Jay-Z has been on one this week. First, there was his Twitter spree that had fans day-dreaming over a RT+brackets reply, then, his appearance on Hot 97 with Angie Martinez. Now, he is currently in a New York gallery performing “Picasso Baby” over and over for six hours in a stint of “performance art” as it were—watch a vine of that below.
Among Jay’s many collaborators and supporters on the album, he can now count the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who just tweeted a photo split of his album cover and the sculpture that it features. “Alpheus and Arethusa” is the previously unknown title of the piece which is currently housed in the Met.
— metmuseum (@metmuseum) July 10, 2013
The piece was previously unidentified sculpture is by Battista di Domenico Lorenzi (Italian, ca. 1527/28–1594) and portrays a nymph, Arethusa, who is being pursued by the river god Alpheus. That’s the thing about a Jay-Z album: you can editorialize it all you want, decrying marketing choices, features, even production elements—but at this point, Jay-Z feels like an artifact himself. He’s part of the culture, he’s carved out his place and everyone wants to get a look.
Less than a week after Magna Carta Holy Grail‘s release, making snap judgements feels like a mistake, but has The Met ever tweeted a rap album’s cover before? There’s always more to be decoded in this world with #NewRules. However one thing is clear, Hov’s just as valuable and divisive as a Picasso, baby.