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Jay-Z Doesn’t Vote Republican Because ‘Without People, Being Rich Would Be Very Boring’

Rap icon and business mogul Jay-Z is worth an estimated $810 million—not counting his wife Beyoncé’s few hundred million—but his money doesn’t influence how he votes, he says.

Why? Because he, in essence, “believes in people.”

In an in-depth video interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet released Wednesday, Baquet asked the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, if his wealth has made him “a little more conservative.”

The core of Carter’s response? No. But waxing poetic, the rapper left viewers with something deep to think about.

“That’s not the end game,” he said. “It’s not about who got more money and who got more houses.” He added: “Don’t forget what’s important. Without people, being rich would be very boring.”

Politics aside, Jay-Z’s philosophy echoes clichés about what money can and can’t buy us. But maybe we needed a reminder—and it doesn’t hurt that it comes from the rapper with the most Grammy wins in history.

Jay-Z Celebrates the One-Year Anniversary of the 40/40 Club
Beyonce and Jay-Z at the 40 / 40 in New York with a bottle of Armand de Brignac champagne.Photograph by Johnny Nunez — WireImage/Getty Images
Photograph by Johnny Nunez — WireImage/Getty Images

Jay-Z has always made known his support for the Democratic party, even as he promotes a capitalist lifestyle in his verses. Still, the artist didn’t shy away from wading deeper into politics on his latest album 4:44, released in June. On the track “The Story of O.J.,” he calls out former NFL star O.J. Simpson for abandoning black culture. “O.J. like, ‘I’m not black, I’m O.J.,'” he raps in the first verse. (Later on the track, he touts his pursuit of financial freedom: “Y’all think it’s bougie, I’m like, it’s fine/But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99”)

Meanwhile the lack of affection between Carter and Republican voters is apparently mutual. A 2013 poll by Public Policy Polling showed that 35% of Democrats approve of Jay-Z and 63% of Beyoncé while just 15% and 36% of Republicans approve of the couple, respectively.