Jay-Z’s 10 Latino Obsessions

With Jay-Z’s single, “Picasso Baby,” getting the art world treatment, we started thinking, Damn, Jigga loves us! Below click through Jay-Z’s 10 Latino Obsessions and you’re sure to find out Shawn Carter is down with the La Raza.   

1. jay z slide 01_“Picasso Baby”

“Picasso Baby”

Sign No. 273 You’re Not Just a Rapper: Rhyme about fine art. On his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jigga waxes poetic over his favorite painters, including Spanish legend, Pablo Picasso. 

2. jay z slide 07_Roc Nation Sports

Roc Nation Sports

Earlier this year, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation partnered with CAA Sports to launch Roc Nation Sports Management. The agency has since signed Dominican pelotero, Robinson Cano, and Puerto Rican wide receiver, Victor Cruz. 

3. jay z slide 09_Cuba Trip

Cuba Trip

Jay-Z and Beyoncé celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary with a trip to Cuba earlier this year. While the power couple relaxed touring the island nation, Stateside the debate over U.S. citizens traveling to the communist country raged on. PS: We’re sure those cigars Jay-Z puffs are from C-U-B-A. 

4. jay z slide 10_Shakira


In early 2012, Jay’s Roc Nation Management signed the international Colombian superstar to produce her next three albums and two world tours. Jay + Shak = Boom!

5. jay z slide 02_Dominicans


In his ode to his beloved New York City, “Empire State of Mind,” he shouts out dominicanos with “I used to cop in Harlem, all of my dominicanos/ Right there up on Broadway, pull me back to that McDonald's.” He’s talking about drugs, people. But hey he rhymed dominicanos with McDonald’s! Forgiven (sorta). PS: He’s also besties with Dominican American NY Yankee, Alex Rodriguez.

6. jay z slide 03_Ernesto “El Che” Guevara

Ernesto “El Che” Guevara

El Che and Jay-Z not a lot in common, right? According to Jigga there are similarities. "When someone asked me why I wore the Che T-shirt, I think I said something glib like, 'I consider myself a revolutionary because I'm a self-made millionaire in a racist society.' But it was really that it just felt right to me,” he told the Village Voice in 2010. “I also wasn't a Marxist like Che—the platinum Jesus piece made that pretty clear. Later I would read more about Guevara and discover similarities in our lives. I related to him as a kid who had asthma and played sports. I related to the power of his image, too ... Like a lot of people who stumble across the image with no context, I was still struck by its power and charisma." 

7. jay z slide 04_“Hola Hovito”

“Hola Hovito”

Super producer Timbaland layered this Blueprint track with Latin music rhythms. A man of many nicknames, Jay-Z took his Jay-Hova alias and gave it a barrio pass by wording it “Hovito.”

8. jay z slide 06_Roc La Familia

Roc La Familia

In the early aughts, almost every urban music label had a Latino division—Bad Boy Latino, Wu Tang Latino, and, yes, Roc La Familia. The imprint housed Puerto Rican reggaetonero Hector El Father, Nuyorican rapper Tru-Life, Colombian American MC, Aztek and N.O.R.E. (“Oye Mi Canto” anyone?). Even with the Jiggaman’s cosign, it evaporated into reggaeton air. 

9. jay z slide 05_“Hey Papi”

“Hey Papi”

In his pre-Beyoncé days, Jay-Z, as every rapper in pop history, loved the ladies. This gem off The Nutty Professor soundtrack used the stereotypical slang of “Hey Papi.” We wonder if this song is ever played in the Carter household today. 

10. jay z slide 08_Scarface


Rather than only rhyme about Scarface in his songs, Jay-Z employed Roc crony, Pain in da Ass, to impersonate characters of the film as well as other gangster classics, Goodfellas and Carlito’s Way. Boss!