Jay-Z, Mariah Carey and Michael Jordan, photographed at the release party for her album Charmbracelet, held at the Capitale nightclub in New York City by Roc-A-Fella Records photographer Johnny Nuñez on December 12, 2002. Hov was featured on the fifth track "You Got Me," which he had recorded with the singer in Capri in June.
In 2017 Nuñez revealed the story behind him capturing these legends in the party's VIP area: "I came over and asked Jay would it be okay if I got a photograph of him with Michael Jordan. He said 'You have to ask that man first.' I politely went to Michael Jordan and said 'Sir, you mind if I get a photograph of you with Jay-Z?' His response was 'Yes of course.' I then asked him to come over, and they quickly shook hands and immediately posed for the photo I took. Not too long after that Mariah Carey came over." The photograph of Hov and MJ will be an exclusive in the photographer's book.
In a March 2016 interview with the Rap Radar podcast, fellow Def Jam Recorings artist N.O.R.E. revealed he was also at this party, but he had a very different experience from Hov and Nuñez. "Jordan is a hater of hip-hop. He only likes Hov. It's Hov and that's it. I seen him shut Redman down at a Def Jam party," Noreaga told Elliott Wilson and Brian "B. Dot" Miller. "We were all sitting there waiting to speak to Michael Jordan. Niggas said, 'Yo, Redman and Method Man is here.' [MJ] said, 'Fuck rap!' I seen the nigga say that! Fuck it, quote me. I believe it was Redman and Method Man, and I'm to the side, so I can directly hear his voice. He was like, 'Fuck rap.' That shit hurt me … He only spoke to Hov. That's without a doubt." The story quickly went viral, considering the amount of influence that hip-hop culture has had on his brand.
Two days later Jordan responded in a statement released by his longtime business manager Estee Portnoy: "MJ wasn't at this party, doesn't know N.O.R.E., and is a fan of ALL music. Drake is in his brand, and Nelly is a partner of his with the Charlotte Hornets." But, as we know, the internet is undefeated and a photo of MJ standing in the VIP area with Hov was soon found.