(Jay-Z onstage via Fuse TV)

It’s a big night in downtown Brooklyn…and a general major milestone for hip hop. Tonight, Jay-Z kicks off the Barclay’s Center Opening(Home of the BK Nets) with a 8-show concert series in his hometown of Brooklyn. Rumors about who Hov will surprise the crowd with are already thick with names like Kanye West (but he’s in Paris!), Rihanna, Rick Ross, Beyonce and more. Though, Jay did playfully told RollingStone that he wouldn’t be bringing a single guest out because this was his night to be “selfish.” We’re still sure there will be some surprises and some monumental moments. We’ll be here all night long covering the action, so stay tuned!

MissInfo: On Thursday, I got a chance to get a tour of the empty stadium, and a sneak peek at the high-tech stage. As you can see, it’s unlike any other stage because it’s two completely angled walls of video screens. And cut into the walls are small platforms for Jay’s band. Insiders told me that the crew even has to dismantle and re-set up the drum kit to allow the instruments to fit through the opening!

Oh, one other thing….at the opening party of the in-stadium 4040 Club, DJ SNS told me a story of a friend who just came home from doing a 9-year prison bid. He just got a job at Barclay Center, and was so thankful that they were hiring locally and allowing ex-cons like him to get a chance to get back on their feet. So that’s a positive story, in the midst of some of the more vocal protests about the stadium.

Check out more from tonight’s Jay-Z concert (still going on now!) including the Notorious B.I.G. visual and live  tweets from the event….After the jump!

hologram-biggie-barclays
(An image of Biggie is projected on the hi-res screens as Hova hits centerstage)

beyonce-barclays-jay-z-show
(Queen Bey stands among one of thousands in the crowd tonight)

big-daddy-kane-barclays
(Jay brings out Big Daddy Kane to help cap off the night)

A36aIeWCUAA0Nqv

(Hov’s $400k stage)

(photos via BarclaysCenter, KHigz, DJ Prostyle, Brooklyn Nets, Global Grind, Morgan_Mr)

Live Twitter reactions from inside the event:

  • I believe every person in this room has genius level talent and can do amazing shit. You can do anything in the world. – Jay-Z (@buckhollywood)
  • “I’m overwhelmed by this whole shit.” – Jay-Z, Barclays (@NotoriousBMI)
  • Hov just said he performed at every award, concert, event, stage around the world but no moment will ever top tonight #History #Bk#Barclays (@DJPROSTYLE)
  • Jay-Z doing Reasonable Doubt tracks, actually performed Murda Marcyville earlier. Beyonce here bouncing to each track (@Nigel_D)
  • “I’ve been all around the world. I tore Coachella to pieces. I swear, nothing feels like 2nite to y’all.” -Hov #Barclays (@DreamzRreal)
  • Yesssss! First song! Where I’m from! Meeeeean. #Brooklyn #Barclay #Shiiiiiit (@angiemartinez)
  • I love that everyone is in bk tonight!#barclays (@angelayee)

Bonus Content From Around The Web:

Jay-Z, Rihanna, J. Cole & More Attend Barclays Center’s 40/40 Club Launch
Photos: Inside Barclays’ 40/40 Club With Jay-Z, Rihanna, Questlove
Jay-Z Calls Barclays Concerts ‘A Happy Time In Brooklyn’
Jay-Z Says No Guests Joining Him for Brooklyn Concerts
Jay-Z’s Barclays Shows Have Experts Hoping For Kanye, Obama Cameos

Related:
Jay-Z Opens New 40/40 Club in Barclays Center with Rihanna, Questlove & J. Cole
Jay-Z To Headline First Concert At Brooklyn’s Barclays Center
Jay-Z Announces Five Concert Dates at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center
Jay-Z, Nas, Meek Mill & NBA All-Stars Celebrate ‘2K13′ Launch in NYC
Beyoncé & Jay-Z End Summer Off with Friends at NYC’s La Marina