My Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z Connection

By Rogan Smith |
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Did I tell you guys I was once in O Magazine?

Ok, not like in, in O Magazine. But, I wrote a letter to the editor and guess what? They published it.

I happen to be a huge fan of the magazine. I love its positivity and uplifting articles. I especially like Lady O’s What I Know For Sure – a parting message to her readers.

I bought the October 2009 magazine which featured a happy-looking Oprah, one of her beautiful dogs and a banging green Volkswagen Beetle. Down low in the corner in green writing were the words, “Oprah Un-Raps Jay-Z.” I had to get my copy.

I’ve always respected Jay-Z’s business savvy and ability to transcend rap. So, I was interested to learn something new about the rap legend. I have to admit, I knew a lot, as I’d followed his career for years. But, what really impressed me was reading the sidebar titled, On Jay-Z’s Bookshelf. There, he highlighted six books that really impacted his life.

I was so impressed that I decided to write O Magazine to commend them for the interview.

I told a friend of mine that I had written the letter and she scoffed. She politely reminded me that millions of people probably saw the magazine and many would write in. She doubted that my letter would be chosen.

I told her it would. I said the fact that a reader from The Bahamas was writing in made it special and the editors would want to showcase the magazine’s reach.

After I sent in my letter, I waited impatiently for O Magazine to pick it up. November came and I was sure it was there. It wasn’t. I felt discouraged. I then prayed they would pick it up for their December edition. They did. I nearly lost it.

I remember walking into the bookstore and seeing the wonderful Ellen Degeneres and Oprah on the Christmas cover and getting excited. When I flipped to page 28 on the We Hear You page, I lost it. Right there in that bookstore. You’d swear Oprah Winfrey had interviewed me!

At the top of the pile was my letter under the heading, Crazy for Jay-Z.

You can’t tell me that Jay-Z didn’t read that letter and brag to Beyoncé. At least in my head he did.

I immediately called my friend in the store to brag. She congratulated me. I promised her that I was in Oprah’s magazine for now, but one day I would be on her couch.

I haven’t made it there yet, but I’ve got time.

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