Entries tagged with: Jay Z
The performance configurations switch seamlessly, with Jay disappearing through a trap door in the floor to make way for Beyoncé and her troupe of eight dancers. And they often support each other in ways we haven't heard before - not just when Beyoncé takes over the Justin Timberlake part of "Holy Grail" or the Mr. Hudson part in "Young Forever," but the way "If I Were a Boy" took on some of the heavy metal elements of "99 Problems" or the way "Love on Top" moved into The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" to better segue into Jay's "Izzo." [Newsday]Beyonce and Jay Z brought their 'On the Run' tour to the NYC-area for two nights at MetLife Stadium this weekend (Friday, 7/11 and Saturday, 7/12). Their 46-song setlist included favorites from all over their careers like "No Church in the Wild," "Crazy In Love," "Flawless," "Hard Knock Life," "Tom Ford," "Countdown," "Izzo," "Single Ladies" and so many more. As the review above mentions, Beyonce took over Justin Timberlake's part in "Holy Grail" only a day after JT played that song himself in NYC. Check out a couple videos from night 1, along with the full setlist, below. Stay tuned for more footage from the tour in their upcoming HBO special.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, Jay Z made another appearance in NYC when another Jay, Jay Electronica (who's signed to Jay Z's label), brought him out during his set at Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. They played "Young Gifted & Black", "We Made It", "Shiny Suit Theory", and "P.S.A. (Public Service Announcement)." Videos of that (via MissInfo) below.
by Andrew Sacher
Ab-Soul in Williamsburg Park in 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
There's never a lack of great hip hop shows going on in NYC. Here's a roundup of a few of the good ones coming up, plus a handful of new tracks and videos from artists who will be here soon...
NYC rapper Smoke DZA recently made a video for "Hearses" which features Black Hippy's Ab-Soul and appeared on DZA's recent Dream.Zone.Achieve album. Check that out below. Ab-Soul, who put out his own new album recently, will be here this weekend for the 4Knots afterparty at Webster Hall on Saturday (7/12). Tickets for that show are still available.
Ab-Soul's TDE labelmate SZA, who dropped the track "Moodring" earlier this week, is now back with a Jill Scott collaboration, "Divinity," produced by Channel Orange contributor Om'Mas Keith. Jill's powerhouse soul mixed with SZA's airy indie/R&B tendencies works out really well, as you can hear below. SZA plays the AfroPunk-curated RBSS show at Rough Trade this month with Cakes Da Killa and more ($3 with RSVP). And both Cakes and SZA are playing the free AfroPunk Festival in August with D'Angelo, Body Count, Trash Talk and more.
This weekend is also the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival which includes a show on Saturday (7/12) at 50 Kent with Raekwon, Jay Electronica, CJ Fly, Cyhi The Prynce and more (tickets). Rae just rapped over a remix of Teena Marie's "Ohh La La" yesterday (7/10) for his #TBT series, and you can stream that below. CyHi also just put out a remix of "Good Night" off this year's Hystori: Black History Project mixtape. He brings Scotty ATL, Marian Mereba and Andrew "GC" Fennell along for the remix, which is streaming below.
Speaking of rap shows at 50 Kent, that's where Fool's Gold Day Off happens this year (Labor Day, 9/1) with Danny Brown, French Montana, The LOX and more (tix on sale 7/15). French Montana just put out a new single, "R&B Bitches" featuring Fabolous and Wale which is an unsubtle ode to the female R&B singers they dreamt of sleeping with (Mary J Blige, Miley Cyrus, Ashanti, Kelly Rowland, and Rihanna to name a few). You can stream that one below.
Danny Brown also plays NYC sooner at Peter Rosenberg's birthday party on July 23 at Best Buy Theater with Schoolboy Q and Action Bronson (tickets). Schoolboy Q also plays NYC with The Weeknd and Jhene Aiko on September 19 at Barclays Center. Tickets for that show went on sale earlier today.
