Jay-Z backstage with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, at Hot 97’s ‘Summer Jam’ concert in June 2001, photographed by Walik Goshorn.

At the time of his headlining performance his infamous beef with Nas was beginning to get radio traction, so when King Hov needed a little help driving home the point that he wasn’t about to relinquish his hip-hop crown anytime soon he placed a call to his friend MJ - and had him appear onstage during a break in his ‘Summer Jam’ performance.

After performing his Jackson 5–sampling hit, ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.)’ at the end of his set, Hov announced his surprise guest. “I know Michael Jackson better come from behind that motherfuckin’ curtain,” Jay-Z said to the doubtful crowd… and then waited in anticipation for the King of Pop to emerge. “You want me to go back and get him myself?” Jay asked. “Okay, I’mma go get him.” Seconds later the two walked out and posed for photos together. In one of the pictures, Michael struck a b-boy stance with his arms folded. Jackson’s only words to the crowd were “I love you all!” before he exited the stage.

According to Memphis Bleek, Michael Jackson ordered everyone unauthorized to meet him to stand with their face to the wall when he walked through the backstage area. With Hov’s influence vouching for them the whole Roc-A-Fella Records team was able to meet the King of Pop and pay their respects.

“Il Mediterraneo è di genere neutro nelle lingue slave e in latino.
È maschile in italiano. Femminile in francese. Maschile e femminile in spagnolo, dipende. Ha due nomi maschili in arabo. E il greco, nelle sue molteplici definizioni, gli concede tutti i generi.”
“E perché?” domandò Lalla.
“Non so. Forse perché ognuno è parziale di fronte al proprio mare. Non so. Credo che il Mediterraneo sia come un corpo che ci possiede. E la mano sinistra non può ignorare quello che fa la mano destra.”

Jean-Claude Izzo, Marinai perduti

Niczego już nie oczekiwałem od życia. Po prostu pewnego dnia zacząłem je doceniać samo w sobie. I w końcu je pokochałem. Bez poczucia winy, bez wyrzutów sumienia, bez lęku. Po prostu. Życie jest jak prawda. Bierze się to, co się znajduje. A często znajduje się to, co się samemu dało. To nie jest bardzo skomplikowane.
—  Jean-Claude Izzo “Szurmo”
Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
Izzo (H.O.V.A.)

Jay-Z x The Roots - Izzo (H.O.V.A)

i still remember watching this Jay-Z Unplugged episode when it first aired. you know, when MTV had musical programming before 3 am? anyways that whole set was fucking timeless. sometimes i look back at Jigga’s historical body work and all i have to say is he could easily be the greatest hip-hop artist ever. but that’s for another argument.