Daniel Merriweather was in shock when he met Jay-Z.
The 'Change' singer is now a friend of the '99 Problems' rapper but admits he was lost for words when the pair were first introduced.
He said: "When I first met him, he almost seemed mythical - like, 'Oh my God, it's Jay-Z!' That's because he symbolises that whole era of hip-hop. And he's still great - there's always an extra level of awareness in whatever he does.
"I do see him quite a lot socially because he's a friend of a friend, but I'm a genuine fan. He's great to hang out with, he's very controlled, you can tell there are always cogs turning in his mind, and he never has his guard down completely."
Daniel insists Jay-Z
is still ahead of his hip-hop chart rivals because so many music fans can relate to him.
He added to Britain's Guardian newspaper: "When he released 'Reasonable Doubt' in 1996, he summed up a lot of ideas that young people had, and put them all on one album. Now you listen to it, no matter what walk of life you're from, you can relate to it.
"As far as the mogul mentality goes, he's got it down pretty well, and he's managed to balance it out with an artistry someone like P.Diddy struggles to achieve - there have been no lapses in creativity from Jay-Z."