The gorgeous and talented Beyoncé may be Jay Z's better half, but his first love will always be New York City. The Brooklyn-raised rapper's lifelong romance with the city is evident in his musical tributes, from "Empire State of Mind" to "Brooklyn Go Hard." Even the choice of his stage name is a nod to the J and Z subway lines. But, Jay Z is just one of many musicians who are inspired and shaped by life in the Big Apple.
In its latest issue, New York magazine pays tribute to eight musical legends — including Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Dylan — who honed their sounds while living in New York. Jay Z's photo was taken in the early days of his career, when the then-29-year-old was still known as "Jazzy" around his 'hood Bed-Stuy. The fresh-faced Hova sported a Cincinnati Reds cap and a slick leather jacket — a far cry from his swaggy gold chainz and slogan tees of late.
Click on for a peep of the eight gorgeous covers, and head over to Vulture for an in-depth analysis of the 100 NYC songs that shaped pop culture. Don't mind us — we'll just be right here, blasting "Empire State of Mind" one more time. (New York)