Jay-Z Goes 'Gangster' In New York
Hmm. Last night (thanks Puff) was interesting -- it was the NYC date for Jay-Z’s "American Gangster" tour at Hammerstein Ballroom. We here at J.I. wanted to turn cartwheels with excitement, but we're not gushing like we were after 2006’s "Reasonable Doubt" concert (complete with a ‘96 Lexus driven onto the Radio City Music Hall stage, Beyonce and a FLAWLESS performance).
Let’s just say last night wasn’t Hov’s best performance. Not to mention, Nov. 11 was a rough day for the Roc-A-Fella family since Kanye West’s mother passed. Our prayers go out to West’s entire camp.
Back to Jay’s concert. First off, the line for entry was crazy long. It wrapped around the around the 34th Street block and we shivered in the 45-degree cold while Def Jam’s street team heckled us with Jay-Z lyrics and his “American Gangster” Nov. 6 release date. Note to street teamers: we know the album’s in stores. That’s why we’re in line for the CONCERT.
So J.I. finally gets in after waiting an hour in line, only to wait for another hour before Jay hits the staqe. Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex opened the show until it was apparent that the Hammerstein’s sound was so suspect that he just left the stage. And though the doors opened at 7:3, Jay didn’t hit the stage until around 10:30.
• Jay played old stuff like “P.S.A.,” “Encore” and “Excuse Me”
• Lil’ Wayne came out for “Hello Brooklyn” and co-signed himself, saying to Jay ,“The greatest rapper alive and the next rapper in line.” Smiling like a dentist was checking out his diamond-studded choppers, he left the stage. Expect him to relive that moment all over his next 75 mixtapes -- you heard it
• Puff came out for “I Get Money (remix)”
• The Roc-A-Fella family reunion with Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Memphis Bleek and Young Chris, one half of the Young Guns (where’s Lil’ Neefy, the other half?)
• By the time Jay hit the stage, most of the crowd was tired.
• Fans began leaving mid-concert and when he asked the crowd if they were ready for more, let’s just say the floor didn’t shake with hope of staying in the Hammerstein till the cows came home.
• Jay seemed tired, like the show was more work than fun. His signature Rat Pack flair, which we adore him for, was missing.
• Jadakiss joined Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella. Not that his signing is bad, but when Jay made the announcement at the show’s end, amid his celebratory “Roc Boys” performance, Jada refused to rap. Green Lantern, the show’s DJ, played “All About the Benjamins” but Jada dismissed it, saying it was “Puff’s song.” Then Green played “The Champ Is Here” and Jada complained that he was put on the spot and couldn’t remember his lyrics. So the guys just went back to performing “Roc Boys” and that was the show’s big send off. Can you say awkward?
To A Warm Hip-Hop Winter
While winter has kicked us in our asses, it's finally warming up in hip-hop! Wu-Tang’s beefing; Jim Jones did to Jay-Z what Jay-Z did to Ridley Scott (Jay released the "American Gangster" concept record inspired by the flick "American Gangster," so... Jimmy released the "Harlem’s American Gangsta" mixtape on Jay's Nov. 6 release date. Classic!); Cam'Ron, the self-proclaimed hip-hop "bigfoot," is back via Missinfo.tv (he's even got music swarming around the Internet); and Jay made a video we actually like! "Roc Boys" is amazing! Thanks Chris Robinson! The "Blue Magic" clip had us a tad bit worried.
And so Jaded Insider wanted to say thank you Hip-Hop! We were really worried this winter was going to suck. L'Chaim!
PS. Why wasn't Kanye in Jay's "Roc Boys" video? We heard he said because he was outta town. But everyone else was there... I mean... we're just saying.
PPS. How many times is Lil Wayne really going to push back his record? Do we believe him on this new February release or does he need more people? Please Wayne? Please!