H.O.V. takes the Wells Fargo Center stage for his next installment of his 4:44 world tour. The Brooklyn rap icon’s 13th LP is a monumental work, showing how Jay-Z is continually willing to challenge himself artistically and go outside of his comfort zone. The initial stops of the tour have been met with rave reviews, so consult the XPN Concert Calendar for more info and tickets. Continue reading →
The new song vibes with all sorts of synth and bass-heavy grooves, while the lyrics are heavily influenced by all things free, just as the title suggests. Singer Anthony Friedlander channels a U2-esque sound when he really gets into the vocals, and it totally works. This is a fun, not-too-heavy, not-too-light song from a band who knows exactly how to grab a listener’s attention. Continue reading →
Two-plus decades into the game, hip-hop icon Jay-Z is still full of surprises. First there was the lowkey release earlier this summer of 4:44, a terrific back-to-basics collection that easily sits along his canonical records Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint and The Black Album. Then there was yesterday’s closing set at the Made in America Festival.
After a wide ranging, 90-minute performance touching on everything from “Heart of the City” to “H.O.V.A. (Izzo)” to “Hard Knock Life,” Jay swiftly exited the Rocky Stage after dedicating “Numb / Encore” to the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. The lights around Logan Circle came up, the crowd looked around and, perplexed, shrugged to one another, figuring the show had just come to an abrupt conclusion. As the exodus began, stage lights flickered on over at the festival’s Liberty Stage a little ways down the Parkway. Continue reading →
By putting introspective, complicated rhymes over captivating instrumentals, it’s no shocker that the album has received general acclaim from critics and has already gone platinum — thanks to the assistance of Tidal and Sprint — just a week after its release. Continue reading →
Jay-Z invited fans to share in his birthday (December 4th) bliss by offering them a little treat: a “Tom Ford” remix featuring an unreleased verse from the late Pimp C. As the original version, which is featured on Jay’s latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail, continues to dominate urban radio, hearing Pimp C’s flow on the remix brings to mind their hit collaboration, “Big Pimpin.” Get the remix via Okayplayer here, and get tickets to Jay-Z’s January 29th show at Wells Fargo Center here.
Local indie hip-hop act Halfro have a sound that’s quite refreshing. They’re a full band that plays passionate, melodic music in a genre that rarely focuses on bands, but rather solo acts. Recently, they stripped down Jay-Z’s “Somewhere in America”, from this year’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, and gave it a poetry club type makeover. Halfro will open for Nappy Roots tomorrow night at Voltage Lounge. Get tickets here.
The anticipated double-bill of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z co-headline Citizen’s Bank Park tonight. JT is expected to release a second part to to the 20/20 Experience in September, while Jay-Z has generated buzz for the abstract marketing is latest studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. His video “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film” was released earlier this month, and the ten-minute piece starts and ends with an interview dialogue about concert performing, intercut with footage of him playing the song in a New York City art gallery. Find more information and tickets for tonight’s show here. Watch JT’s video for “Take Back the Night” and Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby” video below.
The self-proclaimed eighth wonder of the world, Shawn Carter a.k.a. Jay-Z shared his love (and new found philosophies) on Independence Day by dropping his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. And fortunately for his fans, the tracks – meant exclusively for Samsung customers – were leaked mere hours after their initial release. Jay-Z is joined on production by the likes of Timbaland, Swiss Beatz and Pharrell, and several tracks include the vocal talents of Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé. Carter says he wanted to experiment with theme and technique – and so far, critics have been generally receptive, although there are some laments that Hova did not move more outside of his comfort zone. The album will be released tomorrow, July 9th, for retail sale, and Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z will perform at the Citizens Bank Park on August 13th for the Legends of Summer tour. Take a listen to “Holy Grail” below and share your thoughts.
Hot on the heels of the lineup announcement of the Jay-Z curated Made In America concert, Jay-Z has released a new song, “Open Letter.” Co-produced by Swizz Beats and Timbaland, Jay takes on the critics of his trip to Cuba, expresses his opinion about his Brooklyn Nets ownership, his new deal with Universal, brags about his “White House clearance” and declares himself the “Bob Dylan of rap music.” Let’s just say, he’s got a lot on his mind and takes the gloves off on this new song, that you can listen to below.
Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake perform at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, August 13th. Go here for tickets.