“TIME’s Most Influential was impressive, especially since I wasn’t in the artist section… had me with the builders and the titans”

Jay-Z finds himself as one of seven celebrities to cover TIME for its 2013 Most Influential People in the World issue in the Titans section. The feature on Hov was written by the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. Check out what he had to say and let us know if you agree in the comments section.

Jay Z embodies so much of what makes New York New York. A kid from a tough neighborhood who grows up in public housing, overcomes lots of bad influences on the street, never lets go of his dream, makes it to the top — and then keeps going, pursuing new outlets for his creativity and ambition. When no one would sign him to a record contract, he created his own label and built a music empire — before going on to design clothing lines, open sports bars and, most recently, represent professional athletes. He’s an artist-entrepreneur who stands at the center of culture and commerce in 21st century America, and his influence stretches across races, religions and regions. He’s never forgotten his roots — “Empire State of Mind” was a love song to our city — and as a co-owner of the NBA Nets, he helped bring a major league sports team back to Brooklyn, not far from his old neighborhood. In nearly everything he’s tried, he’s found success. (He even put a ring on Beyoncé.) And in doing so, he’s proved that the American Dream is alive and well.