Robert DeNiro & Jay-Z got into an “intense beef” over phone etiquette, for real

There are certainly people you simply don’t mess with, even if you’re Jay-Z and you’re the Boss of all you survey. One of those people? Robert DeNiro. DeNiro may be 69 years old and spend most of his days in a state of sleepiness/grumpiness, but no one should ever dare f—k with him. Jay-Z messed with the wrong godfather! What’s funny is that Jay-Z didn’t really actively do anything to Bob DeNiro – DeNiro had called Jay-Z and left a message or something about Jay-Z possibly performing at Bob’s Tribeca Film Festival, and Jay-Z just never called him back. And then when they saw each other at a party, DeNiro SCHOOLED Jay about phone etiquette. For real.

Robert De Niro and Jay-Z got into a tense beef at Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday bash the other night, when De Niro called the rapper disrespectful, Page Six can exclusively reveal.

Spies say “Godfather II” and “Taxi Driver” star De Niro gave Jay a dressing-down in a roomful of celebs including Martin Scorsese because the rap mogul had refused to return De Niro’s calls.

Sources add that Jay tried to joke his way out of the situation, and even his wife, Beyoncé, tried to intervene, but De Niro wouldn’t back down.

“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,” a source says.

A spy then overheard De Niro complaining to the rapper, a fellow TriBeCa resident, about a song Jay-Z agreed to record for the Tribeca Film Festival. De Niro had reached out to discuss further details, but Jay never returned his calls.

“Bob wasn’t in any mood to make polite conversation,” the spy says. “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.”

When Jay-Z tried to make a joke of it, saying he is terrible on the phone, a source says, “De Niro kept telling him that he thinks he’s the man, but that he was disrespectful.’ ”

“Beyoncé came over, but that didn’t calm Bob down,” the source said, adding that afterward, “It was the talk of the party. 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.”

But a source close to De Niro told us, “It was a low-key private conversation between two people that was apparently overheard. It was not a heated discussion.”

The Darby bash, which sources say ended at 5 a.m. with a tab of nearly $3 million, much of which went to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, drew Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo and Emma Watson.

Reps for both De Niro and Jay-Z declined to comment.

[From Page Six]

I think it’s a good sign that the two men didn’t get into a screaming match. DeNiro was pissed off, and Jay was man enough to let DeNiro vent, and Jay even tried to diffuse the situation with humor and lightness. DeNiro comes off as a bit temperamental and crotchety, and Jay comes across like a busy guy who doesn’t always answer his phone messages, even if he gets a call from DeNiro. That’s just the way I read it – and I bet Jay never ignores a call from DeNiro again!

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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105 Responses to “Robert DeNiro & Jay-Z got into an “intense beef” over phone etiquette, for real”

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  1. francesca1 says:

    I think Jay Z and Beyonce are so arrogant. It is rude (and politically stupid) to not return a phone call from someone like DeNiro

    • Enyce says:

      Imma go ahead and assume you don’t listen to Hov.

      The man adores De Niro. I cant think of a single album where he doesn’t name drop the guy. In one song he calls him the best there ever was and the best there ever will be. It was speculated that he chose to live in Tribecca specifically because thats why De Niro lives.

      Who knows what happened here? Maybe he was baked/on vacation/on tour for afew days. Maybe he feels he needs to say no to De Niros request but finds it difficult to tell his childhood hero no. Maybe De Niro thought he called but didnt actually do so. Maybe Hov forgot.

      Whatever the case they are clearly friends, in a dad/son kind of way. One thing is for sure, theres no way De Niro could publicly call out every celebrity who did him wrong even if he wanted to. Hov must have been devastated though, the only other man he raps about with as much reverence is Obama.

      • CreoleQueen says:

        ^^^This. I doubt the majority of the demographic here does hiphop, its unsurprising they dont know the history between these two guys. I agree this is just a mentor putting his hero worshipping mentee in-check over a relatively small matter. Probably not even the first time hes done it. Not a big deal.

