Jay-Z Reveals How Blue Ivy Inspired Him to Learn How to Swim

In a new episode of HBO Max's The Shop: Uninterrupted, Jay-Z shared the sweet reason he wanted to learn to swim after the birth of Blue Ivy, his first daughter with his wife Beyoncé.

By Kaitlin Reilly May 29, 2021 6:15 PMTags

When it came to fatherhood, Jay-Z was happy to dive right into the deep end—literally, that is. 

The "Empire State of Mind" rapper shared on HBO Max's series The Shop: Uninterrupted that he made the choice to learn a new skill after his wife Beyoncé gave birth to their first child Blue Ivy Carter in 2012. 

"It's amazing. It's a very grounding thing," he said of becoming a dad. "I didn't learn how to swim until Blue was born. There goes everything you need to know. This is a metaphor for our relationship. If she ever fell in the water and I couldn't get her, I couldn't even fathom that thought. I gotta learn how to swim. That's it. That was the beginning of our relationship."

Jay-Z and Beyoncé are now also parents to twins Rumi and Sir, who were born in June 2017.

The music producer previously opened up about his insecurities around parenting in a 2013 ad for his album Magna Carta Holy Grail. 

Blue Ivy Carter's Iconic Moments

"It's most obvious on the song 'JAY Z Blue,'" Jay-Z explained. "And it deals with—you know, my pop left when I was young, so he didn't teach me how to be a man nor how to raise a child or treat a woman. So, of course, my karma, the two things I needed I don't have, right? And I have a daughter. It's the paranoia of not being a great dad."

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS

In an April episode of David Letterman's Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the "Beach Is Better" artist spoke about how strengthening the bond he has with his family influenced his music.


"I have a beautiful wife who was understanding and knew I am not the worst of what I've done," he shared. "We did the hard work of going to therapy, we love each other. We really put in the work for years. This music I'm making now is a result of things that have happened already. Like you, I like to believe that we're in a better place today, but still working and still communicating and growing. I'm proud of the father and the husband I am today because of all the work that was done."


Now, when Jay-Z takes his family to the beach, he can be on daddy and lifeguard duty.