The man performed about two dozen songs, almost all of them smash hits. How many rappers – or artists, period – can rep like that? Rappers? None. Other artists? Very few.

Jay's supplanted Frank Sinatra as the voice behind the Big Apple's theme song with Empire State of Mind; and he's SO Brooklyn that it's like you can't really be about Brooklyn on a large level without his direct or indirect co-sign. The eight-day residency is yet another notch on Jay's belt as he continues his middle-aged march up the ranks of all-time great music artists.

So, Barclays opens up in rarified air (and amid some protests). Soon, though, Jay-Z will drop the mic and the Brooklyn Nets – a good, but somewhat pedestrian squad – will take a permanent squat. Enjoy that greatness while you can, Brooklyn.