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Pro Era leader Joey Bada$$ recalled the time he turned down Jay Z’s offer to sign to Roc Nation. The reason? He wanted to be like him.

Joey Bada$$ brought up his meeting with Jay Z on an episode of The Whoollywood Shuffle on Shade 45. Bada$$ tells DJ Whookid that he met Jay when he was just 17-years old, around the time his breakout single “Waves” dropped.

Per video:

“When I got there, as soon as I walked into his office…we just had a little conversation. He was telling me about one of my songs called ‘Waves,’ which I had just dropped. He was like, ‘Yo, this right here. This is Hip Hop. This is real f*cking Hip Hop right here like you found your pocket on this one.’ I just can’t believe this is from Jay Z’s lips.”

The 21-year old “Brooklyn’s Own” rapper admitted that he wanted to sign with the elder “Brooklyn’s Finest” MC instantly, but that he had a change of heart during the meeting.

He adds:

“That moment made me know that I could do anything. I even read Jay Z’s Decoded book and there’s this one chapter in there when he went to go meet with Russell Simmons to sign with Def Jam, he said his only thought was sitting across the table from Russell Simmons was, ‘D*mn, I don’t wanna sign to this n*gga. I wanna be this n*gga.’…I kinda had that same perspective.”

The decision has paid off. Bada$$ is one of the top earning independent Hip-Hop artists in the world and was listed on the 2016 Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Princes list. Watch the entire Joey Bada$$ interview below to get his thoughts on the presidential election and his philanthropic ventures.