    • Liv says:

      Totally agree. They just make music. It’s not like they make up a cure for cancer or aids.

    • DeltaJuliet says:

      Not returning calls is rude. Period. Common courtesy shouldn’t be reserved for celebrities who are used to having their asses kissed.

    • sophieschoice says:

      Francesca et al: Maybe you dont know but their relationship is not just a professional one. If it was you could say this was arrogance. This is more like failing to ring back an uncle who then tells you off in public. Happens to the best of us. And its kind of cute.

    • Me Too says:

      I also find Jay Z to be amazingly arrogant. And, almost all his stuff in the past 7-8 years seems to just promote being rich. He name drops brands now basically. And, I’m sorry, he behaves like he’s some kind of royalty. I know he’s achieved a lot and he’s come so far in his life but does he really have to shove it down everyone else’s throats?

  2. LadyMTL says:

    While I think DeNiro overreacted a bit I do agree with his basic point – Jay Z should have returned the call, or at least had one of his assistants (or whoever) return it. It just seems like basic politeness, in my book.

  3. Riana says:

    OMG…the whole encounter sounds adorable, lmao.

    I just love the image of 69 yr old Robert Deniro schooling someone on phone etiquette. “It’s just rude. I call, you call me back. Is that so hard?”

    And Jay Z likely standing there thinking, ‘When did he call me…?’.

    Its just one of those things, no big deal. Sometimes people don’t return phone calls, doesn’t mean they don’t respect the person. I do love that Robert doesn’t live in a bubble and seems to reach out to everyone including a young black rapper about performing for Tribeca.

  4. Ms Kay says:

    Well if it’s true, I’m with DeNiro on that one. Just because you’re Jay-Z doesn’t mean you can’t have the courtesy to apologize and definitely not “joke” your way out of it with a lame “I’m bad with the phone…” if the dude called 6 times then have the courtesy to call back even 10seconds and say you’re awfully busy or so… Just because everyone is at your feet or Obama loves you for having financed his electoral campaign doesn’t mean you’re the king of the world and brush off everyone else I mean come on… It may sound simplistic the way I think but honestly the lack of decorum nowadays is beyond my understanding..

  5. Agnes says:

    Agreed. You return DeNiro’s calls, ni matter who you are, unless you’re the freaking POTUS. Especially if he calls repeatedly. But that’s just etiquette in general – it’s super rude not to return calls. Kids these days. ;)

  6. Kayla says:

    Lol this is such a funny story. I’m like that as well I have really bad phone etiquette my boyfriend always complains that I never call him back. Some people just don’t know how to call people back it has nothing to do with arrogance.

  7. V4Real says:

    DeNiro please call me I swear I will answer your call, be at your beck and call; just hit me up. I love you.

    In the second pic Jay looks like he’s checking to make sure DeNiro didn’t call. He’ll never make that mistake again. Jay got schooled by the real OG.(Original Gangsta for those who are not up on their slang).

  8. Ellie66 says:

    Man that would suck to have Robert DeNiro pissed at you! He reminds me of Grumpy Cat. Lol!

  9. marie says:

    damnit, don’t call him Bob-it’s Robert (no idea why I find this annoying, but there it is)

    I saw a good movie with DeNiro last night, Red Lights with Cillian Murphy (who looks way better in movies than in print) anyway, there’s no real point to this post, I kinda just wanted to ramble..

  10. L says:

    Common, you know that Jay Z has a assistant that checks all his voice mail messages. If anything THEY should have called De Niro’s assistant back. If they told Jay Z-then yes-he’s a idiot.

    Either way I think a assistant is about to get fired.

  11. Izzy4ya says:

    Why would he want Jay Z to perform at his “do” anyway? Watching him at Barclays was embarrassing. At what point do you simply acknowledge you’re too old to be walking around like a wayward teen fresh out of juvi? Jay Z rubs me all kinds of wrong. And so does his big bird looking sister in law.

