The New York Public Library has published an un-retouched, un-Photoshopped photo from 1939 that features a guy who looks remarkably like Jay-Z.
“I was immediately struck by the similarity to Jay-Z and actually laughed out loud,” Schomburg’s Curator of Digital Collections Sylviane A. Diouf, who found the photo, said. “I still hope somebody will tell us who that young man really was.”
The library said the image, “Harlem Loiterers” by street photographer Sid Grossman, “created quite a stir” since being posted on NYPL Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture’s Facebook page the other day.
According to a biography written by Jason Birchmeier, the moniker Jay-Z is an homage to his musical mentor, Jaz-O, as well as to the J/Z subway lines in Brooklyn.