Juicy J at Irving Plaza in 2013 (more by Samantha Marble)
The Weeknd's pal Drake will also be in NYC when his tour with Lil Wayne hits Queens' Forest Hills Tennis Stadium on August 19 (tickets). Wayne and Drake's collaborative song "Believe Me" was just revamped by Juicy J who released a version with his own verses that you can stream below. This comes a day after Juicy did the same to Drake's song "0 to 100," which you can also stream below. Juicy's tour hits NYC on July 22 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show are still available.
Back to this weekend, the Jay Z / Beyonce tour rolls through the NYC-area for shows at MetLife Stadium tonight (7/11) and Saturday (7/12). Tickets for those shows are still available. Jay also plays Global Citizen Fest. Beyonce and Jay Z will also be filming part of their tour for an HBO special, as Billboard reports.
For something much smaller, local rap group Ratking play another hometown show on August 4 at SOB's. Tickets are on sale now.
For something more old school at SOB's, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member Krayzie Bone will celebrate the release of his new album, Chasing The Devil, there on July 22. Tickets are on sale.
For something even more old school, Biz Markie celebrates the 25th anniversary of "Just A Friend" with a live performance and DJ set on September 12 at BB King's. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Sooner at BB King's, you can catch Fat Joe with Smoove Ski, La Luv and Famous on July 18. Tickets are on sale.
Internet-famous rap group Turquoise Jeep return to NYC on September 18 at Brooklyn Bowl with Oxymorrons and SABA. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
And while we're not sure who will show up, The Soul Rebels play Brooklyn Bowl on August 15 with special guests and a Google search shows Joey Bada$$ was initially announced. Even if it's no longer him, they've collaborated with other rappers including Slick Rick, members of Mobb Depp, The Lox and more, so it should be interesting. Tickets are on sale.
All streams and videos below...
Jay Z at Barclays Center in January (more by PSquared)
The Global Citizen Festival (formerly just Global Festival) returns this year with another concert on Central Park's Great Lawn on September 27. The giant, free ticketed event's goal is to raise money and its giant lineup that the masses should have no problem with includes Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, fun., The Roots and Tiesto.
The festival is part of the Global Citizen movement, which "is an initiative of Global Poverty Project, an international education and advocacy organization working to catalyze the movement to end extreme poverty by 2030." Head to the festival's site to earn free tickets or guarantee yourself a spot with VIP tickets ($100-$675) which are on sale now.
Kanye West at Bonnaroo (photo by Brian Mansfield)
Though the big "news" seems to be Kim Kardashian's see through top (thanks Kanye for making Bonnaroo a place the Kardashians know about), our favorite Kanye related news was Frank Ocean's setlist. As CoS reports, Odd Future's R&B singer didn't end up playing any new songs, but he did play a number of hits from Channel Orange and Nostalgia, Ultra ("Thinkin Bout You," "Novacane," "Pyramids," etc) and his verses on Beyonce's "Superpower" and Kanye's "New Slaves." Speaking of, Kanye once again omitted Beyonce's husband from lyrics, possibly for not appearing at the ceremony where he recently became a husband (to the Bonnaroo newsmaker with the sheer top).
Kanye's controversial return to Bonnaroo wasn't delayed by hours this time, and included a ton of hits ("Black Skinhead," "Mercy," "Can't Tell Me Nothin'," "Power," "Jesus Walks," etc etc etc), but just on time for his New Year's resolution to be up (he promised to stop ranting for at least six months, apparently he meant that very literally), the set included plenty of rants. He referenced the 2008 controversy, yelled out "Where the press at? Fuck the press!," and compared himself to Shakespeare, Walt Disney, Genghis Kahn, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and still plenty more. Not everyone in the crowd took well to the ranting. Entertainment Weekly points out:
His outburst was met with violent boos and what looked like a mass exodus. Festival-goers headed away from the stage and began filling up U.K. dance duo Disclosure's tent early, punctuating their wait with eruptions of surprisingly well-organized chants of "F-k Kanye!"A video from Kanye's set, his setlist and Frank Ocean's setlist, below...
