“You talkin’ to me?”
Nope, and that’s exactly the problem. Actor Robert De Niro got into a dust-up with with rapper Jay-Z last weekend at Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday bash over ignored phone calls.
Some background: Jay-Z and Robert De Niro have a very strange “bromance” going on. Fans of Jay-Z know that his lyrics reference the Taxi Driver actor constantly (in songs like “New York State of Mind” and “Party Life”), but the New York Post reports that his reverence of De Niro wasn’t enough to get him to return his phone calls.
You see, De Niro has been trying to get in touch with Jay-Z over plans to record a song for the TriBeCa Film Festival. Jay-Z never responded, causing De Niro to approach the rapper at DiCaprio’s party and call him out on his bad manners.
“Bob was sitting at a table, and when Jay-Z went over to say hello, De Niro told Jay that he never called him back,” said an eavesdropper. “Bob wasn’t in any mood to make polite conversation. He told Jay that if somebody calls you six times, you call them back. It doesn’t matter who you are, that is just rude.”
Jay-Z shot back with a weak excuse: Something about being “terrible on the phone,” according to a source.
“De Niro kept telling him that he thinks he’s the man,” said the source, “but that he was disrespectful.’”
Beyoncé came to Jay-Z’s rescue, but even she was unable to smooth things over between her husband and De Niro.
“It was the talk of the party,” said the source. “Everyone was saying there’s only one star in New York bigger and badder than Jay-Z, and that’s Robert De Niro. He can be quite scary when he’s angry.”
“It was a low-key private conversation between two people that was apparently overheard,” said a De Niro source, who insisted that the scene was not so dramatic. “It was not a heated discussion.”
Heated discussion or not, this sounds like a pretty dark chapter in Robert De Niro’s bromance with Jay-Z.