Jay-Z thinks he's gonna like it here. And he thinks the sun will come out tomorrow. Even if he thinks it's a hard knock life.
At the Jay-Z/Michael Nutter press conference Monday announcing plans for a two-day Labor Day weekend mega concert, "Made in America," somebody asked the New York-based Jay-Z Why Philly? And Jay-Z replied (to paraphrase), because he's good pals with Philadelphia's own Will Smith, and that the two of them – along with James Lassiter, Smith's producing partner at Overbrook Entertainment -- have been working on a bunch of projects together.
One of those projects is Annie, a planned remake of the Broadway smash (and 1982, John Huston-directed screen version), with Willow Smith to star as the upstart orphan. Jay-Z has already shown his affinity for the Martin Charnin/Charles Strouse musical, having sampled "It's a Hard Knock Life" in his hit "Hard Knock Live (Ghetto Anthem)."
Jay-Z 's record label, Roc Nation, also released Willow's smasheroo "Whip My Hair."
And Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay-Z, Smith and Lassiter are partners in a number of other film, stage and commercial prospects, too.