10/02/2008 at 06:00 AM EDT
Jay-Z was flying solo at the U.N.A. Global Leadership Awards Gala in New York Wednesday night. But even without wife Beyoncé Knowles
by his side, he still happily chatted about his plans to start a family – eventually.
The rapper, who was being honored for his work to bring clean water to young people in Africa, has spent several weeks touring the continent.
But unlike Angelina Jolie
, it didn't inspire him to adopt. "No," the Grammy-winner (he got hitched
in April) told PEOPLE. "I don't want to bring any kids home."
But Jay-Z does want babies of his own. "Most people dream of having a family someday," he told reporters. "So I'm just a regular American boy."
In the meantime, he's focused on his humanitarian work – noting that more than 2 billion people don't have access to clean water.
"Many charities, you close your eyes and cross your fingers and hope that the money gets to the people who really deserve it," he said. "But with this, I got to go to Africa, see the water pumps. I got to see the kids turn them on."
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