Jay-Z embodies the “Empire State of Mind,” according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who praised the rapper in an essay for TIME’s annual 100 most influential list.

Bloomberg’s mayoral perspective shines through in the piece, which starts off saying, “Jay-Z embodies so much of what makes New York New York.”

He goes on to explain how the rapper’s NYC-bred spirit has helped him overcome hardships and find successes his career.

“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.”

Jigga’s achievements have certainly kept him busy in his career, with a company, partnership, management deal or other business ventures in many industries.

“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,” writes Bloomberg.

Check out who else made the list at Radio.com.

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