The NYC-area stop of the Jay Z / Beyonce tour -- July 11 at MetLife Stadium -- just went on sale this morning. You can still get tickets but Jay and Bey already added a second date happening a day later (7/12) at the same venue. Tickets for the newly-added show go on sale Saturday (6/7) at 10 AM with Beyonce/VIP Package/Chase presales starting Thursday (6/5) at 10 AM and Facebook/Live Nation/Ticketmaster/Venue presales starting Friday (6/6) at 10 AM.
Updated tour dates are listed below...
Tickets for that show now just went on VIP Package/Chase Cardmember presales today (6/2) at 10 AM. Facebook, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, and Venue presales begin Tuesday (6/3) at 10 AM, and the general on-sale begins Wednesday (6/4) at 10 AM.
As previously mentioned, Jay Z is throwing his Budweiser Made In America Festival in Philly and LA this year, simultaneously on August 30-31. The lineup for Philly has just been announced and includes Kanye West and Kings of Leon as headliners, plus The National, Pharrell, J. Cole, Girl Talk, Spoon, Chromeo, Grimes, De La Soul, Baauer, Danny Brown, YG, Holy Ghost and more. Full lineup below.
UPDATE: The LA lineup was also announced and it includes headliners Imagine Dragons and John Mayer plus Kendrick Lamar, Weezer, Metric, Chance the Rapper, Cypress Hill, Schoolboy Q, YG, Dr. Dog, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Jay Rock, SZA and more. Full lineup below.
2-day passes for both fests are on sale now.
Patton Oswalt will host the 18th annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC tonight (5/19). Those without tickets can watch the action on demand starting Tuesday at 9am via www.webbyawards.com. Will Ferrell, Jay Z, Medium, Google, Netflix, Mashable, Vine, QuizUp, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bieber, Airbnb, Lawrence Lessig, Kickstarter, De La Soul, Freddie Wong, and The Jamaican Bobsled Team are among those who will be honored for their web prowess at this year's event.
Speaking of web prowess, in honor of tonight's event, Patton Oswalt devised a scheme to confront the anonymous losers who were trashing him on the internet. See how that turned out for him, courtesy of Funny or Die, below...
Solange @ Webster Hall this past weekend (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
By now you've surely seen the leaked video of Solange berating, then getting physical, with Jay Z in an elevator (Beyonce was there too), at NYC's The Standard Hotel as they were leaving an afterparty for the Met Gala on May 5. While there has been no shortage of speculation as to what the tiff was over, the three have issued a joint statement to the AP saying everything's hunky-dory now:
As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident. But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it. Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family.Well, glad that is settled. In related news, The Daily Show aired a PSA starring Debbie Harry, warning folks about "the scourge of private elevator violence that affects everyone from the very famous to the incredibly famous." Debbie and her band Blondie just happened to be on the show to play live and plug their new album, Blondie 4(0) Ever. You can watch the PSA segment and their live performance of "Sugar on the Side" and a web-only rendition of classic "One Way or Another," below...
The reports of Solange being intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior throughout that evening are simply false. At the end of the day families have problems and we're no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.
Beyonce at Made In America 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The Jay Z and Beyonce tour went on Chase presale yesterday (4/29) and got some fans pretty worked up at the prices. Another presale for most cities on the tour begins today (4/30) at 10 AM, and you don't need a Chase card for this one but do you need the password (anyone know it?). Ticket links for all dates except the NYC-area show happening on 7/11 at MetLife Stadium are at Beyonce's site. On-sale time still TBA for the MetLife Stadium show.
Looks like it will be another good year for Jay and Beyonce. Billboard reports that Bey's last tour recently "ended its yearlong run with overall revenue totaling $212 million from more than 1.8 million sold tickets at 126 concerts."
