If there was ever a time to celebrate and honor the Grammy Award-winning rapper, producer, and entrepreneur that is Jay-Z, the time is now. With 2023 marking the 50th year of Hip-Hop, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. It’s happening in his hometown Brooklyn, NY, where a 40,000 square-foot exhibit showcasing Jay-Z and his contributions to the music industry is on display – known as The Book of Hov. The exhibit is at the Brooklyn Public Library designed in collaboration with Roc Nation.
The Book of Hov features magazines and newspapers, concert setlists, plaques, physical music reels, never-before-seen photos, and artifacts. It also comprises six zones, each one named after Jay-Z lyrics. “Win-Win” is a zone that puts the spotlight on Jay-Z’s charitable efforts, while “Did It Without A Pen” is the record room that is filled with 400 books that Hov referenced. “Business Man” displays and documents Jay-Z’s entrepreneurship, “So Fly” has transformed the children’s area into a paper plane palace, and “HOV Did That” contains a blue-lit room with nostalgic clips of Jay-Z speaking on things that he later manifested. Lastly, “A Work of Art Already” is an area with a large screen playing clips of the Black Album era.
Rolling Stone caught up with Brooklyn Public Library CEO, Linda Johnson, who told them this was a celebration of the music icon and Brooklynite. She also stated how it was an opportunity to encourage the youth to patronize the library.
“JAY-Z’s story is a uniquely Brooklyn story, and it’s a privilege to host this exhibit created as a labor of love by Roc Nation and the people who’ve known and worked with him over the years,” she told Rolling Stone.
The exhibit opened on July 14 and has recently extended its viewership until this Fall, giving those who haven’t had a chance to experience it a little more time to plan a visit. Additionally, you will not need a library card to visit the exhibit.
As part of the celebration and in honor of JAY-Z’s unparalleled body of work, Brooklyn Public Library and Roc Nation have joined forces to create 13 limited-edition library cards, each featuring art from an iconic JAY-Z album—from Reasonable Doubt to 4:44. Visitors can collect all 13 cards, available at different branches across the borough.