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You know Jay-Z for his numerous hits, his history with rap legend Biggie Smalls and his relationship with pop diva, Beyonce. But before Jay-Z became one of the most renowned, successful hip-hop moguls in the industry, he was Shawn Carter from the Marcy Houses Projects in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Memories of his life on the streets and pride for his hometown can be heard through his lyrics and can be identified by his signature fitted Yankees hat.

HOV is returning to his roots with an empire state of mind in a new commercial for his clothing line Rocawear, appropriately titled “From Marcy to Barclay.” It follows him from the streets to the stage in a close to home way. His hometown roots aren’t the only thing his new commercial mirrors. The ad is rather reminiscent of his 2004 video for his single “99 Problems.” Both videos, filmed in black and white, depict a raw life on the streets image. Eight years later, Carter still doesn’t forget where he came from.

“Wherever you grow up, it’s your root, and I’m a kid from the Marcy Projects in Brooklyn,” Jay-Z said. “My goal was to have one gold album and that was it. I wanted to show that artists can ascend to the executive ranks. Rocawear just keeps reinventing itself and redefining itself every single day.”

– Vittoria Colonna/92.3 NOW

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