We recently mentioned that Jay Z and Beyonce were planning to tour together this year, and now those dates have been announced. The tour hits the NYC-area on July 11 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Tickets for that show (and all tour dates) go on sale Friday (5/2). There will be presales starting Tuesday (4/29) at 8 AM for Beyonce fan club members and 10 AM for Chase cardholders. Another presale begins Wednesday (4/30) at 10 AM, and details for that one will be available soon via Jay's Facebook and Bey's Facebook. All dates are listed below.
Jay Z's Made In America Festival also happens in Philly and LA this year.
All Bey/Jay dates are listed, with the video for "Drunk In Love," below...
Raekwon at NXNE 2012 (more by David Andrako)
Brooklyn Bodega's Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival will return for its 10th annual year from July 9 - 12. This year's headliners include Raekwon of Wu-Tang (whose group has made the news a lot lately), Jay Electronica (who is still taking forever to release an album, but did just release a Drake remix/diss featuring Jay Z), and CJ Fly of the Pro Era crew (which also includes Joey Bada$$). The rest of the lineup is TBA. Tickets go on sale via Queue next week.
Initial event schedule and a stream of Jay's Drake diss, below...
Made In America 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Jay Z has announced the return of his Budweiser Made In America Festival to Philly's Ben Franklin Parkway, but this year will be different because the fest also goes down in LA simultaneously. The LA portion will happen in Grand Park, and both festivals run from August 30-31 (Labor Day weekend). Lineups are still TBA but early bird 2-day passes are on sale for Philly and LA now.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Pharrell / Future Islands / Ty Segall / mean girls
Watching Ty Segall at the Outdoor Theatre to kick off my Saturday drove home a 2014 Coachella reality: the relative lack of noisy, guitar-driven bands. While the bill is loaded with synthy, electronic-leaning indie types, traditional rock acts are few and far between this year. As if to illustrate the point, late in his gloriously loud and raucous set, Segall covered "Mötörhead" by Mötörhead, one of a handful of truly heavy bands at the fest.Coachella 2014 recently wrapped up its first of two weekends. You already saw pictures of day 1, and we've got a set of day 2 pics in this post, including shots of Pet Shop Boys, Pharrell, Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies, Fatboy Slim, Lorde, Future Islands, Warpaint, Julian Casablancas, Ty Segall, Graveyard, Foxygen, Laura Mvula and more.
...I arrived 20 minutes early Saturday night [for the Pixies], just in case, but while the Mojave eventually filled and then some, things never got ugly. As for the set itself, I doubt I'll ever adjust to seeing Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering on a stage without Kim Deal, but the new-look Pixies produced a quality set nonetheless, bashing out extra-ferocious versions of "Gouge Away," "Nimrod's Son," "Crackity Jones" and more. [Las Vegas Weekly]
Of course there's too much to catch everything, but many other great artists played the second day too, including Solange whose sister Beyonce came on stage to dance with her (video below), Nas whose frenemy Jay Z joined him for "Dead Presidents II" and "Where I'm From" and Diddy (I mean Puff Daddy) joined him for "Hate Me Now" (full set video below), indie legends The Dismemberment Plan, post-rock vets Mogwai, plus sets from MGMT, Washed Out, Bombay Bicycle Club, Holy Ghost and many more.
One of the big talks of the day was Pharrell (and his hat), who brought out loads of guests who reminded the crowd that Pharrell wasn't a nobody before "Happy," "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines" (all three of which he played). He produced or co-produced huge hits for Snoop Dogg ("Drop It Like It's Hot"), Gwen Stefani ("Hollaback Girl"), Busta Rhymes ("Pass the Courvoisier") and Nelly ("Hot in Herre"), all of who joined him for said songs. A few videos from his set below.
