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Jay-Z At Barclay's: Rapper Begins Epic Run In His Own Hometown

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Jay-Z is opening the Barclay's Center, in a big way. | Getty Images

NEW YORK — Jay-Z says performing in his New York City hometown at the opening of Brooklyn's Barclays Center is better than performing at the Grammys, Glastonbury or Coachella.

He yelled to the crowd of 18,000: "Nothing feels like tonight!"

The arena was full of exciting concertgoers, as the chaotic crowd made way to their seats after waiting outside to enter the building. Jay-Z emerged onstage Friday night as a video about Brooklyn's history played in the background.

He opened with his songs about Brooklyn with "Where I'm From" and "Brooklyn Go Hard." He also performed two songs from fellow Brooklynite Notorious B.I.G. He also held a moment of silence for the late rap veteran.

He told the crowd when B.I.G.'s "Juicy" played: "Sing loud so he can hear you in heaven."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Call it his official homecoming: Jay-Z will perform the first of eight shows at the newly built Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday night.

The rapper is the co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, who will play the new arena this year. Brooklyn-born Jay-Z will christen the venue, which holds 18,000 seats.

Jay-Z's performance Friday is expected to feature other top musicians. His past shows included wife Beyonce, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and dozens of others.

The Barclays Center will rival Manhattan's Madison Square Garden for musical events. A number of acts have booked shows at the venue, including Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Rihanna, Rush, The Who, Justin Bieber and Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

Jay-Z will perform at Barclays through Oct. 6 with the exception of Oct. 2.

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