On the eve of one of the most contested US Presidential elections in recent history, three capital “A” Americans are getting together for one last swing state rally to firm up the faithful and ride the wave of adulation to victory, hopefully. For his last day of campaigning, President Barack Obama will take the stage with Jay Z an Bruce Springsteen for one last newsworthy stump speech in Columbus, Ohio before kicking back and watching the results pour in tomorrow. Be sure to vote.
Check out one fan’s highlights from the Budwesier Made in America Festival, videos below:
Jay Z and Pearl Jam: 99 Problems
After feeling the love last weekend at the Budweiser Made in America festival, Jay Z jetted over to London to give some love at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Paralympic Games. Jay brought down the house with his new backing band Coldplay and Rihanna dropped in for her verses on “Run This Town” and “Princess of China.” Jay also dropped a new verse on Coldplay’s “Paradise,” lyrics below:
I deserve a gold medal, get on my level/
I deserve platinum plaques, to match my bezel/
I walk around with five rings ["five rings" being the Olympic Rings], so pimpish/
Welcome to the Paralympics/
It’s paradise, this is the story of Gabby/
It’s paradise, it’s paradise/
Tears in her eyes, she sacrificed, he sacrificed, she paid the price/
This is everything, everything she ever dreamed/
She had nightmares she wouldn’t be here, she made the team/
From the projects to the podium, accepting awards with my Rollie on/
Gettin’ Gold medals with my grill in [Ryan Lochte, obviously]/
C-walking, cause all they see is a villain [Serena, obviously]/
More belts than Phelps, Merry Christmas, my presence is felt/
Gold medals around my throat/
You can take everything, except the hope of reaching paradise.
Jay’s Verse on “Paradise”
“Run This Town”
“Princess of China”
Got bills? If you have 40 Gs lying around and are one of the Illuminati you can attend a distinguished gathering at Jay’s 40/40 Club to raise funds for the Obaminator. Beyonce will be there and if the stars are in alignment you may be able to squeeze yourself into a Beyonce, Hov and Obama photo sandwich for your Facebook page.
If you can’t physically be in Philly this weekend you can be their in spirit and more importantly it can be wherever you are. Don’t miss this killer line-up including the first appearances by Jay Z and Beyonce together since Coachella 2010, stream it live from YouTube or Pandora on Sept. 1st and 2nd from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET!
Jay Z is definitely in his moment. Academy Award winning director Ron Howard has signed on to helm Jay-Z’s Budweiser Made in America, a film about the festival that will be held this labor day weekend. In a statement Howard said, “This will not be a concert film; it’s a reflection of the fabric of what it means to be Made in America – what the festival represents, why Jay is doing it and how he relates to each artist.” Heady stuff. Keep an eye out for more news about this.
Nobody can ever accuse Jay Z of not working hard enough. With his part-ownership of the Brooklyn Nets on full display and the inaugural Jay Z Barclays Center tour dates coming up from September 28th to October 6th, Hov is getting into the other kind of video game now as an executive producer on NBA 2K13. With input on the game itself as well as the soundtrack, NBA 2K13 looks hot.
NBA 2K13 Tracklist:
The Hours – “Ali in the Jungle”
Too Short – “Blow The Whistle (Main)”
Eric B. and Rakim – “I Ain’t No Joke”
Phoenix – “1901″
Jay-Z – “Pump It Up (Freestyle)”
Puff Daddy and the Family – “Victory” [ft. Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes]
Daft Punk – “Around the World (Radio Edit)”
Santigold – “Shove It” [ft. Spank Rock]
Kanye West – “Amazing”
Jay-Z – “Run This Town”
Dirty Projectors – “Stillness is the Move”
Nas – “The World is Yours”
Coldplay – “Viva La Vida”
Roy Ayers – “We Live in Brooklyn, Baby”
Justice – “Stress”
Jay-Z – “The Bounce”
Kanye West – “We Major” [ft. Nas & Really Doe]
Mobb Deep – “Shook Ones, Pt. II”
Meek Mill – “Ima Boss — Instrumental”
Kanye West – “Mercy” [ft. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz]
U2 – “Elevation”
Jay-Z – “On to the Next One”
Jay-Z – “Public Service Announcement”
Jay-Z – “H.A.M. (Instrumental)”
The Jay Z-curated Budweiser Made in America line-up has been announced and as expected the bill features a string of heavy-hitters Jay has probably crossed paths with from all across the spectrum. Alongside Hov, Made in America tickets get you through the gates to see Pearl Jam, Skrillex, Mike Snow, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, Odd Future, D’Angelo, Maybach Music (featuring Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill), Passion Pit, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, X, Janelle Monae, Prince Royce, Rita Ora, Savoy (on the decks) and The Knocks. And this is only the rumored first Phase of the Made in America line-up. Check back when Phase 2 is announced and be sure to get yourself to Illadelphia this Labor Day weekend!
