Jay-Z | 11.12.07 | Philly

Words by: B. Getz

Jay-Z :: 11.12.07 :: Fillmore at the TLA :: Philadelphia, PA

"Take what Forbes figured, then figure more."
-Jay-Z from "Roc Boys" off American Gangster

There were nearly a thousand people packed into the former Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) (recently renamed the Fillmore at the TLA by LiveNation) on South Street in Philadelphia. The normally packed, bustling street was blocked off, as only ticketholders were being permitted to approach the venue. Tickets were being scalped at absurd prices. Jay-Z, the Michael Jordan of rap and a current day Frank Sinatra, had come to reclaim his belt on the next to last stop of his American Gangster mini-tour.

Jay-Z is perhaps the single most important popular artist of this generation. For over a decade, this man has set the bar artistically in his genre while influencing culture, music and society in large and numerous ways. The Jordan comparisons are not a stretch. Like Michael, his game is vicious, and while not without fault, there is nary a rapper that can match his catalog, influence and sheer dominance for such an extensive period. It will be interesting to see how history looks back at Shawn Carter, but in the here and now, no one can do it better. The man compares himself to the likes of Berry Gordy, The Grateful Dead and Cassius Clay. Esteemed company to be sure, and this new masterpiece of an album, with a matching live performance, only served to solidify his legend.

"You know this is a special night," Jay-Z said. "There are like about a million people out there who wish they was in here with you!" A cliché, yet nonetheless truth as the man they call Hov took the stage. A large, black-tie outfitted twelve-piece band, reminiscent of James Brown's glorious JBs, promptly threw down with a vicious one-two punch from American Gangster (released November 6, 2007 on Roc-A-Fella). Kicking-off with "Pray," the gothic, up-tempo jam that vividly opens the new record and "No Hook," a lengthy, aggressive rhyme that delves into the hustler mentality with double and triple entendres that reflect on Jay-Z's own diverse life and career, the night was off to a splendid start. Despite his band's classy attire, Hov kept it street, rocking a '80s style black leather bomber jacket and a black t-shirt with an inverted American flag. His crisp, sharp denim probably cost more than my car.

After a little storytelling akin to his VH1 special, Hov directed the band into "99 Problems," a hard rock riff, courtesy of Rick Rubin, from 2003's The Black Album, and a song that Phish famously backed Jay on during their final tour in the summer of 2004. The band switched the style up and dropped AC/DC's "Back in Black" seamlessly into the second verse, only to the return to the syncopated bar chords. There was a freewheeling, truly live spirit that came through the performance. Hov whipped the room into a frenzy with the explicit wordplay and ungodly arrogance of "U Don't Know" from the Blueprint II, only to sooth the ladies with an ethereal Neptunes' track from AG, "I Know." The trio of back-up singers surpassed the original with unadulterated R&B flavor, and Hov's conversational flow and longing verses unearthed newfound beauty in the Pharrell production. The bounce banger "N*gg* What? N*gg* Who? (Originators99)" served up some truly sick, old-school Jiggaman double-time rhyme schemes with that stutter-step, Timbaland drum-and-bass madness rumbling underneath him.

Jay-Z was at the top of his game, but the band deserves a lot of shine here. This ensemble - drums and percussion, a bass player and guitarist, two keyboard players, a three piece horn section, three backup vocalists and DJ Green-Lantern - gave the material a palpable sense of transcendence. A lot of cats these days come with just a DAT machine, or a DJ who just drops instrumentals, or even records with vocals for artists to "spit" over (*cough* FIDDY *cough*). Jay brought a vigorously prepared and spirited band. ?uestlove (The Roots) is usually Jay-Z's musical director, with his band Illadelphonics and Just Blaze on the wheels backing Jay. ?uest posted on Okayplayer.com that missed voicemails and late text messages precluded him from getting it together for this mini-tour. So, Puffy worked his magic and slapped together The Roc Boys for this run of shows. The band is beyond tight, and they made even the very average like "Kingdom Come" sound interesting.

