Jay Z Performs Classics, Remembers Chinx, Blasts Tidal Critics at B-Sides Show

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Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Live Nation
Jay Z and Memphis Bleek perform during Tidal X: Jay Z B Sides in NYC on 5/17/15.
Once upon a time, I almost shared sweat with Jay Z at the best concert ever. It was 2006 — I had just fallen off the blueberry truck from Kalamazoo, Michigan — and I tried to score a ticket to the rapper's Reasonable Doubt anniversary show at Radio City Music Hall. It sold out. I wasn't in "the industry" back then, so the notion of contacting a publicist or record-label flack was out of the question. By some stroke of luck, Jay announced an intimate dress rehearsal for the night before at Best Buy Theater (then the Nokia Theater) and tickets were available. I waited in line for hours and eventually elbowed my way to the front row to see one of my favorites in the flesh. I was heady. In the middle of the set, my "little girl in the big city" moment crystallized when Jay nonchalantly tossed his perspiration-soaked towel into the crowd — directly to me. Everything moved in slow motion. I reached for the Shroud of Hov, but before I could get a firm grasp, some teenage punk snatched away the holy terrycloth. I still think about that show (and what I would do if I ever see that punk in a dark alley) and the pure, unadulterated experience of watching Jay Z for the first time.

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Tidal to Present Exclusive Jay-Z B-Sides Concert for New Yorkers May 13

Categories: Jay-Z

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Timothy Norris for LA Weekly
Jay-Z (or Jaÿ-Z) performs at Coachella 2014.
Amid backlash and company growing pains, Jay-Z — or should we say Jaÿ-Z? — and Tidal have just announced an exclusive concert on May 13 in New York City for subscribers of the streaming service. The venue has not been announced. The show will focus on Hova's B sides, with fans suggesting the setlist by creating a Tidal playlist and sharing it on Twitter. Participating users, who must be at least 18 years of age, will then be entered in a contest to win two free tickets to the show. He might be 45, but Mr. Carter can still reach the kids.

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Five Famous Musicians Who Have Ditched NYC for L.A.

Categories: Jay-Z, Lists, Pop

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Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment
As students of the internet are by now aware, America's unofficial king and queen, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, are about to pack up their solid-gold baby toys and vegan energy bars and move to Los Angeles, where they will drink kale smoothies (maybe while wearing KALE sweatshirts) and perform ancient blood rites with their Illuminati sister Gwyneth Paltrow until they bring about the New World Order.

I wish I could say I'm surprised, but they're just the latest in a long line of musicians who've fled this concrete jungle for the relative comforts of the Left Coast. From Courtney to Mykki, here are five other artists who've made the journey from our fair city to the land of mild winters and plastic surgery. Oh, well. At least we still have Taylor Swift.

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#WhatJayZSaidToSolange Highlights Spectacular Ignorance of Solange's Career

Categories: Jay-Z

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Solange live at Bowery Ballroom 12/18/12
Unless you've been living under a stack of used and discarded copies of Kingdom Come, you've no doubt seen the security footage of Beyonce's sister Solange losing it on Jay Z in an elevator. The footage leaked yesterday morning via (who else?) TMZ and quickly became all anyone could talk about. It's easy to understand why. Celebrities: They're just like us!

What's followed since the leak has been rampant speculation about what brought the fight on. We fielded theories on gchat yesterday that ranged as far and wide as Jay Z/Rihanna cheating rumors to other things people couldn't possibly know about. Of course, Twitter had their own ideas about #WhatJayZSaidToSolange, and many of them highlight one important fact: People need to show Solange a lot more respect.

See also: #AskRKelly Backfires Mightily on Twitter


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Westboro Baptist Church's Insane Parody Video of "Big Pimpin'"

Categories: Jay-Z

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Youtube
Westboro Baptist Rap
Last week, Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps died at the age of 84. Known for leading thousands of anti-gay demonstrations and organizing the picketing of dead soldiers' funerals, his Church (which mostly consists of his extensive family and isn't affiliated with any other church) has used the media to draw the most controversial of attention to their hate-filled message.

And did we mention they made music videos? Some that were parodies?

See also: Jay Z Bungles Nirvana

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The Top Five Black Album Remixes

Categories: Jay-Z

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This month, Jay Z's "retirement" album The Black Album turned 10 years old. While it's historic for being a lavish (third) retirement album, arguably its greatest impact was ushering in the era of the underground remix album. Bridging the gap between the initial mash-up craze of 2003 that gave us this and this, and the decade of gimmick-y concept remix albums to follow, the choice to release Jay Z's entire album's acapella wound up being among music's biggest game-changing choices of the decade. Now that we've had 10 years to marinate on all of them, we've made out decision on the five best.

See also: No One Cares About Jay-Z's New Music

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Hit-Boy: Split With GOOD Music Was Amicable; "Dealing With Other Humans Is a Struggle"

Categories: Jay-Z

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Hits for hire.

Hit-Boy sounds like a superhero name when you say it over and over again while talking with his publicists. The same conversation can also make you realize Hit-Boy is currently an "it boy" in production circles. It was his Grammy winning composition, "Niggas In Paris," that would get the "rewind selectah" treatment on the Watch the Throne Tour; intensifying the frenzy it created each time it was performed. It was also his beat that gave A$AP Rocky his first certified radio smash, "Goldie," and, most recently, his work on Drake's new album's got people excited. Now, with a label deal at Interscope in tow, Hit-Boy is excited to showcase his talent roster, as well as some incendiary sounds for your favorite rapper to spit on. Imagine what he'll have accomplished by the time he's a Hit-Man.

See also: Ten Trends That Watch The Throne Could Kickstart


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Magna Carta Holy Marketing

Categories: Jay-Z

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[Editor's note: LA Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on our sister paper's music blog every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]

When we look back on 2013, we'll consider it the year of the event album. What's less clear is whether we'll remember the music or simply the marketing.

Over the last four months, there has been an unusual influx of blockbuster albums: Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, Kanye West's Yeezus and Jay-Z's Magna Carta ... Holy Grail. Thanks to pre-existing popularity, exhaustive media coverage and viral marketing campaigns, all debuted at No. 1. As Jay-Z put it in his Samsung commercial (disguised as an album announcement): There are new rules in play.

See also: Jay-Z Bungles Nirvana

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The Craziest Musical Gambles That Paid Off

Categories: Jay-Z

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Every year it's a guarantee someone will grouse about record labels and musicians never taking risks anymore, and never producing anything exciting or unique. While that's probably true to a certain extent, it's not been true in much of 2013. For instance, first there was Kanye West's Yeezus and then Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail, both of which took unique approaches to their releases while dropping some #newrules along the way.

Who knows what will come next, but it's always good to remember that sometimes musicians and record labels do take huge risks and gambles, which sometimes even pay off and end up reshaping the way we think about music.

See also: Sorry, But Kanye Is the GOAT

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We Know What Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake Did Last Summer

Categories: Jay-Z, Pop

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Today and Saturday, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake take the stage at Yankee Stadium for their Legends of Summer tour. While they're both certainly living legends in their own right, it's interesting to look back on how truly different both Hov and Timberlake's summers have been over the years, and yet both paths lead to this weekend's shows. Let's take a look back at 20 years of summer fun for the two.

See also: No One Cares About Jay-Z's New Music

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