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Jay Z grabs his junk to battle stage fright

August 11, 2015

He describes the psychology of crotch-grabbing to cover up nervousness.

Remember Damon Dash? Jay Z’s ex-partner at Roc-A-Fella turned arch enemy, diminutive dude that talks louder and faster than an auctioneer, sideways ball cap balanced ridiculously on his noggin? Well, in a recent interview Dash claimed that the only reason he got onstage with Jigga earlier in his career was that the rapper had no stage presence and was a “terrible” performer.

Now, while Dash is saltier than the Dead Sea when it comes to Jay Z and can be relied on to take any ridiculous pot shot he can conceive, there might be at least a bit of truth to this one. A New Yorker article on stage fright published this month pointed to a past interview in which Jay discussed why rappers’ earliest performances tend to be weak and gave an astute (and inadvertently hilarious) hypothesis on how they deal with the pressure.

He first pointed out an overlooked fact that contributes to newbie hip-hop artists not being the best onstage. “In hip-hop, the music leads first. So usually, you have a hit record and then [the record executives] throw this person on stage who has never been on stage before. So they don’t have any experience on how to perform in front of people, hold the mic — all these different things you need to know as a performer.” Good point. Then Jay dropped some psychology on us, and it’s stellar:

[pullquote]”So when you feel naked, what’s the first thing you do? You cover yourself. So that bravado is an act of, ‘I am so nervous right now. I am scared to death. I’m going to act so tough that I am going to hide it, and I have to grab my crotch.’ That’s just what happens.”[/pullquote]

There you have it folks. Honestly, I’m dying to be in an office environment giving a PowerPoint presentation so I can grab my crotch repeatedly, eventually telling the CEO: “What? I’m mad nervous, B.”

[h/t Business Insider]

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