    • Cam S says:

      I agree. For some reason, even when Jay first got famous I could NEVER figure out why he got where he is at? Imo he isn’t all that talented and only had a few good singles- then announced he was “retiring” or something. It always boggles me why he is even famous. I dunno why, but I don’t care for him either.

      • Shonnie says:

        Jays made it because he is such a talented lyricist. His songs are very layered, so that at first glance they seem to be about the usual bling lifestyle but listen closer and you catch lines with double sometimes tripple meanings. Usually very profound meanings.

        Thats why he is so massive with the college crowd btw. Thats also why the new movement of socially conscious rappers gravitate around him (Lupe, B.O.B, Kendrick etc). Thats why he put out the book Decoded, you know, to decode the rhymes. Its also why Obama could get away with hanging with someone who on the surface appears to be your typical hustler turned rapper.

      • Izzy4ya says:

        Cam, I totally agree with you. I’ve had the misfortune of following his career (younger brother in the house), and I’m still perplexed.

        Shonnie, please. Much of Jay-z’s early work has way too much “borrowing” from other rappers to be considered talent. Right down to his borrowed name, Jay’s credit lies with the fact that he was aggressive in selling himself. His music isn’t layered, it’s usually materialistic, mysogynistic garbage espoused by a man who was VERY angry that he was ugly, and bitter that women payed attention once he made money-this also makes me incredibly curious about the dynamics of his relationship with Beyonce. Even he recently said, “What kind of ANIMAL would say things like that”. He did. And he still does.
        Jay-z survives because of his ego. Rap is about ego. Tell everyone you’re the best until they believe it, and he did that very well. Threatening to retire 8 times, marrying Beyonce (which softened his image and broadened his appeal-hello Oprah). I think Jay is desperate for people to see him as one of this century’s great musicians, so unlike an actually talented musician, he campaigns for himself. Decoded was a tribute to his ego (it was ghost written BTW). An attempt to make him seem “deeper” than he is. I think of some of the lines I’ve heard just in passing my brother’s room, or on the radio, and I wonder how he will explain himself to his girl-child when she is of age (if she’s smart enough to see past the image).

        As for Obama, I don’t totally blame him for taking support where it’s given, but I do believe he will also have to answer for his associations one day as well. Personally I lost a little respect for him going that route, but Jay Z and Beyonce donated and campaigned hard for him so I don’t seem him turning them away.

        There interest of college kids is hardly a measure of talent or innovation in my eyes.

      • sophieschoice says:

        Izzy I highly doubt you have spent any measure of time on Jays lyrics. Layering is what he is known for. There are plenty of pieces about it in cyber space. Read.

      • Babawawa says:

        This exchange here made me laugh because it reminds me of my mum and me over 20 years ago. I was heavily into Punk and mum was convinced that meant I was doing drugs.

        Oh the afternoons spent trying to explain that I was a member of Straight Edge faction (no drugs). But no, she thought she knew best even though she barely listened to the music or knew about the culture.

        In hindsight it caused me to be alot more open with my kids. If the music critics and people who actually listen to the music say its got multiple meanings…how can I argue based on 2 songs that I overheard playing in my sons room?

      • Samanthalous says:

        I agree with Izzy4ya, he needs to come down a notch.

      • Cassandraaa says:

        Sorry to pile on but i am surprised that nobody has mentioned this before. The reason President Obama has never been called out by a serious journalist for liking Jay Zs music is that five minutes of preparatory research reveals what others have already said. The lyrics are not straight forward.
        I only casually listen when the BF has it on but even I clocked the double meaning thing. Maybe listen closer?

      • Bayarealife says:

        No disrespect but, you know nothing about hip hop. Stay in your lane

    • NC says:

      @Izzy You have no idea what your talking about. I bet you don’t know anything about his music besides the occasional lines you heard passing by your brothers room.