Jay-Z by Film Magic
After Hov and the Roc Boys had a firm grip on the Philly massive, they ignited the powder keg. Entrenched amongst bubblegoose down jackets, new-era brims and shortys with door knockers dangling from their ears, I heard the low notes on the piano drone, and the Hammond B3 began to swirl through the Leslie cabinet. "PSA" dropped with a thunderclap and the venue exploded. After "Allow me to reintroduce myself" it all becomes fuzzy, with the crowd giving Jigga everything they had. "I'm like Che Guevara wit' bling on, I'm complex," exulted Jay as the drums thumped with authority. The band enhanced the ferocity of what might be his best banger ever, making it surpass its recorded version with the help of a thousand fans who held their two-handed diamond signs overhead in tribute.

The energy level in the building ratcheted up a few notches as the Rocafella clique hit the stage. This lounge band eased their way through the opulent "Excuse Me Miss." Hov made an abrupt detour to the remix, otherwise known as "La La La," as he was joined by Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel and Freeway. They immediately launched into a firing rendition of "You, Me, Him, & Her," passing the mic old-school fashion as the track moved into the West Coast G-funk of "Change the Game." The boom-bap drumbeat and chicken scratch guitar of State Property's "Roc the Mic" laid a foundation for Freeway and Beans to get their distinct flows on. Next, "What We Do" was wild, a fierce cautionary tale where Hov, Beanie, and Freeway went for broke over a bananas beat.

After Young Guns, another Philly Roc affiliate, jumped onstage, Lil' Neefie reintroduced himself to his hometown and the band played their one hit, "Can't Stop Won't Stop," possibly out of sympathy. These boys had promise but unfortunately got lost in the Def Jam/Rocafella shuffle. It was wonderful to see this crew back together, spittin' the Roc-gospel as a unit. Sigel stayed on for a killer rendition of American Gangster's biting "Ignorant Shit," a slick and ferocious number that pretty much celebrates all things Sigel. This track is an oldie, originally created after Just Blaze first got his Rocafella chain, and shortly after Hov began his lyrical war with Nas. "Ignorant Shit" leaked and was traded online back in 2002. On this newer version, Just Blaze tightened the screws, Beans dug deep and Hov added a poignant final verse addressing Don Imus and the Young Hollywood train wreck set; "Are you sayin' what I'm spittin' is more dangerous than these celebutaunts showin' they kitten? You kidding? Lets stop the b*llsh*tin'. Till we all without sin, let's quit the pulpittin'!"

After whipping the crowd into a proverbial frenzy, the familiar bounce of the era-defining "Big Pimpin'" arrived, with its round, thumping bottom end. The Roc Boys handled this very musical production well as Jay jumped aboard the Funkadelic track and spat his memorable lyrics. The crowd, in unison, gave back every syllable with feeling. After about 16 bars, Hov just crossed his arms, mic in hand, and smirked, allowing the jacked-up audience to finish his verse and the chorus. A thunderous roar erupted after the song concluded, and Hov savored the moment. Then, he said, "Y'all don't even need me no more," and proceeded to exit stage right.

After a moment of brief silent uncertainty, the Roc Boys jumped into an instrumental medley of early Jigga classics, which the crowd again took the vocals on. The band ran through portions of "Can't Knock the Hustle," "Can I Get A F*ck You," and "Ain't No N*gg*," allowing Philly to get their Hov on proper.

Of course, this too was another canned part of the act, with Jay reappearing for an encore set before the now dripping Philadelphia audience. The band dipped into the sexy, pimpadelic "Party Life," a tale of lusty braggadocio set to simmering, luscious R&B. Jay didn't disappoint, with the live rendition retaining most, if not all, of its exquisiteness. The banging "What More Can I Say?," a standout from The Black Album, was unleashed by vicious horns. "Blue Magic," a throwback jam and the first single off American Gangster, was delivered with mesmerizing precision. Equal parts Lil' Wayne and Zack De La Rocha, the distinctive old-school vibe on this track made it seem somewhat out of place in the context of the concept album, however, in concert it seemed perfect.

