Arm of Casso

Empire State of Mind

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Dimensions: 24x30

Medium: sharpies, acrylic and on canvas

I've always admired Jay-Z. He's been a significant influence in my life, and during my younger years, I aspired to emulate him. Jay-Z is a remarkable businessman and a formidable presence in the world of hip-hop. In this artwork, I aimed to pay homage to him as a pivotal figure in both hip-hop and New York hip-hop culture.

I chose to depict the current version of Jay-Z, with his hair styled reminiscent of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The gold chain around his neck bears the engraving of his given name, Shawn Carter. For those familiar with Jay-Z, they know he often references the color blue, so I portrayed his skin using varying shades of blue. Furthermore, Jay-Z is known for always acknowledging his roots, particularly New York City, so I envisioned him as a towering figure, embodying the essence of a New York skyscraper.

This artwork, titled "Empire State of Mind," was proudly displayed for a considerable period at the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, showcasing my admiration and respect for this iconic artist.

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