Jay-Z is primarily known for his impressive musical catalog but his business acumen is just as fierce. The rapper is one of the investors for the newly erected Barclays Center and was on hand to cut the ribbon for the stadium on Friday in Brooklyn. He also christened the building by performing a slew of his hits for a crowd of 18,000 screaming fans. Jay-Z has seven more shows planned at the venue. Clad in black Brooklyn Nets jersey, complete with his last name and the number four, the Brooklyn native opened the show with an ode to his hometown titled “Where I’m From.”
He also paid tribute to other Brooklynites like Aaliyah, Adam Yauch and Michael Jordan with a video montage and rapped a few verses from the Notorious B.I.G’s “Juicy.” Fans were also treated to an appearance from classic rapper Big Daddy Kane. Jay-Z seemed to be having a good time with the crowd and had no problem expressing his happiness. “I want to thank you, Brooklyn, New York City, for making me the man I am today,” he said at one point. “Like I said, everybody’s from Brooklyn tonight.”
Jay’s wife, singer Beyoncé, was having a good time too according to a source. “She went crazy singing and dancing to every song,” the source told Us Weekly. According to another witness, the “Crazy in Love” singer even took a flashlight from a security guard and started flashing it at concert goers. “She was having fun a playing with people,” said the witness.
By the end of the night, Jay-Z was still hyped about the show and expressed sadness about it ending. “I ain’t no different from anyone in this room, and now I’m standing on this stage, living proof,” he said. “There’s no [expletive] curfew. But I’ve really got to go.”
In addition to Jay-Z’s shows, Bob Dylan and Barbara Streisand are set to perform at the center within a month.