      • Izzy4ya says:

        Mkay, like 4 people have responded telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about, yet as I said HE admits how ridiculous a lot of his music is (which he claims to regret but continues to make it anyway). I don’t “pass” my brothers room. I lived through years of it, we’re of the same generation, I have friends who are stans. “Layering” is hardly a sign of musical genius. As soon as a child know what a metaphor is they can assemble a “layered” poem. His music is trash, PERIOD. JMO. You’re obviously welcome to yours. And NC, you’re free to tell me something I don’t know. I suppose you’re one of those women that think when he whines about “bitches”, he’s not talking about you, lol.

      • Loves Gos says:

        Calm down Izzy dear. His music is not you cup of tea, theres no need to fight with people who see more to it that you do, is there? Live and Let Live, girls.

      • Sojourner says:

        So shes ageeing that he layers but now doesnt think its a special talent? Next time research before you type then you wont have to backpedal like Romney on speed.

  12. Saphana says:

    im also bad with calling back. i would change it for DeNiro though.

  13. NeNe says:

    I agree. The least Jay Z could have done was return his call. It is completely rude to ignore someone.


  14. JM says:

    Jay-Z take note. You don’t mess with The Godfather. You should have called him back. He might have made an offer you couldn’t refuse.

    In all fairness, it is proper phone etiquette to return someone’s call, particularly if they call 6 TIMES! Is Jay-Z so self important he feels he is above all this? Let’s see where his “career” is when he reaches DeNiro’s age. Will anyone even remember him? My guess is no but it’s just my opinion.

  15. Aubra says:

    Godfather/actor or not, be respectful!

  16. ladybert62 says:

    They both sound like Divas.

    • Babette says:

      Hmmmm, I don’t read it that way at all. I think DeNiro is “old school” and expects that when he requests a call back for a personal or professional request, that a return call will happen. It’s just basic respect and basic etiquette. For whatever reason Jay-Z didn’t return the call, he didn’t have a temper tantrum (like we’d expect from a Chris Brown, say) but he just listened and learned. It could’ve gone down very differently, but that it didn’t puts both of them in a good light for me, anyway.

  17. stellalovejoydiver says:

    Like Christian Bale said, Robert de Niro is the shit, bow the fuck down.

  18. MG says:

    There is just no excuse! I’m sure Jay-Z has tons of assistants. One of his people should have called one of Bob’s people! Jay-Z and Beyonce annoy me to no end, I’m glad he got a tongue lashing from Bobby Money!

  19. Rikki says:

    Very tacky of both of them, especially DeNiro, to start this at someone else’s birthday party.

  20. Paige says:

    Love me some Jay. I also love the fact that Jay showed Bobby some respect.

  21. Madpoe says:

    Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?!?

    I’d take (and return) a phone call from my death bed for DeNiro!

  22. Shelly says:

    I don’t think it’s a ego thing with Jay-Z he respects Robert DeNiro…. i think he was just caught up with his busy schedule like normal people do and didn’t check his messages. I don’t get arrogant from him at all, we all feel our selves a bit sometimes but i don’t think so in this case.

  23. Steph says:

    Always blame the baby! “So sorry! We’ve been so busy with the baby!” Works every time.

  24. bns says:

    Here for De Niro. I’d still hit it.

  25. vixo says:

    Doesnt Jay Z have anybody to do this kind of stuff ? Like an assistant ?? It’s indeed rude to not return a call.

    And of course … who doesnt return De Niro’s calls ? Jay-Z needs to know who is the Godfather of All Cool and Badass MotherF*****!

  26. Viv says:

    Ha- anyone else think it’s funny that the line Kaiser wrote ” JayZ was man enough to let DN vent” is right above a pic of JayZ looking like a 6-year old?
    Doesn’t look like a man to me, so I wouldn’t be surprised about his lack of phone etiquette. He may be a good rapper, but a man like DeNiro he ain’t.

  27. Natalina says:

    I dont know why Jay-Z is looked upon like he’s the chosen one.

  28. G says:

    Who the heck does JayZ think he is!?

    Oh but he’ll have NO problem rapping about getting a call from DeNiro to get that street cred though right?

