Jay-Z becomes performance art in his new Picasso Baby short film

Even though it's the omnipresent face of America's youth in both slang and fashion, rap is old. Whether you consider the birth of rap in the late 70s or early 80s, the genre as a whole is about to trade its gold grillz for dentures. Like any 40 to 50 something individual, hip hop is starting to mature its taste. With every year that passes, rap is beginning to find itself a frequent visitor of the art galleries instead of the adjacent street corners that reared the genre.

Spearheading this move from the gangsta world to the gallery world is Jay-Z. At once, Jay-Z holds enough impenetrable clout amongst the grizzled, street-savvy contingent of hardcore fans that power the genre and enough artistic merit in the mainstream to drag rap along in his dizzying upwards ascent.

A few years ago, to coincide with his Magna Carter album, Jay-Z held a unique art exhibit where he performed for an eclectic group of celebrities and a choice cadre of fans. By his own admission, Jigga designed the performance to give rap a more distinct art gallery feel. If you missed the exhibit- checks notes- eight years ago, luckily for you, Jay-Z released a short film that captures the experience on his Vevo.