Shawn Corey Carter at birth, Jay-Z upon arrival. A man who crafts, packages and delivers words by units of millions eventually becomes the message.
It starts with a Rolling Stone cover, a piles of New York Post headlines, and the mission to “figure what is you talkin’ bout I don’t know what y’all sayin’.”
“And now that that’s that Lets talk about the future”; a blank canvas, a few lines, then something deeper.
“You stuck on being hardcore I chuck the duece up”; a round of green to redefine the composition.
“Name keep poppin’ up Face keep poppin’ up”; headlines beginning to hit the canvas, a Jay-Z cover-up.
“If I can’t live by my word Then I’d much rather die”; fully covered, quotes, headlines and ideas.
“And it’s like you knew exactly how I wanted you to feel”; Jay-Z re-emerges from the text.
“Wrong, this ain’t politically correct”; orange and yellow to begin the color field.
“You colors too bright, your voice too light”; but soon, the central focus will shift.
“Get back to rap you t-paining too much”; many colors at this stage.
“Now I live on Billboard and I brought my boys with me”; cracking the first dark outline, beginning the shift.
“You should know I bleed blue, but I ain’t a Crip though”; but eventually, the blue will require balance.
“And if you listen hard enough I say some things”; Jay-Z is becoming the focus, the words are now the environment.
“They stories out this world, I wonder if y’all hear”; mellowing the yellows.
“Of the statue allows me to go into detail”; sharpening the edges and contours with light and dark.
“This ain’t black versus white”; it’s complement against tone.
“Can’t be scared to fail Search and perfection”; bringing it toward the finish line.
He has 11 number one albums, and now a portrait.