Jay-Z is about to make history as the first solo hip-hop act to perform at Carnegie Hall. At a press conference for the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation on Thursday, Jay announced a charity concert, and said:
“I just want to thank United Way and thank Carnegie Hall for providing such a legendary venue.”
Jay-Z will perform two shows at Carnegie Hall in February, and proceeds will benefit the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the United Way of New York City. The rapper also emphasized the importance of education:
"I don't have a high school diploma or a college diploma, but still for me to articulate, I had to have some form of schooling to articulate my thoughts."
And now, Jay-Z has his PhD in Hip Hop.
“If music is great, it will do great things,” Jay-Z said, before breaking into a shy smile. “And I have great music.”
Tickets in the private sale will range from $500 to $2500. I mean, when I picture people who go to Carnegie Hall, I picture like, my grandparents. Okay, maybe not mine, but a rich person’s grandparents. Either way, I can’t imagine them jamming to N-ggas in Paris.
But they could probably use a little swag in they life.
"Any time that I get a chance to expand and broaden the reach of hip-hop is a great thing for me on a personal level," Jay said.
So yeah, Jay will be the first solo hip hop artist to play at the iconic venue, although Wyclef Jean took the stage there in 2001, along with Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and Whitney Houston.
“I feel like they bent the rules so that it could make sense for me right now, but I'll take it," Jay-Z said with a chuckle.
The money generated from ticket sales will provide scholarships for students. Jay-Z, a Brooklyn native, says going back to the Marcy Projects complex where he grew up puts things into perspective. And when he went to Kanye West’s hold home in South Chicago, he had the same feeling:
“The inspiration and how happy the people were, it just makes you feel really good,” he said.
Meanwhile, the hip hop mogul is reportedly considering releasing a follow up album with Kanye after the success of Watch the Throne.
“It depends on how this thing finishes up,” Jay said, referencing the last days of their concert tour. “We’re in a great place creatively. We really found our zone.”
He’s definitely in his zone.