JIGGA IS HIS NAME

26 03 2010

SO IT’S NOT GOING INTO PRINT FOR TIMELINESS REASONS, BUT I HAD ALREADY WRITTEN IT SO I’M POSTING MY REVIEW OF THE JAY-Z CONCERT IN SAN JOSE, ALONG WITH SOME PICTURES FROM THE SHOW. 

THE PICTURES ARE COURTESY OF MATT MANIEGO AND ONETIMESF. YOU CAN CHECK OUT THEIR BLOG, AND HIS VLOG OF HIS SHOOT AT http://otxs.tumblr.com/ (or I actually embedded it at the bottom of my post, so enjoy).

He had them all at “We are.”

To be honest, Jay-Z, hip-hop legend, has had the entire rap world on his finger long before his sold-out performance at the HP Pavilion in San Jose Wednesday night.

But there was something a little extra about his 90-minute set at the Tank that was perfect — it needed to be good. And Jay-Z was great.

Sure, there are those who will say that 90-minutes isn’t a long time to be on stage. But if you take a step back, Wednesday night was a step forward for the relationship that is Jay-Z and the Bay Area — given his previous trip to the Bay, a stop in Oakland with Mary J. Blige that left lots of fans with a bitter taste in their mouth and some even asking for refunds, Jay-Z had a lot to live up to.

But if Bay Area hip-hop fans hold grudges, you couldn’t tell Wednesday night. Jay-Z filled the arena, first with people then with a roar as he ascended from underneath the stage to lead a 10-piece band and began spitting “Run This Town.”

You have to appreciate Jay-Z’s attempt at adding musicality to his show, stripping down his songs and letting the music share the spotlight, his rendition of  “Death of Autotune” was a great example of that as his three-piece horn section shined.

Accompanying Jay-Z on stage for a big chuck of his set was long-time sidekick Memphis Bleek, who came on and played Robin to Jigga’s Batman for songs like “Show Me What You Got,” and “99 Problems.”

Trey Songz, one of the hottest acts in R&B at the moment, opened for Jay-Z and came back out to take part in some of his set — actually beautifully pulling off the hook to “Ain’t No Love (Heart of the City).”

Things were flowing smoothly for Jay-Z but they seemed to take a step back when Young Jeezy entered the scene. Rising out of the stage Jeezy joined Jay-Z and exchanged a couple of bars but the headliner gave way to the Georgia-native minutes in. Jeezy then went into his set and the decline in energy from the crowd was obvious. Jeezy even felt it, taking a second to say “some of you act like you don’t know who I am.”

Maybe, but the change in styles is what seemed to throw the all-Jay-Z crowd for a loop.

Jay-Z returned, again performing with Jeezy on “My President is Black,” and it was as if he never left. A handful of songs in though, Jay-Z announced that the set was over but with the roar of the crowd, the rapper took off his leather jacket, and went in to what he called “overtime.” Now with a DJ on the 1’s and 2’s Jay-Z took his fan on a trip down memory lane, stating that the only rule for “overtime” was to “sing these songs as loud as you can.”

His fans didn’t disappoint — from “Ain’t No N—“ from his album “Reasonable Doubt,” to more recent hits like “Big Pimpin” and “Excuse Me Miss,” the crowd recited every line like it was hip-hop gospel. It made for a quite a scene and an even more intoxicating atmosphere.

“I’m not jaded,” he said, as he sunk back into the stage after performing “Encore.” There’s a chance that Jay-Z can continue being the king of hip-hop even without the support of his west coast fans. But there was genuine feel to his moments of gratitude toward the crowd — it was like he had taken this show to redeem himself.

And that he did.

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