Hundreds of people crammed West 25th Street between 10th and 11th avenues about 2:30 p.m. to try to see Jay-Z at Pace Gallery, located at 508 W. 25th St.
A spokeswoman for Jay-Z said the event was "private."
Twitter flooded with photos and video from the show, reporting that the rapper, born Shawn Carter, would perform his song "Picasso Baby" for hours, promoting his new album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail." Performance artist Marina Abramovic was seen dancing with Jay-Z at one point during the show.
It's the not the first time a major rapper has had an unorthodox promotional event. Frequent Jay-Z collaborator Kanye West recently released his new album by blaring it from a Meatpacking District loading dock.