"Encore" was delivered in positively royal fashion. There aren't enough superlatives for the live version of this one, and the same can be said for the anthemic "ROC Boys," the celebratory new single. This song could actually close the curtains on his career; it's that good. It was a picture perfect note to end the show on. This evening contained a production, energy, and ethos that will not be easily recreated. This concert was one for the ages that demonstrated the power and ecstasy possible in the live music experience. This is what happens when you pursue excellence in all arenas of your art.

Jay-Z's "Roc Boys" Video

JamBase | Illadelphia
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[Published on: 1/7/08]

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sacsquash Mon 1/7/2008 02:54PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I hope FIDDY reads this and shoots you...

peaton Mon 1/7/2008 03:18PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


whoa, whoa, whoa sacsquash, can't knock the hustle. Jay-Z is quite possibly the greatest mainstream rapper ever. And let me remind everyone of Phish's final tour at the MSG stop. Jay-z is pimp as hell and could take fiddy any day of the week.

yemmw Mon 1/7/2008 03:26PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


It wasn't MSG and it wasn't the final tour. Thanks and have a nice day.

tourfan starstarstarstarstar Mon 1/7/2008 03:50PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Jambase.... You're losing your fanbase ... I state this without even reading the review. Just my own amazement to find Jay Z reviewed here. And noticing the lack of comments on certain reviews and the context of other comments. You're losing me for sure.

Zapzapa starstarstarstarstar Mon 1/7/2008 04:07PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


sacsquash Mon 1/7/2008 02:54PM

I hope FIDDY reads this and shoots you...

your dumbass sacsquash

wilson021 star Mon 1/7/2008 04:22PM
Show -5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
MarkDavidson starstarstar Mon 1/7/2008 05:56PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I enjoyed reading this review. It wasn't all that bad. And once in a while when I get tried of listening to alot of the jambands that all sound the same I like to listen to something a little more main stream. Nice to mix it up a bit.

MarkDavidson starstarstar Mon 1/7/2008 05:56PM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
cuttyfives Mon 1/7/2008 06:03PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

i hate it when kids bash rap on this site. People suck Aesops cock and then hate on Jay Z. GOOD GOD. PLEASE do yourself a favor and buy or d/l or burn reasonabl doubt...It is a masterpiece. His other albums, to many to list, are all quality too. The newest, the american ganster sound track is decent too. I think it is a great thing that jambase covers this kind of stuff. It is a breath of fresh air from the tired umphreys sucking, panic debates, ect...I dont know, for me, Jay Z and 90's rap i love just as much as phish and the dead...I been listening to some of the some albums for 15 years...Also, the article was well written...Jay Z (JUST BLAZE) samples some of the best musicians too...Willie Hutch, Bobby Wamack, Idris Mohammed, Donald Byrd, Isleys, DOnny Hathaway, O.V. wright, Ann Peebles, i could go on for ever...damn sons, i'd like to see jb do articles on those people instead of 40 articles on Neil Young, Bob Dylan, JJ CALE, ect...(i like those articles but a change maybe, i dont know, i am not writing one)Also, 50 cent is put outs some good club songs, good for dancing or cruisin down the highway or chillin on the beach or a boat sippin some brews with some bitches...

tourfan Mon 1/7/2008 06:53PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Launch won't touch anything jamband, nor will Pitchfork, which won't, in turn cover anything mainstream and vice versa. I just think that JB should know it's audience. I am all for adapting, and yes, gaining a larger readership. But I am losing interest in some of the reviews, CD and live. It just seems the base is straying too far, trying to be too all inclusive. Shorter CD reviews on acts that no fans comment on. Live reviews on mainstream rap? Come on JB. Do what you do best and stick with it.

onthemoon Mon 1/7/2008 07:23PM
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i couldn't appreciate Jay-Z until i heard DJ dangermouse's remixes on "grey album." it makes everything a little more interesting underneath the rhymes. i'd recommend it.

and yes, this is jambase, but as someone stated earlier, it's nice to listen to something totally different once in a while. i don't see jay z articles dominating this website so it's cool by me.

acomma Mon 1/7/2008 08:28PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


People will forever balk when there is change. It's simply human nature. I wonder how many of the jam scene's devout followers realize their 'conservative' approach to music?

