Jay-Z, whose new album inspired by American Gangster comes out next Tuesday, gave the Los Angeles Times‘ Richard Cromelin a personal tour of Brooklyn.
Jay-Z, 37, doesn’t return often to this Brooklyn neighborhood, where he grew up as Shawn Corey Carter. Stardom and wealth have taken him away to a Manhattan home and the globe-trotting life of a hip-hop star and major-label record executive.
It’s his role as a recording artist that’s brought him back on a warm fall day, to rehearse for a taping of the “VH1 Storytellers” show on a soundstage at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. As the car inches through late afternoon traffic, past the courts where he used to play basketball and the corners where he once sold drugs, he finds that his emotions are stirred.
“Yeah, man, it’s the place that made me,” he says softly.