  29. su says:

    maybe Jay Z was as busy as hell?! WHAT THE HECK? He sure as hell isnt sitting at home waiting for deniro to call, he has his OWN things he’s doing! JEEZ. It is impolite not to call someone back but sometimes you are too rushed of your feet to do so! Its not simply the case of being ‘self-important’ but sometimes that person isnt a priority! UGH. All the comments posturing like rob is somehow better than Jay z is silly. Jay has been in the industry 20yrs building his fanbase empire, with great success and his music WILL be relevant in 20yrs!

    • G says:

      Settle down Gwyneth.

      Sorry I couldn’t resist LOL!!

    • Ducky La Rue says:

      Ignoring a caller six times is quite a feat, and I’d say it goes beyond “I was just busy”. I don’t know – I’m really bad with returning calls myself, but I get uncomfortable around three messages. Six is quite a snub. I think he deserved to be called out on it.

      And, as you say, Jay-Z may still be relevant in 20 years time, but bear in mind that you may also need to wait that long for him to return any of your phone calls. ;-)

  30. Nicole says:

    I can’t stand Jay-Z. He’s one of the most overrated rappers of all time along with lil wayne and T.I.

  31. Mingy says:

    I loved JayZ..PRE Beyonce..
    I’m the worst at returning calls, so no comment on that.

  32. Tamiko says:

    I detest Jay-Z and the love and adoration he gets from people, even after physically assaulting a Black woman on camera, just baffles me. But then, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

    • I'm going to Guam! says:

      He is a misogynist as*hole and his music is terrible.
      I don’t understand why or how he is so popular.
      And the fact that he physically assaulted a woman is so disgusting that I don’t have the right words to properly articulate how I feel about this vile man.
      Why doesn’t anyone talk about the fact he assaulted a woman? I don’t think too many people know about that and I wonder why it hasn’t made bigger news?

    • Izzy4ya says:

      THANK YOU. His popularity confuses the hell out of me. But what makes my skin crawl are the sheeple that believe he’s “artistic”.

      • G says:

        Collaboration is why…

        It is key to his, Kanye and Lil Wayne’s survival. Their music without anybody else on the track is always WHACK!

      • Myrle says:

        Lmao. Izzy$ya You are on every other comment here. Time waste much?

      • izzy4ya says:

        Myrle this is my fourth post in this topic. But I appreciate the stalking =)despite your poor math skills.

      • Mackie says:

        I like his stuff and no I’m no “sheeple”. But even the people dont like his music respect him for building an empire despite the odds. Remember there arent too many successful urban artists that didnt come through him in some way or other. Top of my head Rihanna, Kanye, John Legend, Common, J Cole, Childish Gambino (who I am listening to right now), Frank Ocean, Lupe Fiasco and so many more. No one else has had even as close an impact on the industry in recent times. Even his worst haters would acknowledge that, although many of them dont know anything about the industry in the first place. Sorry if thats rude but I found your comment extremely dismissive of people like me.

    • NC says:

      He never hit a woman, that was fake

      • I'm going to Guam! says:

        It’s not fake, it’s on youtube.
        Just write “Jay z hits woman” and it will show up.

      • Sojourner says:

        NC its the video where Jay Z swats at the camera some fan is pointing at him backstage (where no cameras are allowed) in Chicago I believe. He does NOT hit her, I dont know where people get off making up stories. I’m going to assume that the combination black, power and money makes some people mad. If they arent making up ssshyte about men who have been vocal on domestic violence they are trying to secede. The struggle continues.

      • I'm going to Guam! says:

        Oh stop.
        I saw the video, it’s on youtube! He goes towards her and hits her.
        Please see for yourself before you comment.
        I have zero tolerance when it comes to violence and misogyny and it has absolutely nothing to do with “race”, power or money and everything to do with him physically assaulting a woman.

      • Sojourner says:

        Strange, I could have sworn I was speaking to NC. Where did you come in? Well, why dont you rewatch it, this time without the spectacles you bought at the Instant Prejudice store.

