Jay-Z, Vampire Weekend Kick Off Soggy All Points West
Jay-Z performs at All Points West on July 31, 2009. Wes Orshoski

Rapper Jay-Z held a news conference today (August 31) to formally announce the "Answer The Call" charity concert that will take place at Madison Square Garden on September 11 to raise money for the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund.

"This all came about September 10th, 2001. I was in Los Angeles shooting a video. The album was to come out the next day. On that day, I got a phone call and a friend of mine said, 'turn the TV on.' I turned the TV on and I saw the World Trade Center on fire," Jay-Z said. "It looked like a movie to me -- it didn't look like anything that could be real. The last thing I was thinking about was the album. The first thing I thought about was, 'What happens from here? What happens tomorrow? How will this continue?

"I turned the TV on September 12th and I saw footage of these heroic actions, people running to buildings and saving each other and I saw the strength of New York," Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, continued. "It made me proud. So, as I was embarking on putting out 'Blueprint 3,' it was only right that we revisit that day. This is my chance to do something to help out."

As previously reported, Jay-Z's latest album, "Blueprint 3" will be released on the same day.

In attendance at the news conference were New York Governor David Patterson; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; Stephen Dannhauser, President and CEO of the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund; NYC Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta; MSG Entertainment President Jay Marciano; Mike Bair, President of MSG Media; Ja-Z's wife, singer Beyonce; and Warner Music Group's Executive Vice President Kevin Liles, who moderated the panel.

The event, sponsored by Absolut Vodka, Roc Nation, Live Nation, Citi and Fuse TV, will be televised live on Fuse at 9pm EST on Sept. 11th. All tickets will be priced at $50, with 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales and concert merchandise going to New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund. Additional information can be found at answerthecall.org.