French artist David Redon has taken on a new project, "Ads Libitum," where he takes vintage American ads and posters, but applies themes of modern pop culture (mostly music), as Animal New York points out. The project included takes on Kanye West (above), Nirvana, Outkast, Daft Punk, Drake, Beyonce, Jay Z, Breaking Bad, The Beach Boys and more.
This comes not longer after we saw rappers painted as royalty portraits.
Check out all of them here and more below...
Action Bronson royalty portrait (by Amar Stewart)
This Saturday (3/1) from 7 PM to 11 PM, Williamsburg gallery Cotton Candy Machine (S 1st St) will hold its first artist residency with painter Amar Stewart, whose series, "Hip-Hop Royalty," includes 17th century royalty style portraits of rappers like Action Bronson (pictured above), Jay Z, Biggie, Eminem, Tupac, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and more. Preview more of the portraits at Bedford & Bowery.
There's also been some more recently announced hip hop shows in NYC, including Odd Future's The Internet, who play SOB's on March 16. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Bronx crew B.I.C. (Bitches Is Crazy), who released the free 4/20 album Influence last year, play SOB's on March 20 with CJ Fly of Pro Era, Quincy Vidal and S.I.T.H. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Long-running Brooklyn rapper Sean Price plays SOB's on April 24 with special guests. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Slick Rick celebrates the 25th anniversary of his 1988 debut, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, at BB King's on May 7 with a live backing band. Tickets are on sale now.
Iggy Azalea plays Irving Plaza on May 5. Tickets for that show go on sale today (2/28) at 10 AM.
Blondie in NJ in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
This past Sunday's Grammys telecast is behind us, but another televised event that will have a ton of Americans in front of their TVs happens this Sunday (2/2): the Super Bowl. A bunch of NYC-area concerts have been announced for the weekend-wide celebration, and since we last spoke, even more have been added.
NYC punk/new wave legends Blondie will play a FREE show at the Super Bowl Boulevard Concert Stage on Saturday (2/1). The stage is located in downtown Manhattan at Broadway & 40th Street, and Blondie go on at 8:30 PM. Blondie are also set to speak and perform at SXSW this year.
Jay Z (who performed and won an award at the Grammys) is also playing a Super Bowl concert. His happens on Saturday and is an invite-only DirecTV party.
Howard Stern's 60th Birthday Bash happens Friday (1/31) at Hammerstein Ballroom at 6 PM and will stream on SiriusXM. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the event, and guests include Louis C.K., David Letterman, Sarah Silverman, Jon Bon Jovi, John Fogerty, Steven Tyler and others. Hopefully if you're there you'll get to see Steven Tyler dance again.
Meanwhile, catch Louis CK and the Arctic Monkeys on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight (1/27).
There's also ASPIRE'S Ultimate 70s Soul Party with The O Jays at Time Warner Cable Studios and the 15th Annual NFL SUper Bowl Gospel Celebration with Patti Labelle, Mary Mary, Natalie Grant, Tamela Mann and Donnie McClurkin at MSG, both on Friday.
Daft Punk, Pharrell, Nile Rodgers; Beyonce w/ Close Captions on (via @BrooklynVegan)
Daft Punk just cleaned up at the 56th Grammy Awards winning five awards (everything they were nominated for) including Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Get Lucky," plus Album of the Year and Best Dance/Electronica Album (beating Disclosure), plus Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
Daft Punk's much-hyped live performance with Pharrell (whose hat has joined twitter), Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder didn't have the French duo doing that much themselves but the "Get Lucky" performance worked in Chic's "Le Freak," "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and Wonder's "Another Star." Steven Tyler, who later joined an equally le freaky looking Smokey Robinson on stage to give Daft Punk one of their awards, was dancing up a storm.
Lorde, who performed early in the telecast, won Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance (beating Justin Timberlake and others) for "Royals."
Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City won Best Alternative Album, beating out records by The National, Nine Inch Nails, Neko Case, and Tame Impala.