With a world tour, a new basketball team and two new albums in the works, you’d think Jay Z would be looking for a bit of down time but business never sleeps and Hov didn’t get to where he is by taking cat naps. The latest news in the 24-7 media blitz that is Jigga is the Budweiser Made in America Festival, premiering at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on this Labor Day Weekend. See Jay Z and over 30 acts as they lay waste to the mic this September 1st and 2nd. Jay is even trying to get President Barack Obama to make an election campaign stop in the City of Brotherly Love but there have been no promises yet made in America, in true presidential fashion. You know that with Jay Z behind a mountain of Budweiser cash, this festival is way too big to fail.
Years after the release of Jay Z classic Big Pimpin’ the nephew of Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi has filed a lawsuit against Hov for the unauthorized sample of his uncle’s song Khosara, Khosara that appears on the track. Hamdi’s nephew Osama Ahmed Fahmy is attempting to collect revenue from album and concert ticket sales. A judge has ruled that the statue of limitations has expired but Fahmy is arguing that because of his lack of proficiency in English, he was misled by EMI lawyers. Part of the ruling states that concert revenue may still be retrievable if it’s determined that Big Pimpin’ is responsible for concert ticket sales. To be continued…
Coming off his victorious show at Carnegie Hall with news of a new blow-your-mind concept album in the works, Jay is lining ‘em up just to knock ‘em down. The latest announcement is that Jigga will be playing another American musical institution, South by Southwest. Jay is scheduled to perform during the SXSW conference at Austin City Limits on March 12th at 8pm EST and the whole concert will be livestreamed here. If you’re going to be in Texas or the Austin area and you want to get into the show, it looks like you’ll need an Amex card. You can find out more about ticketing here.
With a bottle of champagne in hand, Jay Z rocked the house at Carnegie Hall in the first evening of his two-night stand at the legendary concert hall. With guests Alicia Keys, Nas and a 36-piece orchestra in tow, Hov brought a lot of class to the hallowed hall. A beautiful post-pregnancy Beyonce attended the performance and witnessed this show-stopping ode to young Blue Ivy Carter:
Jay Z just signed a multi-year contract with Duracell to be an investment partner and the spokesperson for their Powermat JV division. The announcement represents a shrewd business move for Jay Z who will rake in unheard of piles of currency on the back of Powermat’s wireless energy and Duracell which just landed one of the biggest pop stars on the planet.
Beginning with the now famous (and classy) unveiling of Beyonce’s baby bump at the epic 2011 MTV Video Music Awards show, the highly anticipated birth of of the heir to the throne came to its eagerly awaited conclusion on Saturday. Already besieged by the press and paparazzi, the most famous baby in show business has a lot to live up to as the daughter of two of the most iconic musicians in the recent history, not to mention her own unforgettable name.
Jay gave one his biggest compliments yet to J. Cole in a recent MTV interview comparing his latest horse to Kanye West:
“When you see that someone can make it on their own … you see Kanye or J. Cole, you see that sort of talent — you let that talent be. You let that talent find its way.”
The new Jay Z class at Georgetown University is drawing a interesting amount of backlash in the media, probably based mostly on ignorance and racism. This news story covers some of the different angles and the impetus behind Professor Eric Michael Dyson’s brainchild.
Following recent health scares, Rick Ross gave an interview to Billboard Magazine where he recognizes the role of Jay Z in leading a generation of artists and giving them a framework for the come up. In Ross’ words:
“I’ve most definitely been a fan of Hov and his whole movement. He gave a blueprint to a lot of young entrepreneurs…”
It’s easy to forget that Hov went from putting out mixtapes to becoming one of the biggest entertainment moguls this side of Russell Simmons with record labels, clothing lines, a basketball team and club chain under his wing. The fact that he manages an empire daily while touring and working on material for a new album is mind-boggling in some ways.
Jay Z’s Rocawear was set to release a line of t-shirts that brazenly displayed the phrase “Occupy All Streets” in an effort to cash in on the Occupy movement that is sweeping the world. With no mention of profit sharing with the protesters, Hov was savaged by activists and the press for what seemed like an insensitive and cynical ploy. Since then all mention of the shirts has been removed from the Rocawear website and a search for the phrase only returns the tongue-in-cheek “Did you mean ‘lockup ball street’”.
