As the world waits for the highly anticipated release of Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” one extremely lucky fan got to preview the album and tape an on-camera review with MTV.
Watching the review, you might recognize Ellen Grossman as the elderly woman who Jay-Z sat next to during a New York City subway ride in December 2012. The ride was recorded as he headed to the Barclays Center for the last of his eight concerts. The video, which was aired in a 24-minute documentary video, "Where I'm From," released by Jay-Z's Life + Times YouTube page, became a viral sensation as it captured Grossman and the Carter immersed in deep conversation.
While listening to and reviewing a different style of music than she is used to might seem difficult, Grossman, a visual artist based in Manhattan, pretty much hit the nail on the head when sharing her thoughts.
"It sounds like he's really going deep into his heart and into fatherhood and even the meaning of fame," Grossman said of her early impressions. "[He's saying] that the money's nice, but there's life beyond that, that he's exploring. I picked that up from the papers but I felt it in the man too, when I met him. That he had a depth to him."
Grossman added that she could appreciate the MC’s sonic aspirations on the new album, which is to be released Tuesday, July 9.
"I don't get all of the words but I get a lot of them and I'm really enjoying it. I like jazz and what's called 'new music' and I can relate to all the soundscapes, it's really innovative stuff," Grossman said.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.