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Jay-Z is rarely an opening act, but on Friday, September 28th he did the honors as the inaugural performer for the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. He kicked off one of eight consecutive shows for the official opening of the arena; a facility that he owns a percentage of. The Barclays Center will be home to the relocated Brooklyn Nets, a basketball team of which Jay-z also owns a percentage.
“I’mma tell y’all tonight I’ve been on many stages, been all around the world… nothing feels like tonight” Jay-Z said as he addressed the sold out crowd. The Brooklyn-born rapper was raised in Marcy Projects, fifteen minutes away from the Barclays Center. He says film director Bruce Ratner approached him with the vision in 2003, and he then reflected on what he calls “a long, long journey to get here”.
A number of stars were in attendance to celebrate the opening of the arena including Dave Chappelle, Pharrell, Magic Johnson, The-Dream, and Jay’s wife Beyonce to name a few. Big Daddy Kane, also from Brooklyn, also joined Jay-Z on stage to perform a couple of his classic’s for the hometown crowd. There was a point in the show where Jay-Z stopped the music and took time to address his hometown about his grand accomplishment. He says “I ain’t no different than anybody in here and I’m standing on this stage, as living proof if you apply yourself to what you’re a genius at… you can do anything in the world.”