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Jay-Z: Carnegie Hall, New York City

Alan Light, MSN.com, July 2012

LIKE ANY REAL MC, Jay-Z loves a challenge. He just takes things to a higher level than, well, anyone. So it wasn't enough that on Monday night, he played the first of two benefit shows – raising money for the United Way of New York City and his own Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation – at Carnegie Hall, one of the very few times hip-hop has made it to perhaps the country's most hallowed stage: He also had to augment what he described as his "most intimate performance in years" with a full, 36-piece orchestra for the entire set.

Total word count of piece: 758

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