      • I'm going to Guam! says:

        I have watched it several times now and I see a man hitting a woman and it has nothing to do with “race”, I don’t care about irrelevant things such as skin color, but when I see a man hitting a woman, and a man who is known for his misogynist song lyrics, then I will speak up.
        Many have seen the same video and again, it’s on youtube and you can go look for yourself.
        You can call me anything you want, it will not scare me away or shame me from speaking up and against physical assault.

    • busy ramone says:

      Not only that but he wore a Bryant jersey for his whole tour when Kobe was in court for rape. And he called out Kobe’s victim repeatedly on stage.

      • buttercup says:

        What do you mean “Kobes victim”? This is from an allegation that didn’t even go to trial? The one where the supposed victim filed a civil suit two seconds after the criminal charges were filed? The one where she settled on the civil suit and then demanded that prosecutors drop the criminal case? That “victim”?

        I thought the days when the black male was presumed to be guilty of rape, irrespective of trials were long gone. Now excuse me while I fetch my time machine.

      • Sojourner says:

        Thanks buttercup for standing up against this sick mentality. If you read the subtext on some comments its like these people believe that black men are rapists and woman beaters and will just make up the “proof” if there isnt any.

  33. bagladey says:

    Jay-z has obviously grown too big for his boots if he thinks he can ignore ‘phone calls from Robert de Niro. Trump, okay, but Bob de Niro? No way.

  34. Katija says:

    This is why I love Jay-Z. A lot of rappers would have pulled some “why are you disrespecting me?!” BS. Instead, he knew to be humble. He’s fantastic.

  35. Natasha says:

    If this is even true, guessing by how friendly DeNiro and Jay are I’m sure any ignored calls was just a miscommunication. Besides i highly doubt DeNiro would start an argument with Jay Z at a private party. And to all those lumping Jay in with other generic rappers, try again. You don’t have to be a fan of the man but lyrically he is far superior to Lil’ Wayne, Kanye and whatever other names are being thrown around, but i guess all rap sounds the same, right?

    • Kimbob says:

      I would pretty much say if one is not actually listening to the content (words) of a rap song then, yeah…they kinda do sound alike.

      But then again, Jay-Z calls women “ho’s,” so oh yeah…WAY different.

      • Natasha says:

        ‘If one is not actually listening to the content, they kinda do sound alike’ could be said about any genre of music not just rap. And when I listen to music i tend to you know, listen to the words of the song. It’s also odd that you clearly don’t listen to rap music but think that because all those rappers may have used the word ‘ho’ in whatever context, that they’re the same. Little bit of a genralisation.

      • Kimbob says:

        Natasha, believe it or not, I do listen to rap. I like Wu Tang Klan, & others, & they certainly aren’t much different than alot of other rappers, but my comments were more toward Jay-Z period.

        Since he married Beyonce, it seems he’s become “elevated,” & I just can’t understand why. Like he stands apart from the rest of rappers, which to me, doesn’t ring true.

        And let’s be honest, he’s a former, self-admitted crack dealer….I REFUSE to idolize him. He’s most probably contributed to some poor people still on the street hooked on crack…what’s there to like or respect about that? And, before you maybe try & put me on the racist train, this is EQUALLY APPLICABLE to Kid Rock…also a former crack dealer…& he’s a POS in my book also.

  36. LittleDeadGirl says:

    Love DeNiro. Maybe he can open up a school of etiquette for stars … most of them seem to lack a lot of basic social skills. This story made me laugh so much.

  37. Kimbob says:

    Ummm, I’m surprised no one’s mentioned the “illustrious” Jay-Z’s former career as a CRACK DEALER??!! Yeah, he’s arrogant, & probably doesn’t possess much in the way of any type of etiquette.

    He disses women in general….former crack dealer….and some are taken aback by his lack of phone etiquette…seriously? Really?!

  38. Lee says:

    Funny how yal say how much u hate him (Jay-Z) but u still follow everything he does. How pathetic. But hey, haters gon hate ryt :)