If “Drink when you hear the word ‘Brooklyn’” were a game at the inauguration of the brand-new Barclays Center sports arena last night, it might easily have turned fatal by the 30-minute mark.
Thankfully (or not) the venue ran out of alcohol roughly two-thirds of the way through the evening, one of several small kinks in a generally on-point if occasionally underwhelming opening.
That Jay-Z is, to paraphrase his dearly departed friend, not only a Barclays client but the player president, is not news to New Yorkers. The rapper-turned-mogul has a minority ownership stake in the Center and its team, the Brooklyn Nets, and his Hova-ness is an integral part of both its DNA and its marketing plan.
The significance of that stake is clearly not lost on the man himself; multiple times, he stopped his set to acknowledge it in ways both playfully braggy (“This is the house that Hova built. Welcome to my house!”) and nakedly emotional (“Do you mind if I take my time? I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the moment.”) At several points, he stopped to note that this performance meant more to him than any in a long, glittery line of career highlights: More than the Grammys, more than Glastonbury, more than Coachella. READ FULL STORY