tgratefulapple starstarstarstar Mon 1/7/2008 10:23PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


there is nothing wrong with jambase covering a diverse range of music. good music is good music, no matter what genre people choose to pigeon hold it under. go get jay-z unplugged, its great from top to bottom . jambase will be cool with me as long as they don't stray too much away from the scene.peace.

spaceface7 Tue 1/8/2008 07:20AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

hey cuttyfives, i think this is the first time ive agreed with what you've had to say!! although UMPHREY RULE YOU FACE AHAHA

knibbs Tue 1/8/2008 07:58AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Awesome a Jay-Z review on jambase, when Hov played in Chi-Town guess who came out? K to the W, no not Keller Williams. Wish I could have seen this, yeah for music. I look forward to reading more diverse reviews like this in 2008.

delaneyira star Tue 1/8/2008 07:59AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

OK... its come to articles about a jayz show. Do you still consider the management of this site to be legitimate in relation to the community it supposedly supports? Now dont jump on me by saying "oh, why do you come here then" because yes, there are still good articles, but!, for christ sakes jayz is 100% pure bollox rubbish. He is the antithesis of what our musical community is all about. What instrument does he play? nothing! The guy is a god damned product, a product of the PR industry. Look at how cool he is, with his collar popped. He has absolutely nothing to offer in regards to music. The fact of the matter is you can sit there and say that jambase is trying to diversify thier site. Well that is also complete bollox. Jambase has a responsibility to filter the stuff that most of us dont want to see. Its obvious from the name of the site, "jambase!" that this article is completely inapropriate and all you slaves out there who defend jambase are exactly that. Slaves. Jambase isnt trying to go mainstream, they are a business. The reason there is more mainstream crap on this site is because they, jambase, is trying to move us, non-mainstreamers-jammers-music lovers, into more mainstream crap. So then they can collect thier check from all the mainstream promoters who are no doubt lobbying jambase to do this. Ask yourself if it realy makes sensefor a site called jambase to be wasting resources on JAY-GOD-DAMNED-Z when they could be covering bands that deserve attention from a site that supposedly supports the jam community. Commence with the whining and complaining you slaves. i give it 2 years and this community will be a fraction of its size, OR, our community will be assimilated into corporate mainstream culture, which is the real goal of all of this mainstream encroachment. So jambase is giving headline articles about jayz. Does rolling stone ever put um, moe or any other jamband on thier cover? Think of that you slaves...

acomma Tue 1/8/2008 08:15AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Also, this review is more well written than most I've seen. Keep the diversity Jambase!! Don't listen to the naysayers.

MarkDavidson Tue 1/8/2008 08:16AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Delaneyira - "He has absolutely nothing to offer in regards to music" yea right he just stepped down from CEO of Def Jam. What's wrong with Def Jam you don't like the Beastie Boys?

"collect thier check from all the mainstream promoters" if you knew what you were talking about Jambase doesn't get paid for concert reviews. The music industry excpects EVERYTHING for free.

And if you don't like the reviews that they put up here why don't you drop the fine folks at Jambase an e-mail and ask them if you can review a show. Instead of sitting behind your computer and complaining like a 14 year old "main stream" britney spears fan and try being pro active and write something.

D-Line Tue 1/8/2008 09:15AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

you stupid hippies need to shut up, its A freakin show review stop caring so much, i for one am not the biggest jay z fan but i also like the beastie boys i also like cypress hill i also like the dead and i also like ween. the real slave is the moron who takes this all so seriously. delaneyira is an idiot, can he be any more closed-minded? if you dont like jay z, then dont click on the review MORON. if they didnt review everything this site would suck, its better to have diversity and something to read, im not so intrested in what MOE is doing every freakin day.

D.B.Higdon starstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 09:27AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Good work Jambase. While I probably won't make it to a Jay-Z show, I like the write up and the attention to details that make all walks of live music what it is today. Diversify yourself people and free your mind; stop pigeon-holing yourself into just one genre and realize that a lot of styles feed from one another.

