Jay-Z Documentary: ‘Where I’m From’ Shows Rise of Barclays Center [Video]

Jay-Z turns 43 today and is celebrating ‘Jay Day’ by releasing a short documentary called “Where I’m From” chronicling the opening of Barclays Center that includes new footage of his subway ride.

Life+Times, Jay-Z’s culture website, posted a 24-minute documentary “Where I’m From” about the rise of the Barclays Center. The video takes viewers behind the scenes of his run at the new Brooklyn venue. It’s replete with admiring angles of Jay, his DJ and engineer Young Guru and the rest of the Roc Boys rehearsing for the big shows.

In a scene from the 24-minute documentary, Where I’m From, released Tuesday on YouTube, Jay takes the subway on the way to the last of eight performances at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The best moment of the documentary comes after  Jay-Z  and his entourage fight their way through a crowd of cell phone picture-snapping fans, Jay sits down on the train next to an elderly woman who clearly has no idea who he is.

“Are you famous?” she asks him, noticing the hubbub (and the cameras) surrounding him. “Yes,” he says. “Not very famous. You don’t know me. I’ll get there someday.”

To enjoy the moment watch the full documentary. The surprisingly humble exchange with the woman, whose name is Ellen, comes around 19 and a half minutes in. Awww.

The film also includes an amazing clip of Jay-Z en route to his last concert at Barclays. The rap king kicks off his eight-night Brooklyn run with an unforgettable solo performance.

“I’ve been on many stages, been around the world, but nothing feels like tonight,” Jay-Z told the crowd last night during his inaugural blow-out at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

He reeled off a few of the other noted houses he’s rocked: the Grammys, Glastonbury, Coachella, Bonnaroo, the Apollo Theater. “Nothing feels like tonight, Brooklyn. I swear to God.” The Rolling Stones reports.

Jay’s performance – the first ever in the newly constructed venue, with seven more sold-out shows scheduled over the next week – was a many-layered milestone.

He opened the show aptly with 1997’s classic “Where I’m From.” It’s a staple of his live sets, a song he’s performed hundreds of times if not more.

Last night – center stage in jeans and a black puffy vest over a custom Nets jersey, gold chains hanging down his chest – he attacked the verses with a new force, spitting out precise syllables: “I’m from where the hammers rung, news cameras never come. . . .”

Jay turned 43 on Tuesday, making it a fitting day to release the documentary. Mr. Carter isn’t the only one getting a close-up: His wife Beyonce is the subject of a self-directed documentary that will debut in February on HBO.

The recently posted trailer provides us with quick shots of her glittering life, sure to be a voyeur’s dream. We see her hugging Jay-Z, performing at concerts around the world and showing her baby bump when daughter Blue Ivy was still inside.

“I always battled with how much do I reveal about myself?” Knowles says in a voiceover. “If I’m scared, be scared. Allow it. Release it.”

Speaking of Blue Ivy, the adorable baby greeted the world on January 7, 2012, kicking off what turned out to be a wonderful year for her dad.

This year saw Jay have his first daughter, team up with fellow rap god Kanye West for the monumental global Watch the Throne tour, have his spectacular wife be named as People magazine’s “Most Beautiful Woman” of 2012, writes the Atlanta Black Star.

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