Jay-Z Now So Old His "Nom De Rap" Will Refer to A Defunct Subway Line

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Somewhere Big Third Avenue El is shaking his head in commiseration. Proposed total cuts in service to both the W and Z lines have New Yorkers understandably appalled, but leave it the New York Times to write the whimsical, "what will happen to Shawn Carter's rap name now?" article. They even venture a replacement alias:

    Unclear is the effect the death of the subway lines may have on Shawn Carter, the hip-hop performer better known as Jay-Z. It has been said that his nom de rap is in part a tribute to the J and Z trains running through Bedford-Stuyvesant, his boyhood neighborhood in Brooklyn. With the Z going, now what? While we're at it, what would he have called himself had he grown up in Chelsea or Hell's Kitchen -- A-C-E?

Jaz-O is somewhere right now shaking his head at being written out of history once again, but the point stands. In a few more years, "Jay-Z" will be about as meaningful a name to a Brooklyn teenager as "Bumpy Johnson" is to kids up in Harlem right now. Tribeca, where Jay-Z now does live (not sure about that whole rappers growing up in Chelsea thing) actually has multiple subway lines. Not that Jay takes any of them. Young Livery Cab, maybe.

No W or Z? Mapmakers, Grab Your Pens [NYT]


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