Hip Hop artist Jay-Z announced on Dec. 8 that he would be the first artist in the genre to headline New York’s Carnegie Hall. During a press conference he said, “Thanks to Carnegie Hall for opening such a legendary venue. … loud music, going to be fun … a beautiful experience.”

The performer has scheduled two charity concerts — Feb. 6 and 7, 2012 — to raise money for the United Way program aimed at reducing the New York City school dropout rate and for the Shawn Carter Foundation, an organization providing education assistance and inspiration for youth in need.

“There are a ton of blue-collar jobs that no longer exist, and the gap is wider than ever, and the kids need to really know that and be prepared,” Jay-Z told the New York Times during an interview at Carnegie Hall. “To really succeed in this new America they are going to need an education. Not everyone can be entertainers and hit the lottery – that’s what I call it.
“… give people an opportunity to further their education if that’s what they want to do …”

The Shawn Carter Foundation — founded by Jay-Z and his mother in 2002 — has been financed, until this year, by Jay-Z, the New York Times said, providing since that time about $1.4 million in scholarship to 750 students.

Tickets for the concert are going on sale soon, being offered privately, at first, to wealthy fans and philanthropists for $500 to $2,500 a piece. A limited number will be sold to the general public beginning on Jan. 30, 2012.

At present, according to the New York Times, no decision has been made about having guest artists as part of the show. Jay-Z has said, however, that he will probably perform music from past albums instead of doing new music.

Jay-Z, who admits, according to nydailynews.com, he might be a little sleep deprived at the concerts because there will be a new baby in the house, told reporters, “I feel like they bent the rules so it could make sense for me right now, but I’ll take it! … But music is music. I believe all sort of music plays in all sort of venues. … I think if music is great, it works in great venues.
“And I have great music!”