Pret-a-Reporter

This Is What Jay Z's Brooklyn Apartment Looked Like in 1996

Michael Bezjian/WireImage
Jay Z and Kareem "Biggs" Burke

Boombox, empty liquor bottles and his Gold Record plaque for 'Reasonable Doubt,' included.

Fashion people have been saying for months (at this point, maybe even years) that the '90s, in all their acid-washed glory, are back — but no one has taken that statement quite as literally as Jay Z. 

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, the hip-hop legend and his good friend/co-founder of Roc-a-Fella Records, Kareem "Biggs" Burke, are taking it all the way back to 1996 with a retail space modeled after Jay Z's old Brooklyn apartment.

For the next month, the Apt. 4B Installation + Pop-Up shop, which drew DJ Khaled and Meek Mill to its opening celebration on Friday night, is serving as home to the pair's Reasonable Doubt merchandise ($30-$140). Included are tees and hats featuring the album's track list, vintage photos and the album cover in the crisp black-and-white theme that they chose for their first record 20 years back. 

Inside the small space, no detail is spared. Behind the glass windows of the storefront on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles (which recently housed Yeezy's pop-up and Drake's OVO pop-up before that) a faux brick wall was constructed to evoke the Brooklyn projects. A green, graffiti-covered door reads "4B" in gold, while empty liquor handles litter the patch of concrete in front of it.  


ACID WASH: A twin bed is covered in acid wash denim inside the pop-up. (Photo: Getty Images)

The cluttered, carpeted interior leaves no doubt that the apartment was decorated by a 20-something aspiring rapper. Framed photos of Jay Z and Biggs as well as Scarface and Tupac posters line the walls, while a boombox, cassette tapes, suede moccasin boots and ripped denim are scattered around a couch, vintage dresser and a refrigerator tagged with "apt. 4B" in colored marker. 


90s CHIC: Jay Z's gold plaque is displayed beneath the Reasonable Doubt merch. (Photo: Getty Images) 

The collection of tees, which Biggs noted was the first release in a yearlong apparel project, is displayed on a pipe clothing rack, with Jay Z's gold record plaque propped casually against the wall underneath.

"Over the next 12 months, every 30 to 45 days I’ll be dropping a single, and there’s going to be a collection around that," Biggs told Pret-a-Reporter on Friday. "The next [collection] will be 'Can’t Knock the Hustle' — it’ll be themed around [that single]." He added that a collaboration with his streetwear brand Fourth of November is in the works, too.

Given the hype at the store over the weekend (which may have had something to do with Jay Z and Pusha T's appearance there on Saturday night), and the long line which wound down the block, we have no (reasonable) doubt that the space will be a success.  

Apt. 4B Installation and Pop-Up
517 North Fairfax, Los Angeles
June 24-July 25

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