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Jay-Z's sweet subway exchange makes a star of NYC artist [Video]

December 05, 2012|By Matt Donnelly
  • Jay-Z's documentary short about his eight-concert engagement to open Brooklyn's Barclays Center has made an unexpected star of a local artist.
Jay-Z's documentary short about his eight-concert engagement to… (Barry Brecheisen / Associated…)

Among the countless serendipitous subway rides that must go down daily in New York City, one local artist's MetroCard has made her a viral sensation, thanks to Jay-Z. 

The rapper released a documentary short Tuesday on his eight-show engagement that marked the opening of Brooklyn's Barclays Center. On the eve of his final performance, one clip (below) shows Jay hopping a train en route to the grand finale.

Sitting next to what countless outlets have dubbed an "adorable old lady," Jay interacts with the woman in question as she puzzles out his identity. Someone (especially in New York) who doesn't know who Jay-Z is!

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"Are you famous?" she asks sweetly.

"Not very famous, you don't know me. But I'll get there someday," says Mr. Beyonce Knowles, reinforcing the crucial strand in his empire's DNA: his hustle.

On film she identifies herself as Ellen, but it didn't take folks long to discover that she's Ellen Grossman, an artist noted for her work in drawing and sculpture.

What a total modern Brooklyn moment. Perhaps they swapped info and will meet up with Solange Knowles for some local artisanal beer or hit an organic farmers market. 

Worldwide media have been chasing Grossman for quotes on the encounter, with one close friend even writing a posting to the New York Times. Check out Ellen's work here


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