Jay-Z Honored with ‘Book of Hov’ Exhibit at Brooklyn Public Library

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From Marcel Duchamp to punk rock, the art world has struggled to find ways to present rebellious art forms in a museum-like context, and hip-hop is certainly no exception. From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Museum of Modern Art, there have been many rap-related exhibits over the last few decades, some good, some less so. Exhibitions around single artists have been more successful – “David Bowie,” “Rolling Stones Exhibitionism,” and even Full museum dedicated to Bob Dylan – still, it’s hard to imagine it more fully realized than the 40,000-square-foot “The Book of Hov,” a tribute to the founder of Roc Nation. jay zopens Friday at the Brooklyn Museum, where the man grew up, now not far from the famous Marcy Projects.

While Beyoncé’s ongoing “Renaissance” tour is probably a useful distraction, remarkably, the entire project was kept a secret from Jay and his wife Beyoncé until the day before it opened.

Billed as a tribute to Jay’s influence on culture, music, commerce and social justice, this book is a sprawling history of his life and career spanning two floors of the museum, featuring tons of recordings, clothing, artifacts from his career, audio tours, and more. video, and most importantly, a living proof of their outstanding achievements over the past thirty-five years. The best of them all? It’s free for anyone with a library card – the library has created 13 different cards that reflect the artwork for each of the artist’s albums – and for those who can’t visit, the entire exhibition is available at: thebookofhov.comwith detailed information and photos of each item.

Sheriff Ziyadat

Rather than taking a chronological approach, the exhibition features Jay’s “Hov Did That”, “So Fly”, “A Work of Art Already” and more (they’ are re-explained below). The exterior of the building is also part of the exhibition, its entire historic façade covered by a giant sticky billboard with quotes from Jay and a large video cube in front of the building that evokes him (but is smaller than that). ) The center stage on Beyonce’s 2016 “Lemonade” tour.

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Desiree Perez, CEO of Roc Nation, says the idea arose while working to catalog and store Jay’s vast archives and researching ways to showcase it to the public. The company had initial discussions with the Brooklyn Museum, which staged the Bowie exhibit, but that didn’t feel like the right fit, possibly as it may have made it feel elitist—although he didn’t use the word.

But when Brooklyn Public Library President/CEO Linda Johnson reached out to Roc Nation looking for material for an exhibition she was planning for hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, Perez knew she had found the right place. The bookshelf is the right size and scale for what they have in mind; Not far from the famous Marcy Projects, where Jay was born, grew up and dreamed of a career he’s pursued for over 30 years; A living symbol of the language and wordplay on which Jay’s career is based; And most importantly, it’s for everyone.

Sheriff Ziyadat

This inclusive quality is at the heart of the exhibition, fully paid for by Roc Nation – Perez will say it just costs “millions” – and the fact that it’s not just free for anyone who wants to attend will inspire people. Get library cards. There will even be a set of exclusive cards for each of Jay’s 13 albums, and a special boxed set signed by Jay, the proceeds of which will be auctioned to support public libraries.

Jay Brown, co-founder and vice president of Roc Nation Variation, “It is a great honor to bring this exhibition to life and highlight Jay’s unprecedented impact on music, culture, business, philanthropy and society. He used his artistic genius to rise to previously unimaginable heights. The exhibition is a testament to JAY-Z’s forging a plan for tomorrow’s leaders to follow.”

Produced and designed by Bruce and Shelly Rogers (who worked with Roc on the Super Bowl Halftime shows and on Jay’s 2010 tour with Eminem) and New York-based design firm General Idea, the exhibit features a sleek, clean design with plenty of steel. , glass and white. (Full credits appear below.)

Here is an overview of the “zones”:

1) “Already a Work of Art”: This episode includes audio from interviews recorded throughout Jay’s career – from the cover of his “Decoded” book to a recreation of the Marcy Project signage – throughout his career. There’s also a large video screen showing archive clips and a huge college of Jay’s paintings designed by artist Jazz Grant.

2) Re-enactment of Baseline Studios, where most of Jay’s work was recorded. Because Roc Nation owns the studio, most of the actual equipment was there and painstakingly made to be as accurate as possible: According to Perez, her husband, Roc Nation Sports President Juan Perez, who has known Jay since 1996, walked in and said, “No, that panel was brown, not black. !” and other tweaks. It also includes two different audio tours with interviews with people working in the studio and the company.

3) “Done Without a Pen”: This episode is about Jay’s music, creation and influence. Actual master records – tape reels, DATs, possibly hard drives – are on display, along with notes, objects such as their own turntables, gold and platinum awards, magazine covers, and more. There’s also a vinyl collection of records that includes all 236 samples used in his recordings, and a huge library of over 400 books that Jay read at the time the songs were created or referenced in the songs.

4) “Win-Win and Businessman”: This district is home to Jay’s Roc-A-Fella and Roc Nation businesses, Rocawear apparel, The 4040 Club, Tidal streaming service, liquor brands, and of course the Shawn Carter Foundation.

5) So Fly: With the phrase “Greatness is a process” on the wall, this area is for children, there is a small playground and a station where children can make and illustrate their own paper airplanes suspended from the ceiling above. The neon Roc Nation paper airplane logo in the company’s lobby. A paper airplane isn’t just Roc Nation’s logo – it was Jay’s childhood hobby – but it’s also come to symbolize hope, dreams and ambition.

6) “Hov Did It”: The exhibit goes upstairs, to the second floor of the library, and on the mezzanine is 44 feet long (Jay’s referencing number is a coincidence, Perez laughed), 7 feet- Most of them Jay’s along with other artists working in the studio. High rarity photo gallery of previously undistributed footage and other everyday pictures. Much of this exhibit is in dark rooms with multiple video screens, as well as objects such as a guitar and a microphone stand with a scarf, which Jay used to headline the Glastonbury festival in England (in response to a comment by Noel Gallagher of Oasis). who said rappers shouldn’t be starring at a traditional rock festival), the jersey Jay wore to the opening night of the Barclays Center, which he played a big part in bringing to Brooklyn; Rock Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame etc. awards

7) Finally, the exhibition concludes with a bright blue tunnel, a room that reflects Jay’s “devotion to his manifestations.” As a young artist, he has audio clips discussing his need to publish and master recordings (now own) and control distribution (hence Tidal) to date.

Perez cites Jay’s multibillion-dollar move into the champagne and spirits industry—which some in that industry is opposed to—the company’s partnership with the NFL to host the Super Bowl Halftime show and casino plans in Times Square.

Indeed, the organizers say one reason the exhibit isn’t themed chronologically is because Jay’s career is still a work in progress. But as the “Book of Hov” shows, its first 53 years were a tremendous success…

EXHIBITION DESIGN AND CREATIVE DIRECTION:

General Idea Agency

  • Ian Schatzberg
  • ken tokunaga
  • Zach Seeley
  • demarco jones
  • Molly McMullin
  • man morten
  • Jordan Barnett

FAIR CONSTRUCTION DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT:

tribal design

  • Bruce Rodgers
  • Shelly Rodgers
  • lily rodgers
  • maria garcia
  • Craig Inciardi

LEAD PRODUCTION:

ESM Productions

  • Scott Mirkin
  • Craig Mirkin
  • Anthony Gallagher

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