Artist News Digital

Jay-Z mimes Picasso Baby on repeat, calls it art

By | Published on Friday 12 July 2013


On Wednesday night in New York, Jay-Z aped that ‘playing the same song over and over for six hours’ thing The National did back in May by doing a similar thing with his artsy ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ track ‘Picasso Baby’. The rapper mimed to a playback of the track for six straight hours at NYC’s Salon 94 art gallery, inviting various VIP bods to watch and film clips like this one on Vine.

Jay’s ‘art’ was in fact part inspired by that of Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović, and her 2010 installation ‘The Artist Is Present’, in which Abramović sat at a table in New York’s Museum Of Modern Art for almost two months, inviting visitors to sit opposite her.

Jay-Z’s own arty venture was filmed in real time, footage from which is likely to be released as an official promo to ‘Picasso Baby’, one of six “pieces of art” the MC hinted at in the ‘Magna Carta’ Twitter Q&A he did earlier this week.

Elsewhere in Jay-Z news, the rapper has commented on problems many fans had with his much talked about album giveaway via Samsung phones. Talking specifically about access issues caused by the rush to get hold of one of the million free downloads of the album, he told Power 105.1: “It was 20 million hits for the app and it broke. No one is expecting it, there’s no way in the world for you to calculate 20 million hits. It’s not even a number you can fathom. You cannot prepare a service for that. For me, that’s not cool. That’s a loss. That has to get better. Someone else is going to figure that out and the next person will now know how to go into it better. That’s my job. I took the hit for that”.

By “took the hit”, of course, he means “earned $5 million”. But, hey, let’s not knock the guy, he’s clearly upset and concerned. Though he didn’t make any comment on the other gripe people had with his app, namely that it wanted all of your personal details and those of your friends in return for the rapper’s music.