CORRECTION: Occupy All Streets shirts are back on sale.
Before The Throne show at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, executives from Island Def Jam records were on hand backstage to award Jay Z and Kanye West with platinum plaques for unheard-of-in-this-age sales of their now legendary Watch the Throne. Russell Simmons and Fabolous were there to celebrate and Hov and Yeezy predictably went on to rock the house.
After Kanye’s starling rise to celebrity superstardom, from Late Registration to the prog-rap opus of Watch the Throne, Ye has gone from humble beatmaker to musical icon, engineering some of the most iconic anthems of the past decade and even earning a reference to Jesus from none other than Jay Z in a verse off No Church in the Wild. Yeezy has a number of turning points in his career, from The Blueprint to his car accident to Jesus Walks, but his last solo album, the epic My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy set Kanye apart from his peers as a true pioneer in the game, a man with everything to lose who’s still willing to take chances on his vision. From Nicki Minaj’s introduction and the first piano chords and choral accompaniment on Dark Fantasy, Kanye’ ambitions were clear. What other rapper in the game can move back and forth between the hood and the hills so effortlessly? Mixing beats with orchestras has been done before but never on this scale. Kanye took the stage at Austin City Limits on Friday for the last show of the Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy tour and delivered another blowout performance, backed no less by a troupe of ballet dancers but stalking the stage solo most of the time. After all the drama has died down, the botched awards shows and presidential-level feuds, the loss of the women in his life who mattered, Kanye stood there alone on the precipice of another game change, leaving the audience wondering what comes next.
There’s a lot going on in Jay Z’s world these days. Watch the Throne is out and the media parade surrounding it is kicking up controversy over Lil Wayne’s dis track, which Jay classily set aside saying that he was above it. His upcoming tour with Kanye West as The Throne likely requires some behind the scenes heavy lifting and his and Kanye’s recent high velocity performance of Otis at the VMA’s got one fan so excited that he got up on stage only to be hustled down by two security guards in grey suits and sent to MTV’s basement cells for unruly fans and ugly pop stars. And of course there was wifey Beyonce’s simple and understated yet profound announcement on live television that Hova was going to become a father. Chances are he’s pretty amped up about the prospect and feeling tons of inspiration, enough to head right back into the studio to start laying down verses for a follow up to the Blueprint 3. There is no definitive title or date for the project, but we do know that Frank Ocean has already laid down vocals for the album and producer No ID claims to have heard some material and given Jay beats for the new album
The long awaited Jay Z/Kanye West collaboration Watch the Throne was finally released and featured the two in elder statesmen mode rapping about the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Fans who were expecting more block-rocking beats were disappointed at the understated, pensive tone of the album and the lack of truly dazzling wordplay. The album did succeed in being the first rap record to avoid being leaked prior to its proper release date. In other Kanye news, Yeezy made more trademark incendiary comments at the UK’s Big Chill Festival when he said that people treat him “like Hitler.” Coming on the heels of his Holocaust reference off Who’s Gon Stop Me, Kanye’s penchant for hyperbole is likely to continue to get him into hot water.
Though the album isn’t out yet, the hype and legend surrounding the soon-to-be classic Watch the Throne are already enough to pique the curiosity of anyone who’s paying attention. Kanye West alone has enough production credits under his belt to warrant a deeper look into the upcoming release. His most recent effort, the stellar My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, stretched the boundaries of traditional hip hop adding even more layers of orchestral elements and morphing his own sound into something entirely new. Now ‘Ye has enlisted hip hop veterans Q-Tip and RZA in addition to Swizz Beatz, The Neptunes and Mike Dean among others to make sure Watch the Throne has the isht everyone’s been waiting for. RZA in particular has been busy lately. In addition to producing the latest Wu=Tang album Legendary Swords, RZA is now on location in China directing Academy Award winner Russell Crowe in the martial arts film The Man with the Iron Fists. RZA contributed to album opener Dark Fantasy off My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and reportedly mailed in beats from the set in China at Kanye’s request for “some more of that Wu shit.”
After dropping a significant schedule of Throne tour dates, Jay Z and Kanye have pulled a fast one and changed pretty much every date on the tour and pushed it back two months. It’s hard to imagine what in their world would cause such a major change of plans, but maybe we’ll hear about it in the coming months. The Throne tour dates & tickets has been updated to reflect the changes.