I can only imagine the energy in the room as Jay Z returned hip hop to its essence in the video production of “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film”, which debuted last Friday on HBO.For six hours, the Shawn Carter repetitively went over and over and over his 4 minute long song, each time engaging in interactions with fans from all walks of life. From the unsigned singer to the superstar actress, Jay Z pulled each into his aura and made you a believer all over again. A believer in life, the human condition, the innocence of connecting with another human being. No need for extravagant back drops and scenery, the production was staged in the all white Pace Gallery in Manhattan with nothing more than ropes, respect, a seat and a simple step for a stage.
“It’s all so wonderful for a visual artist to cross the borders, different medium, and music has always been the most immaterial form of art, which is so wonderful,”
says visual artist Marina Abramović (seen above), who met Jay Z through Givenchy’s, Riccardo Tisci.
Other famous faces you may recognize: Judd Apatow, Alan Cumming, Taraji P. Henson, Adam Driver, Jemima Kirke, Fab Five Freddy, Jenna Lyons, Rosie Perez, Cynthia Rowley, Wale and Michael K. Williams, just to name a few.
What a powerful performance. I dare you not to be moved.
Jay Z also got very real and unveiled the sentiments of urban life on Bill Maher prior to debut of his video. Noteworthy statement:
U.S. Rep Barney Frank argued that African-Americans want more policing, especially in public housing communities:
Jay Z: More jobs would be better than police. They need to get out of there. They deserve to get out of there. Public housing was a temporary stop! I grew up in Marcy Projects, public housing was a temporary stop until you got yourself together and moved on.
“Stop & Frisk” Campaign and racial profiling in Urban Communities
I don’t really want to scare America but the real problem is that there’s no middle class, so the gap between the haves and have nots is getting wider and wider…It’s gonna be a problem that no amount of police can solve because once you have that sort of oppression and that gap is widening, it’s inevitable that something is going to happen.
And by the way, I live for Alexis Goldstein.
Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock