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Jay-Z has been on plenty of magazine covers [see: Every Jay-Z Magazine Cover, Ever*], but this one is definitely special. Hova graces the front of TIME magazine, which is most definitely a big deal.

The special issue honors the 100 most influential people in the world and Jigga is one of the seven cover subjects. The kicker is that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is who penned the profile on the rapper/mogul. The story partly reads:

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.

Jay-Z isn’t the first Hip-Hop artist to grace TIME. Kanye West and Lauryn Hill have both been seen on the front of the mag. That’s pretty good company.

Check out the full cover on the next page.

Photos: Mark Seliger

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