carter, known worldwide as the hip-hop artist Jay-Z, is one of the biggest multi-hyphenate superstars and business executives of our time. Now, in a primetime special, Jay-Z talks his life, his music, his work in criminal justice, his business acumen and his family in Jay-Z and Gayle King: Brooklyn’s Own, to be broadcast Tuesday, November 14th from 9-10 pm ET/PT, immediately following the series premiere of NCIS: Sydney on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ live and on-demand for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers.

CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King anchors the broadcast, featuring never-before-seen footage from her three-hour interview with Jay-Z at the Brooklyn Public Library, where a new exhibit explores his life and legacy.

“He’s more than a musician, he’s a mogul,” King says. “He’s more than a rapper, he’s a visionary.”

Jay-Z has earned 24 Grammy Awards, and a Peabody Award and inspired countless others to follow in his footsteps. Indeed, today, he can influence style and businesses around the globe, has investments worth millions of dollars and is a major proponent of criminal justice reform.

In a rare, wide-ranging interview, Jay-Z talks with King about growing up in the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn, facing some difficult issues and how music was his path out. With King, he opens up about his business career, how he makes music and the stories behind some of his famous lyrics. The special also features footage from a 2002 60 Minutes II interview, where viewers will see a younger Jay-Z on the cusp of being the mogul he is today.

Jay-Z talks about his childhood, how he got his name and life inside the Marcy Houses.

“The fact that people go there and, like, take pictures in front of this is just amazing to me ‘cause this, you know, the Marcy Houses that I grew up, it was not a tourist attraction,” he says, recalling seeing someone shot when he was just nine.

The rapper shares how those experiences shaped his early life and how he broke into the music industry. He also discusses how his focus has changed from making music to helping others improve their futures.

“I think what matters most is, today, is, being a beacon and helping out … my culture. People of color. I think I pull the most satisfaction from that. Like making music earlier was, like – my first love. I could sit there for hours. It consumed me. Just finding words and figuring out words and how to say this and different ways to say that and different pockets and melodies and how to write this song,” Jay-Z says. “That consumed me. That’s why my pace was so fast. I had so much material … And I think now, you know, the idea of, of taking that platform and, you know, reproducing it for others or doing something like Reform … I think I derive the most joy from that.”

The special will be distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: