1939 Jay-Z look-alike surfaces in New York Public Library archives

Posted at 9:08 PM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-13 21:08:01-04
Jay-Z vintage photo

This 1939 photograph entitled ‘Harlem loiterers’ grabs the eye thanks to a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jay-Z (Schomburg Center/NYPL)

Is Jay-Z a time traveler??  If not, the man staring into the camera in a 1939 photograph from the New York Public Library certainly bears a striking resemblance to the Brooklyn native.  Taken in Harlem, the image is part of a collection discovered by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

The photo, taken by photographer Sid Grossman, is titled ‘Harlem Loiterers.’


Jay-Z may have just been looking for inspiration while he worked on ‘The Great Gatsby’ soundtrack. ( Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times )

Jay-Z may have sharpened his time travel skills with the help of Nicolas Cage, who was ‘spotted’ in an 1870 photo put up for sale on eBay after it was discovered in the Thanatos Archive.

The man who posted the pic on eBay (for $1 million) wrote, “Personally, I believe it’s him and that he is some sort of walking undead/vampire, et cetera, who quickens/reinvents himself once every 75 years or so. 150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult or a talk show host.”


Cage was even asked about the portrait by Letterman and told the late night host, “I don’t drink blood and last time I looked in the mirror, I had a reflection, so I’m not going with the vampire theory.”

So far, Jay-Z has neither confirmed nor denied any time travel rumors possibly generated by the NYPL’s discovery.