.

Jay-Z Takes Cameras Behind His 9/11 Benefit in "NY-Z"

March 24, 2010 2:05 PM ET

The new mini-documentary NY-Z captures one of the biggest shows of 2009 — Jay-Z's September 11th Answer the Call concert at New York's Madison Square Garden — and the hours leading up to the big performance. Shot in black-and-white like iconic Big Apple odes Manhattan and The Naked City, director Danny Clinch's short doubles as a behind-the-scenes look at Jay-Z's life and the rapper's love letter to the city that serves as his "muse," from his earliest recollections of NYC to how it feels to sell out "the World's Greatest Arena."

In the video, recorded the day The Blueprint 3 was released, we see Jigga performing his hit "Empire State of Mind" during an empty sound check and later in front of thousands at a packed MSG. John Mayer cameos to explain how his team-up with Jay on "D.O.A." came about — thanks Twitter! — as well as discuss what New York City means to him. The film is so engrossing, it's actually possible to forget that it is a long-form ad for Absolut Vodka until Jigga is seen downing a shot in the closing minutes.

Related Stories:
Jay-Z's 9/11 Benefit Turns Into All-Star Marathon With Beyonce, Kanye, Rihanna, Mayer and More
Jay-Z Burns Through "Blueprint 3," Classics at Tiny New York Gig
Cover Story: The Book of Jay

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com