I’m going to start this by admitting that I’m white. Well, not just white. I’m very, very white. But hey, it’s Twenty-doz, and the world is becoming a bigger place. I like Jay-Z, he’s one of (if not the) most accomplished rappers of all time. My mom, a 6th grade teacher in East Tennessee, knows who he is. She even thinks he’s cute.
That’s why a video released on December 4—in which Jay-Z explains to an older woman that he’s famous—is so damn fun to watch. It’s part of a longer documentary about Hova’s concert series that opened the Barclays Center. What’s so great about this moment is that it’s completely sincere. You get the feeling that Jay-Z would speak to and treat this subway woman with the same amount of charm and respective even if cameras were absent.
This plays into the new sincerity that I’m currently interested in, similar to what I was talking about in my last post about Jimmy Fallon. Jay-Z doesn’t enact the cartoonish bombast that rappers are sometimes infamous for. Instead, he’s just being a nice guy, he’s being honest.
You can watch the entire documentary here. It’s only 24 minutes long and definitely worth your lunch break.
Oh, and by the way, that woman is Ellen Grossman. I didn’t recognize her in the film, but I did recognize her name. She’s an artist, and she’s not exactly obscure. In a perfect world, someone would make a documentary about Grossman, orchestrating a scene in which she tells Jay-Z that she’s famous.