In October, Jay-Z rode the subway to his eighth and final concert at the Barclays centre in Brooklyn.
While riding the underground public transportation, the rapper was seated next to a 67-year-old woman named Ellen Grossman, who had no idea who he was.
“Are you famous?” the visual artist asked him, to which Jay-Z responded “Not very famous – you don’t know me. But I’ll get there some day.”
Since that encounter, which was caught on tape and made the rounds on YouTube, Grossman attended Jay-Z’s New Year’s Eve concert at Barclays and got caught up to speed on the rapper’s rise to fame.
“It sounds like he’s really going deep into his heart and into fatherhood and even the meaning of fame,” Grossman said of her early impressions. “[He’s saying] that the money’s nice, but there’s life beyond that, that he’s exploring. I picked that up from the papers but I felt it in the man too, when I met him. That he had a depth to him.”
“I don’t get all of the words but I get a lot of them and I’m really enjoying it,” she admitted after an initial listen. “I like jazz and what’s called ‘new music’ and I can relate to all the soundscapes, it’s really innovative stuff.”
Grossman interpreted the song “Part II (On The Run)” feat. Beyoncé as “very sexy.”
“I heard Jay-Z refer to himself as an outlaw and I think [Beyoncé’s] response seemed to be that she would embrace it all,” she tells MTV. “There’s real connection and real willingness to show their vulnerability, even though I suspect they would want [their relationship to] remain private. What they’re putting out in their art is really opening themselves up. It was pretty awesome.”
Watch Grossman’s reactions to Jay-Z’s latest music below:
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