Jay-Z and Kanye West will always have a "complicated relationship". Picture: AP

Jay-Z insists he and his friend Kanye West will always have a "complicated relationship" because of the "little underlying competition" they have with each other.

The 'Empire State Of Mind' hitmaker insists he will always have a rollercoaster relationship with his friend because of the "little underlying competition" they have with each other.

He said: "I [talked to] Kanye the other day, just to tell him, like, he's my brother. I love Kanye. I do. It's a complicated relationship with us ... 'Cause, you know - Kanye came into this business on my label. So I've always been like his big brother. And we're both entertainers.

"It's always been like a little underlying competition with your big brother. And we both love and respect each other's art, too. So it's like, we both - everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. You know what I'm saying? And then there's like a lot of other factors that play in it. But it's gonna, we gonna always be good."

And the 47-year-old rapper admits there is tension in this relationship right now but insists they have "genuine love" for each other.

He added to the New York Times' T magazine: "Yeah, yeah, yeah. But that happens. In the long relationship, you know, hopefully when we're 89 we look at this six months or whatever time and we laugh at that. You know what I'm saying? 

"There's gonna be complications in the relationship that we have to get through. And the only way to get through that is we sit down and have a dialogue and say, 'These are the things that I'm uncomfortable with. 

"These are the things that are unacceptable to me. This is what I feel.' I'm sure he feels that I've done things to him as well. You know what I'm saying? These are - I'm not a perfect human being by no stretch. 

"You know ... And we just need to speak about it. But there's genuine love there."

Kanye West started out producing for Jay-Z's record label but the cracks really started to appear between them when they started criticising each other's collaborations. 

The pair's relationship continued to fracture after Jay-Z reportedly didn't reach out to Kanye after his wife Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint.