In October's O: The Oprah Magazine, he tells Oprah Winfrey they managed to keep their April 2008 wedding a secret thanks to "late planning."
He said there were "very few" close friends and family at the ceremony at his penthouse apartment in NYC's Tribeca neighborhood. The newlyweds later threw a lavish party that included Beyonce's mother Tina Knowles, her father/manager Mathew, her sister Solange, her Destiny's Child mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams and pal Gwyneth Paltrow.
"The sad part is that we offended some," he said of not inviting a lot of friends. "But people who love you understand. Because at the end of the day, it's your day."
The Brooklyn-born rapper, 39, also opened up about his rough childhood - including dealing drugs at 13.
He said the gig "was natural" for teens in his neighborhood, adding that there weren't any black teachers, lawyers or other professionals living around him.
"If anyone did become something like that, they moved out," he said. "They never came back to share the wisdom of how they made it. If anyone made it, you never knew it. That's why I've always said that if I become successful, I'd come back here, grab somebody, and show him how it can be done."
Looking back, Jay-Z is still thankful he is here today. When he was younger, he once dodged three bullets.
"That was divine intervention. Divine intervention, and nobody knew how to shoot," he said of the incident. "....No one really practices shooting a TEC-9 machine gun, right? And when you're a kid with little bony arms—no wonder nobody could aim."