Other winners: Led Zeppelin won for Best Rock Album (wait whaaa?) for Celebration Day (beating Bowie, Neil Young, QOTSA and Black Sabbath); Black Sabbath's "God is Dead?" won Best Metal Performance and the band also introduced Ringo Starr's performance, with Ozzy saying something along these lines.
Another win that definitely reminded us it's 2014 came when Paul McCartney took Best Rock Song for "Cut Me Some Slack," his collaboration with Dave Grohl. The song is from Grohl's Sound City documentary, which also won for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.
Paul performed with Ringo Starr (who also performed on his own), and also won for Best Boxed or Limited Edition Package for "Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition)." Grohl performed with Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham during the closing performance... which was cut short on TV. We definitely weren't happy about that, and neither was Trent Reznor.
Gary Clark Jr (who performed with Keith Urban) won Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Please Come Home"; and Knitting Factory Records was nominated twice in the Best World Music Album category and won for Gipsy Kings.
Meanwhile, it was also the Year of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, having won Best New Artist (beating James Blake, Kendrick and others), Best Rap Performance (beating Kendrick, Jay Z and others), Best Rap Song (beating Kanye, Jay Z and others), and Best Rap Album (beating Kendrick, Kanye, Eminem and Jay Z). Their live performance of "Same Love" featured Madonna and 33 couples of gay, straight and of mixed ethnic backgrounds getting married, as officiated by Queen Latifah.
Rap awards Macklemore didn't win: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration which went to Jay Z & Justin Timberlake's "Holy Grail." Justin Timberlake (who also won Best R&B Song for "Pusher Love Girl") wasn't there to accept the award, but Jay Z gave a speech that included him saying, "I wanna tell Blue Ivy, look, daddy has a gold sippy cup for you!" Jay also kicked off the performances for the evening with his wife Beyonce, who played "Drunk In Love" (see screenshot from that performance above).
Kendrick Lamar didn't have much luck winning (neither did Kanye which should hopefully make for a good rant soon), but he did well performing live despite being paired with Imagine Dragons.
Performances also included a collaboration from country legends Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson (and Blake Shelton) doing a medley of hits.
The commercials were filled with music as well. One very notable example of that was the Pepsi Grammys Halftime commercial which had athletes playing the music and acting like Daft Punk, Kanye, Miley Cyrus and more. Sonos also debuted a commercial featuring a clip of Karen O covering Bob Marley, which we premiered the full song of earlier in the day.
Winners list can be found here. Video of Beyonce/Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Paul/Ringo, Metallica/Lang Lang, Nine Inch Nails/Queens of the Stone Age/Dave Grohl/Lindsey Buckingham, and Daft Punk performances below...
Electric Zoo 2011 (more by Leia Jospe)
Well here's an interesting combination. Deadline reports that HBO is developing a comedy series titled Higher that's set in the world of EDM. It's being written by Trainspotting's Irvine Welsh with creative input from indie-dance-guy-turned-mega-DJ Calvin Harris. Adding to this, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Jay Z are producers. No other details -- it's in the early development stages -- but that world could definitely be ripe for laughs. As they say, stay tuned.
QOTSA at Barclays Center in 2013 (more by PSquared)
Announced performers for the upcoming Grammy Awards ceremony already included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Metallica, Daft Punk (with Stevie Wonder, Pharrell and Nile Rodgers), Kendrick Lamar, and more, and since we last spoke there's been even more additions. Billboard recently reported that Beyonce and Jay Z will perform, and SPIN is now saying that the closing performance will feature a collaboration between Nine Inch Nails, Queens of The Stone Age, Dave Grohl, and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, all of whom appeared in Dave Grohl's Sound City film.
The ceremony takes place Sunday (1/26) in LA and airs on CBS at 8 PM EST.
