JAY-Z Reflects on His Rise From Marcy Projects to Roc Nation in Anthemic Poem 'Dream On'
JAY-Z has a career most artists wish to emulate. The rapper rose from his drug-dealing past to the top of the rap game and through various business endeavors, transformed himself into a powerhouse mogul. In an inspiring new poem and accompanying visual released on Wednesday (Aug. 30), Hov reflects on his rise to the top and encourages those in pursuit of their own dreams that success is attainable as long as they continue to "Dream On."
JAY-Z and Budweiser teamed up to create "Dream On" as Hov prepares for his upcoming Budweiser-sponsored Made In America Festival.
In the gloomy visual for "Dream On", JAY-Z journeys back to Brooklyn to visit his old Marcy Project building and heads inside apartment 5C. As the door opens to reveal the run-down apartment with stripped ceilings and old appliances, he begins his emotional poem. "I’m from where dreaming ain't allowed/ Especially when you're dreaming aloud," he says. "Enough to dream your self-esteem into clouds."
Hov reminisces about young JAY's dream of one day becoming a rapper and how the only "stars" he ever saw were the celebrities on his TV. "When I first saw stars, television was my telescope/ For me, something that could see me free was a bar/ Through diamonds in the sky that never came down, now that's a star," the "4:44" rapper says. The camera hovers over the then-budding rapper's notebook and past-due bills scattered across the kitchen table as he closes out his poem on a positive note.
"You are whatever you say you are/ Turn any situation around/ Who...are...you?" Hov concludes as the sun peaks through the apartment window. "God."
Watch the video of "Dream On" below.
Made in America Festival returns to Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on Saturday (Sept. 2) and Sunday (Sept. 3) with a lineup that includes JAY, J. Cole, The Chainsmokers, Solange, Migos, Cardi B, Vic Mensa, Run The Jewels, Marshemllo and many more.