Check out a throwback photo of Jay Z gracing the cover of New York Magazine.
Over the weekend we published an editorial which discussed how hip-hop culture has creeped into pop culture, thus becoming more and more mainstream. Today we get evidence of just that, as rap superstar Jay Z covers New York Magazine's annual "Yesteryear Issue", for an article which happens to be titled "The Encyclopedia of New York Pop Music." The cover of New York Magazine itself reads, "A Century of Pop Music in New York." Jay Z = pop music these days.
A vintage photo of Jay Z graces the magazine's cover, which was revealed via their Twitter account. There is also a brief write-up accompanying Jay Z's portion of the article, written by renowned producer Rick Rubin. You can read Rubin's full write-up below, and check out a young Hov in the gallery above.
Jay-Z asked me to work on a song with him. He was retiring, and he was making what he thought was his last album. He wanted one song from each of his favorite producers and asked if I would do it. That was my first hip-hop song since the early days, and that was “99 Problems.” It was really fun. He was incredibly inspiring as a lyricist. We worked on a lot of ideas, and then he honed in on the track that felt most exciting to him. Actually, Chris Rock had the idea for the chorus. It’s based on an Ice-T song called “99 Problems,” and he said, “Ice-T has this song, and maybe there’s a way to flip it around and do a new version of that.” And I told Jay-Z the idea and he liked it. The Ice-T song is about “got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one,” and then it’s a list of him talking about his girls and what a great pimp he is. And our idea was to use that same hook concept, and instead of it being about the girls that are not his problem, instead of being a bragging song, it’s more about the problems. Like this is about the other side of that story. —Rick Rubin