Drake as Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel
The first Saturday Night Live episode of 2014 aired last night (1/18) with Drake as the host and musical guest. He acted in most of the sketches, including "Hip Hop Classics Before They Were Stars" where he impersonated Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel on "Family Matters" and Jay Z on "Mr. Wizard." That same sketch also had Kenan Thompson playing Rick Ross as the red Teletubby. Drake also did a sketch re-enacting his Bar Mitzvah and "Resolution Revolution" where he rapped about (and then broke) new year's resolutions to stop drinking and smoking, and then did Cosplay dressed as a wizard for the "no more Cosplay" resolution. He was in a few other sketches too, including impersonations of A-Rod and Katt Williams, all of which can be watched in the full episode video below.
For Drake's musical performance, he did "Started From the Bottom" into "Trophies" and a stripped down version of "Hold On We're Going Home" into "From Time," the latter of which featured an appearance by Jhene Aiko who also sings on the album version of the song and sang with him at his recent Barclays Center show. Videos of those performances are below too.
In addition to all the Drake stuff, the episode also marked the debut of new cast member Sasheer Zamata, SNL's first African American female cast member since 2007, when Maya Rudolph left the show. It was also the first episode that SNL's two new female African American writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, contributed to.
photos by P Squared Photography
Jay Z @ Barclays Center - 1/12/14
The show didn't feature an innovative stage design, as on Drake's recent tour. Neither did it include bejeweled masks, fancy dancers or a Jesus impersonator, a la Kanye West's crazy "Yeezus" show. Nor did it boast the presence of Justin Timberlake, who acted as a slick pop foil for the rapper during their co-headlining show at Yankee Stadium last summer.Jay Z brought his Magna Carter World Tour to his hometown of Brooklyn for his first of two shows at Barclays Center (which he recently announced he'd be selling his stake in) last night (1/12). With roughly two decades of music including twelve studio albums and multiple collaborative recordings to pull from, Jay pretty much delivered hit after hit, with favorites like "99 Problems," "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," "Izzo," "Big Pimpin'," "Hard Knock Life," "Niggas In Paris" and tons more. Pictures from the show are in this post.
For the first New York stop on Jay's "Magna Carter" tour, he played to his on-going strength - as a pure rapper, capable of fast-witted, and nuanced, verbal derring-do.
It wasn't just a smart move, it was probably a necessary one. At 44, the man born Shawn Carter doesn't have the young buck status Drake currently commands, or the cutting-edge outrage perfected by Kanye in his latest project. That leaves him to cut the precise figure he assumed at Barclays - as both an elder statesmen and a broad-minded observer of the world, refracted through the language of hip-hop. [NY Daily News]
Jay does it again at Barclays Center tonight (1/13), and his tour includes other area dates at Mohegan Sun (1/17), Nassau Coliseum (1/19), and Prudential Center (1/22).
More pictures, along with a video and the setlist from last night, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Rakim at Rock the Bells 2010 (more by Eric Townsend)
It's the new year, and like every year, there's a ton of great hip hop shows coming up in NYC, especially a lot this month (and of course a few announced for the months after that). So while you're trying to stay warm during the coldest winter, here's some of those shows you might want to check out:
As discussed, Jay Z brings his Magna Carter World Tour to his stomping grounds of Barclays Center on Sunday (1/12) and Monday (1/13). If you can't make the Brooklyn dates, or just still need more Hov in your life, there's other nearby dates happening at Mohegan Sun (1/17), Nassau Coliseum (1/19), and Prudential Center (1/22). Tickets for those shows are still available.