Mainstream? I would hardly say that Jambase is mainstream. So what if they write a review of show and give it praise - the man is good at what he does. Not all bands need fifteen minutes of noodling to jam.

mickrod420 Tue 1/8/2008 09:37AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Wheres the setlist on the bottom like all the other shows?

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 09:42AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

HA HA!!! Mickrod. good one :) this is everything base. they cover all aspects of music now, good and bad. haha!! I laugh to keep from crying :P

ScIFreak star Tue 1/8/2008 09:43AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I don't think I would ever see an article about Jay-Z in Jambase.... I'm not bashing the man, I also think he is a talented artist, if not one of the best at what he is doing. But This is JAMBASE, a site that started for JAM BANDS, how hard is it to understand? Jambase now covers more than just Jam Bands and I think it's very sad... Just like my festies, jambase is bringing artist into the mix that are talented but have nothing to do with the reason I check this website out daily. The Music that Jay-Z peforms has nothing to do with Jam, and therefor has nothing to do with Jambase. I would rather have less update about the type of Music I listen to than a bunch a articles I really don't give a crap about. Rap, RnB, and all that other stuff is what made me to go out and "look" for my music. JamBands made me feel like there were still artist that only needed their instruments to take you to another place. Jambands gave me hopes that music wasn't dead after all. That we didn't miss out of music just because we weren't born in the 60's. Today the music that comes out the public is crap that is chanel through MTV. They tell what people should like and listen to ,and I hope Jambase is not turning into this type of corporation.

gmoo Tue 1/8/2008 10:00AM
+6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Posters can tell the 'stupid hippies' to shut up all you want, but a lot of 'posters' should really think about who they are talking to when they tell others to diversify. Do some of you really think that the one's who are complaining have never heard Jay-Z before? Are you all so naive to think we haven't heard '99 Problems' or 'Big Pimpin' in our lifetimes? Yes we have heard JZ. Yes, some of us don't stand for spendin' cheese, hos, and bitches. And yes, SOME OF US ARE NOT AFRAID TO SAY THESE THINGS. It's ridiculous that some people have the nerve to tell others to 'listen to Jay-Z and diversify'. HELLO, ITS H to the IZZO. It's as diverse as FM radio gets....and some of you are surprised that not all of us are laying down to these crappy reviews without a fight...why don't you just have jambase write you a list and tell you what to like. THIS REVIEW SUCKS. POOR CHOICE JAMBASE. Damn me and give me thumbs down all day for having a f'in opinion.

How bout some other NYE reviews? Groovatron, Twin Cats, NMAS, Antibalas, Mos Def? or how bout Benevento? Blue Turtle Seduction? Glitch Mob? Larry Coryell? Lotus?

groovinkangaroo starstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 10:02AM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Good review. The scene aint the same and I'm tired of the old JAMBAND only argument. All I ahve to say is

"I'm like Che Guevara wit' bling on, I'm complex," exulted Jay

What a pretentious asshole.

cocheese star Tue 1/8/2008 10:56AM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


jay-z is a joke, rap is a joke, and jambase is getting close.

bluenotez starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 11:07AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


whose got my heady 50 Cent tickets

peaton Tue 1/8/2008 12:05PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


"Hard Knock Life" is a good jam.

"Can I Getta" is a good jam.

"Big Pimpin" is a good jam.

"H.O.V.A." is a good jam.

I believe at one point or another I've heard all of these on the radio station "Jam'n 94.5"

For all I care, Jay-z is more than qualified to appear on Jambase. Loosen up. If you don't like it, read the artical right above it about the Jerry Garcia Band (minus Jerry Garcia).

toestothenose starstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 12:08PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Getz - I thought you did a good job with this review.

willydog Tue 1/8/2008 12:33PM
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Settle down about there being a rap review on Jambase. 1. It was a live show review. 2. Jay (HOV, Jigga), what ever you want to call him, is the flow of the century. 3. If you are reading about an artist that you don't like (yet) then Jambase is serving their purpose. Free your mind and your ass will follow. "I check chedder like a food inspector.."

boxofrain Tue 1/8/2008 01:15PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

