Source: MTV News

Jay-Z spent six hours shooting his music video for Magna Carta Holy Grail’s “Picasso Baby” at a NYC art gallery on Wednesday (July 10). Hov performed with Marina Abramovic while fans and members of the art community looked on. Read a first person account of the event below:

Click Here To Check Out A Video Of The Shoot

NEW YORK — Growing up in Brooklyn, it was hard not to be a fan ofJay-Z. Even when the Notorious B.I.G. reigned atop the borough’s food chain, there was something magnetic about Shawn Carter and his early records that only seemed to get played on Stretch & Bobbito’s overnight Columbia University-based college radio show. So when Hov put the call out to purchase his independently released debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996, I answered and hit BK’s famed Fulton Mall after school and bought the eventual hip-hop classic.

Seventeen years later, I’m still answering the call. However the most recent one was more direct. “Jay is doing something cool, I can’t say what, but you should come and be a part of it,” one of those industry connects, who eventually turn to great friends, told me over the phone on Tuesday evening.

I arrived at the address I was given, 510 West 25th Street, shortly after noon on Wednesday (July 10) but didn’t realize that I’d be taking part in Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby” video shoot until after I was asked to sign a waiver inside of the Pace Gallery. In my head I joked that I signed my life away to the illuminati, but in reality, I simply consented to having my image used and agreed not to sue if I turned up in the video. (Why would I do that?)

There were a few familiar faces; music executive Michael Kyser, Roc A&R Lenny S. and performance artist Marina Abramović. The crowd for the most part was largely unfamiliar to me. There was a sampling of rap fans, art types and cool looking people from all walks of life; black, white, young and old. Then of course there was Jay-Z, the former “skinny n—a on the boat”-turned-conqueror of all that he surveys.

We were all ushered into a vast white room and asked to stand alongside the walls behind a roped partition. It didn’t take long for the MC, who once fancied himself rap’s Iceberg Slim to emerge wearing black pants, a white button down shirt and sparkling gold Roc-A-Fella chain. He greeted us with a wide grin, salutes, hugs and handshakes. “Hey big guy, how you been,” Jay asked me, leaning in for the customary pound and hug.


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