A bunch of golden-age rappers are joining forces for the Masters of Ceremony show at Radio City Music Hall on January 24 with DMX, EPMD, Rakim, Naughty by Nature, Brand Nubian, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Biz Markie, and Black Sheep. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Another long-running NYC rapper, Talib Kweli will play the second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at SOB's on January 19, and this one also honors the late Nelson Mandela. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Also at SOB's on January 27, producer 9th Wonder will celebrate the release of his label Jamla Records' Jamla is the Squad compilation album. Statik Selektah hosts for the night, and the show will also feature ADD-2, Rapsody and the entire Jamla team -- Actual Proof, HaLo, GQ, Heather V and more -- with special guests. Not sure whose those guests will be, but the album features appearances from Jadakiss, Styles P, Talib Kweli, Elzhi, Phonte, and more. Stream a 9th Wonder-produced Rapsody track from the compilation, below. Tickets are on sale now.
Dom Kennedy, who's notably collaborated with Curren$y, Schoolboy Q, Casey Veggies and others, plays NYC on January 28 at Irving Plaza with Skeme. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Another Dom Kennedy collaborator, Nipsey Hussle, plays NYC on January 24 at Highline Ballroom with Erk the Jerk and The Kid Daytona. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Nipsey recently released a new track, "6in Heels," which you can stream below.
Waka Flocka Flame plays NYC on January 27 at BB King's. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Other upcoming hip hop shows happening a bit later in the year include Cam'ron at Stage 48 on 2/20 (tickets), Shaggy at Brooklyn Bowl on 2/25 (tickets), and Slaughterhouse at Best Buy Theater on 4/26 (tickets).
And Kanye West just announced a tour.
These are just a few of the upcoming hip hop shows in NYC. What else?
Grimes at ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Well this is weirdly awesome. Not long ago we half-jokingly questioned if Grimes would wear Jay Z's $58,000 crocodile coat after online disputes over how vegan Grimes really is. Shortly after that, Jay Z announced that he was going vegan himself with his wife Beyonce (one of Grimes' favorites of all time). AND NOW, it's been announced that Grimes has joined Jay Z's Roc Nation family. It's a management deal with the company, that already manages M.I.A., Santigold, Haim, and others.
by Andrew Sacher
If you've been on the internet at all today, you probably know that the event of the day is that Beyonce released a self-titled album with no singles and no announcements on iTunes around midnight. By now you've most likely already heard it or intentionally haven't listened to it, and I think as much as anyone else that we shouldn't review this thing immediately (and we can save it for our Best of 2014 lists, right?). That being said, it's also been fun to spend the day discussing the album, so let's discuss.
The album's only guest spots come from deservedly big names Jay Z ("Drunk in Love") Frank Ocean ("Superpower") and Drake ("Mine"), plus a moving feminist speech from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on "Flawless" (a reworking of "Bow Down"), and her daughter Blue Ivy on the album's final track, "Blue." There's also co-writing/production credits from Miguel, Caroline Polachek (of Chairlift), Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Sia, Drake producer Noah "40" Shebib and others. That cast isn't too surprising (except maybe Caroline Polachek), but it's a nice reminder if you needed it that certain big name artists are consistently working with the artists that complement them best, rather than just piling on other big name guests.
As I write this I'm on my fifth listen, and the album itself is sounding pretty impressive so far. Her last album, 4, was maybe the first Beyonce album to truly contain no filler, but even most of that album got overshadowed by standout singles like "Countdown" and "Love on Top." At the moment, it's not sounding like there's a track on Beyonce that could be a standout single, which is maybe why, like the similarly album-oriented Yeezus, they chose to release it without any preceding singles. (You also won't be able to purchase individual tracks on iTunes until December 20.) Like Yeezus, and The 20/20 Experience, Beyonce is instead a new album from a megastar that uses her status to unveil a full-length collection of forward-thinking music to the mainstream, the underground, and well, just about everybody. The future-R&B that guests Frank Ocean and Drake make on their own albums is the style most prevalent here, and mixing that with one of the most undeniably great voices in today's pop music makes Beyonce a hell of a listen.
You also may have heard that Beyonce is calling the album a "visual album," and it was released with 17 videos for the 14 tracks (a few bonus videos included). You can watch a playlist of 30-second clips of each video, along with the tracklist, below...