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Jay-Z Recounts His Rags-To-Riches Story With Poetic ‘Dream. On.’ Video

'I'm from where dreaming ain't allowed / Especially when you dreamin' aloud'

Jay-Z is set to tear it down at the annual Made in America festival in Philadelphia this weekend, but first, he’s shared a little taste of what’s in store. Today (August 30), Jay previewed his much-hyped performance with a poignant poem called “Dream. On.,” which captures the essence of his American dream.

The poem’s accompanying visual, created in collaboration with Budweiser, traces Jay-Z’s roots in the Marcy Houses of Brooklyn. “I'm from where dreaming ain't allowed / Especially when you dreamin' aloud,” Jay reads. “Enough to dream your self-esteem into clouds / It takes tears, sweat, blood, 5 CCs / Because I know what the kid in 5C seed.”

The video takes us back to that very same apartment, giving us a vivid picture of the 4:44 rapper’s humble beginnings. He’s made it a long way since then, and according to Jay, it’s his dreams that got him there. “You are whatever you say you are,” he reads, ending the poem on a hopeful note. “Turn any situation around. Who. Are. You? God.”

The “Dream. On.” clip will play at the beginning of Jay-Z’s headlining Made in America set this Sunday (September 3). Hopefully it’ll light some fire under those lucky concertgoers’ feet.