Ever since I heard Jay-Z on a Foxy Brown track (I’ll Be) back in ‘96 and then Volume 2: Hard Knock Life, I knew that he was going to be huge, and lo and behold in his words he became a whole “business” man. This was a person who wanted to be heard and to create. The video above is evidence that the lyricist, rapper, entrepreneur that his taste goes beyond the usual “money, cash, hoes” he references several artists and painters (which you may have heard of) while performing as intimately as possible for a crowd of artists and performers. I also see a man purveying knowledge of the even better things in life (notably art) while trying to immortalize himself by way of associating himself with his name-dropping, or maybe he was just stating a wishlist out loud. In any case, the song takes us into Magna Carta… Holy Grail, a mix of aspiration, tenacity, social commentary and reality of day to day struggle and trying to come out on top.
I appreciate this video, and this reunification of art and hip-hop. Ideas should really be exhibited and taken in just like art in a gallery or a museum. Appreciating the finer things in life isn’t just ice and platinum rolexes after all.