When Biggie said,
“WE SPREAD LOVE ITS THE B R O O K L Y N WAY!” He wasn’t exaggerating because one things for sure, Us Brooklyn Natives will always show you love until you give us a reason not to. We are very loyal people and huge supporters. On the flip side, WE GO HARD when it comes to our Coins (money), our Family, our DAY 1’s and DEFININITELY OUR BORO! And that’s a Snapple Fact!
A lot of Legends come from my Boro of Brooklyn. Some even come from a neighborhood I was semi-raised in when I stayed up under my grandmother.
BEDFORD-STUYVASANT AKA BED-STUY, DO OR DIE!
One of those Legends in HipHop is, Shawn C. Carter aka Jay-Z, who was born and raised in MARCY PROJECTS which is a few blocks from where I come from, LG (Lafayette Gardens) PROJECTS. Coming up out there in the 80’s & 90’s; it was Litt! The drug game was hardcore. I seen the way hustlers were getting money. I even had homies getting money. So when Jay Z (and others) started rapping about it, IN THE EARLY-MID 90’S, it was relatable to me. I was living through it,,, I was 17 when Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z’s 1st album, came out,,,
Fast Forward 30 years… THE BOOK OF HOV…
On Friday, July, 14th 2023, The BOOK OF HOV opened at the Central Public Library, in BROOKLYN (10 Grand Army Plaza). This installation was created by ROC NATION. It must be an amazing feeling to have an exhibit done, in your honor, at a library, (I’m sure) you went to, as a kid in Public School, on school trips, (WE ALL DID if you grew up in BK! lol). The largest Library in BROOKLYN! And the library was shut down the day before the Exhibition in order to prepare which has never been done before! The only time I can recall this library being closed during normal hours were due to (snow) storms.
The love for Jay-Z, is well deserved. Since his rise to fame, Jay-Z has done some amazing and Dope Shyt, Especially in and for BROOKLYN! Along with having several awards, Jay-Z, started an entertainment company. Was CEO to a record label. He had a clothing line, ROCAWEAR, some of us rocked. Jay-Z has even been known to secretly helps others out, (famous and not), in various ways out of Love. Recently, he was named, GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIMES 2023, by Billboard. Jay-Z went from being a hustler to an ICON in music and in business.
Finally, At Last, I was able to attend this exhibition before is closed. It was FREE. And I appreciated that it was still open and available for folks who needed the library for regular, normal things you go to the library for, like research. School work. Reading, etc. This exhibition didn’t interfere with that. The Brooklyn Public library stated, this was, “the only installation of its scope to be housed in an active public space. This exhibition takes you through the chapters of Jay-Z’s life.
“This exhibit is more than a tribute to a legendary artist and entrepreneur. It’s an inspiring reminder that, no matter where you start, with talent, hard work, and a little bit of that EMPIRE STATE OF MIND, you can change the world.”
Before entering the library, the outside of the building had some of Jay-Z’s classic lyrics. A cubed monitor that shows a a short video highlighting Jay-Z concerts and flashes of his albums. Him with Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. Jay-Z in the studio. His fans…
It was 2 levels broken down in the following Chapters:
I: Introduction & II: A Work Of Art Already,,, When you entered, there was a stand that had FREE tour guides to give you information on what was in store. We were able to take as many as we wanted so of course I took a few. No, A LOT! lol. There was a glass case with a sculpture of “HOV’s Hands” by Daniel Arsham, which is made from Volcanic Ash, Pyrite, Selenite and Hydrostone.
In the lobby, there were also glass cases displaying Jay-Z’s album covers and the mural along the walls had pictures of Jay-Z, boomboxes, Marcy Projects. There was artwork in frames and a “Reasonable Doubt” jacket. It was so dope.
There were also people on line signing up for library cards. Most, I’m sure will never use them but they had Jay-Z on them so they made for a great collectables item. Thankfully, my mom went to see the exhibit weeks before me and scooped up some but I actually use mines because I love spending time at the library. Thanks Mom.
III: Baseline Studios,,, This studio was where magic happened. The BLUEPRINT and The BLACK ALBUM (my favorite album) to name a few were birthed there. They recreated this studio and it gave the real feel of being there. “Baseline gave HOV the space and inspiration to make legendary music that became the cultural baseline by which to measure true artistic greatness.“
There was so much to see. It took me 2 hours to see it all and I went through it a few times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. The other chapters, IV: Did It All Without A Pen, V: Business Man, VI: Win-Win, VII: So Fly & VIII: HOV Did That were rooms that had a ton of oother things to see. We were able to step in a room and see a clip of a concert that made you feel like you were there at that very moment as we checked out some items behind more glass. Some of his masters, bottles of D’usse, Ace of Spades. Emmy, Webby, NAACP Image and Peabody awards. There was even a payphone and a mural of random photos of Jay-Z over the years.
There were also Back Stage passes, Tour crew gear, so many memorabilia’s I love to save like ticket stubs from shows and concerts I’ve attended. Magazines Jay-Z was on the cover for. Like, it was a lot of stuff. It was an amazing experience and proof that you can come from anything but when you are determined to be great, great things happen. Jay-Z is brilliant in my eyes. I know many who came up like him. It wasn’t an easy life. His life could’ve easily went the total opposite and his gifts and talents would’ve went to waste. Instead he became one of the Greatest Legends of All Time.
On this legends Birthday, December, 4th, which is coined as BROOKLYN DAY or JAY-Z DAY, unofficially; this Exhibition will end. If you missed the opportunity to see this exhibition, click here -> The BOOK OF HOV to see what you missed.
It’s an honor to come from a city that has many HipHop Legends. Those of us who come from BeeKay say, BROOKLYN isn’t a Boro, its at Nationality. The Beastie Boys said, NO SLEEP TIL BROOKLYN. New York is definitely a concrete jungle where dreams are made of and can come true when you are determined. Shawn Corey Carter is proof of this.
I will post more pictures on my IG and Facebook pages so be sure to follow @BklynTyeNYC & BklynTyeNYC FB
AND AS ALWAYS, SPREAD LOVE ITS THE BKLYN TYE WAY