If you dont like it, then dont click on the link! This is for people who like alittle variety psssh noobs!!

mcarroll starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 02:08PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


This looks like a great show. I love all these comments from people who didn't read the article about how a Jay-Z concert with a 12 piece live band doesn't belong on Jambase. Being that furious about this site covering an artist a large number of us like seems incredibly selfish, don't you think? For those of you that felt the need to comment but were too lazy to read the review, here is an excerpt:

"After a little storytelling akin to his VH1 special, Hov directed the band into "99 Problems," a hard rock riff, courtesy of Rick Rubin, from 2003's The Black Album, and a song that Phish famously backed Jay on during their final tour in the summer of 2004. The band switched the style up and dropped AC/DC's "Back in Black" seamlessly into the second verse, only to the return to the syncopated bar chords. There was a freewheeling, truly live spirit that came through the performance."

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion, just please try to comment like an adult and understand that your musical preferences are not the law around here. I've been coming to this site for 6 or 7 years, and, just as my musical tastes have evolved over the years, so has Jambase. Great review.

johnnygoff starstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 02:14PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


my only beef is that this review is "99 days late but at least, it's done"

good review. good subject matter for jambase to sprawl into. just tardy.

AZ~*Droo* Tue 1/8/2008 02:20PM
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haha! theres a difference between hip hop and shitty mainstream rap. jz hasnt put anything good out since the blueprint anyway!

rjd999 Tue 1/8/2008 08:46PM
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i have actually just gotten into jay z in more recent years... i grew up a hip hop kid with a little bit of classic rock, and when the classic rock side started taking over, the dead came into my life... but with that being said, i have listened to hip hop for just about my whole life, and spent most of it hating jay z... one day i pretty much just woke up and it all made sense to me. while id rather listen to my underground stuff like brother ali, surreal, the soundproviders, madlib, whatever... all those guys draw inspiration from jay z, and the dude has such great mic presence, and one of the smoothest most natural flows ever to hit the microphone... live show review, in depth, im all for it

id rather be phishing starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 09:26PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Reasonable doubt is possibly one of the best albums ive listened to. You cant beat early Jay. And yes everyone should stop being narrow minded and learn that diversity pervades ignorance

jaghabpv starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/8/2008 10:22PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


'i check cheddar like a food inspector' .... fucking awesome j line

good review. I def. need to see jay-z with a live band.

karacter0 star Wed 1/9/2008 03:50AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Go rip off some more Biggie lyrics Jay-Z.

Thought I'd use this worthless article to test the new animated .gif I made for my avatar...bet it doesn't work.

Teabagger star Wed 1/9/2008 07:25AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


You can't spell crap without rap

ira7420 starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/9/2008 07:51AM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Jeez, some people are so f^&*ing ignorant! There are tons of reviews and articles on Jambase daily that I choose not to read, you don't see me on there complaining about stupid shit. There are obviouly enough people on here who would appreciate gettin' some info that they wouldn't normally get. Yes, this is JAMbase, but chill the fuck out. I'd like to see how many people would complain about a review of the Wu-Tang tour that's currently underway. Many of us on here grew up during the earlier years of RAP and really apreciate an update ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. Thanks JamBase, loved the article and the knowledge.

FYI- I don't even really like Jay-Z that much, but I respect his accomplishments as a musician and to know that he is using a badass

LIVE band to back him.

GeorgieP starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/9/2008 11:16AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


The two major reasons I've enjoyed "jambands" over the last several years have been 1) how awesome they are live and 2) how fucking chill it is. If you say Jay-Z doesn't have those two characteristics, then you just plain don't know HOV. Jay-Z puts on a better show than most other bands typically covered on JB could ever dream to and he has one of the calmest, smoothest, chillest flows in hip-hop. If you don't believe me, then listen to Reasonable Doubt start to finish. Or even Jay-Z Unplugged, as someone mentioned before. Now, I'm not saying that every single rap act is worth a look on jambase, because frankly, Jay-Z is one of the few, if not the only, mainstreamer who fits the bill, being that so many successful rappers are terrible live. But discounting him just because he's categorized under the genres "rap" and "hip-hop" runs completely counter to what websites like this should be about. Jeez, I never expected the quote-unquote "jam community" to embrace exclusivity this much.

