A Beginner’s Guide to Jay-Z’s Musical History

So during game five of the NBA Finals, this happened:

Jay-Z is probably the only person in the world who can debut an album teaser during the biggest basketball game of the year to date, and OVERSHADOW THE GAME. Here are my two takeaways from the video:

1. Somehow, I didn’t know what Rick Rubin looked like until now – After embarrassing myself on Twitter, I learned that the giant-bearded man in the video was none other than Rick Rubin. Of course I knew who Rubin was, but for some reason I never knew what he looked like. I always assumed Rubin was a skinny, malnourished, chain smoking genius-looking guy. I never thought that the god of music would look like God.

"And on the third day came 99 Problems..."

“And on the third day came 99 Problems…”

I basically pulled the blogger version of Donovan McNabb not knowing that NFL games tie after overtime. But hey, even the greats make mistakes. Anywho, I just wanted to admit that I never knew what Rick Rubin looked like, and if that means I’ve lost all credibility in your eyes when it comes to talking about rap or music in general, I understand.

2. We just witnessed a historic collaboration of musical minds – Jay’s commercial give us insight into something that is typically out of bounds for music fans. Witnessing part of his creative process was inspiring, exciting, and extremely entertaining. We can only hope that decades from now, people will talk about “that fateful gathering” of producers and artists, leading to the creation of a masterwork. This may someday be the hip-hop equivalent of Percy and Mary Shelley’s visit to Lord Byron at Lake Geneva, which spawned the creation of Frankenstein and Dracula (I’m also just assuming Rick Rubin was there at this point).

For some reason, watching the Jiggaman work with all of these producer legends made me start to think historically about his music, and inspired me to create this “Beginner’s Guide to Jay-Z’s Musical History.”

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