"I kept feeding her dollars 'til shit started to make cents." ...Brilliant

gmoo starstar Wed 1/9/2008 11:22AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I love guns, money, and power.

SCIcane starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/10/2008 10:35AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I enjoyed the article, thanks jambase. I too will never see Jay-Z live, but the show sounded great. I do not want to see a bunch of rap reviews here, but he had a live band and didn't rap over his own recording. I try to listen to as little rap as possible, but most of what I've heard from Jay-Z is good. I got into this "scene" to explore music I could not of found elsewhere, and now that I have abandoned most of mainstream music, its nice to be reminded there is some good music still being produced out there. Give all music a chance, if you don't like it, move on.

STEG187 Fri 1/11/2008 02:26PM
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I just wanted to finally jump in and say that I appreciate all of the opinions that were brought up here. I have been trying to bring diveristy (thru hip-hop and elsewhere) to our glorious site for some time now. It started with the Roots and Com and Kweli, as well as Janes, Motley and other guilty pleasures... and then just kinda progressed. I want to cover all genres without boundaries and let the art speak for itself.

I understand that this is a site for our scene, but like our scene, the site had grown and evolved, like other established avenues: Relix, URB, and others. If you were to search my history on the site I have more than enough Dead/Phish/KDTU/Slip/STS9/UM/Fest/Roo-cred, amongst others, but we wanna take it higher. This site, and you, our readership, deserve that shit. I hope that most of you are along for the ride.

On a personal note, RJD999 spoke similar feelings/journey to my own:

" have actually just gotten into jay z in more recent years... i grew up a hip hop kid with a little bit of classic rock, and when the classic rock side started taking over, the dead came into my life... but with that being said, i have listened to hip hop for just about my whole life, and spent most of it hating jay z... one day i pretty much just woke up and it all made sense to me. while id rather listen to my underground stuff like brother ali, surreal, the soundproviders, madlib, whatever... all those guys draw inspiration from jay z, and the dude has such great mic presence, and one of the smoothest most natural flows ever to hit the microphone... live show review, in depth, im all for it"

Well stated.

As for Jay-Z, Shawn Carter, Hov, whatever, he is a very important, gifted, influential and dominant artist of our time, and deserved to have his Jambase cherry popped. IMHO, it was long overdue.

Thanx for all the comments, good vibes, and closure...

The rest of the hating poseurs get half-a-bar-

F*ck Y'all Posters!!



MixedBagProductions starstarstarstarstar Tue 1/15/2008 09:01AM
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Solid article, I heard this show was off the charts. B Getz, glad you're getting a little hip hop onto this site and educating the folks- few corrections though. "U Don't Know" is off the Blueprint, not Blueprint 2 and "lil neefie"'s name is "Young Neef".... Keep it coming.

willie42o Fri 1/25/2008 11:31AM
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jay z is the man!!!!!!!!!!!

rap is jam!1!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matthew Jaworski starstarstarstar Mon 1/28/2008 11:47AM
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Matthew Jaworski

Excellent review, Getz. For those of us with a diverse taste in music, this review is appreciated. I understand that there are those who don’t like hip-hop and Jay-Z; however, I don’t understand why those people would even bother reading the review and then (viciously) commenting on it. Who has the free time to read about artists that he/she doesn’t like? Anyhoo …

Favorite Jay-Z line: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”

Go ahead and tell me that isn't genius.

JiveTurkeyMcButterpants starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/31/2008 09:51AM
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very well written review Getz - the attention to detail was great, one of the best live show reviews i've read in a while

Jay is a part of the musical family whether you like it or not. when someone wrote "what instrument does he play" downplaying his role in the music community it made me laugh - did sharon jones (dap-kings), dave evans, bon scott, or brian johnson (ac/dc), anthony kiedis (rhcp), michael jackson, or ozzy play... not to mention jim morrison or mick jagger - who often did they pick up a guitar... what i'm getting at is that WRITTING and vocals are a huge contribution to music - all music