Jay-Z finishes strong at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom

More Hip Hop History was made Sunday night at New York’s famous Hammerstein Ballroom as Jay-Z finished his American Gangster promo tour.

Major Points:

  • Lil Wayne made a surprise appearance to perform “Hello Brooklyn” with Jay-Z and Wayne called Jay-Z “The Greatest Rapper Alive” and dubbed himself “The Next Rapper in Line”. The crowd loved it!
  • The Rocafella Family including Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, Freeway, Young Chris, and Tru-Life came out on stage but not Neef (who I found out is in jail), not Unlce Murda (no idea where he was), not Peedi (?), and not Kanye West (who’s Mother passed away yesterday a few hours before the concert0.
  • Jadakiss appeared on stage with the rest of the Rocafella camp as an offical member of the crew.
  • Diddy and Jay performed their verses from “I Get Money” but the crowd expected to see 50. Fat chance for that.
  • Jay-Z dedicated the concert to Kanye’s mother. (There will be more on this story when more details are released. My heart and prayers go out to Kanye.)

The crowd began to accumulate a full 5 hours before the 7:30 PM time printed on the tickets. Funkmaster Flex attempted to warm up the crowd inside but the levels on his mixer were set way too high and all you heard was distortion. That sucked. Thank God the cocktails were flowing. They helped pass the time. Although it was a bit troubling to pay $10 for a drink that came in a plastic cup. Anyway, about 10:20 sharp the God himself graced the stage with a full band, backup singers, and DJ Green Lantern behind him. The show started out explosively with “Pray” and “No Hook”. Although the album came out only 5 days before, the crowd still shouted out every lyric as if they were reading straight out of the CD jacket. He went on with “P.S.A.”, “I Know”, “Show Me What You Got”, “Heart of the City”, “Nigga What Nigga Who” and every hustlers favorite “You Don’t Know”. I was expecting to hear only tracks from the new album and a few classics sprinkled in as he supposedly did during his other shows, but that was not to be.

The highlight and most surprising part of the show was when Jay performed the first verse to “Where I’m From” then went into “Hello Brooklyn” which is when Lil Wayne came out on stage and made Hip Hop history by performing with Jay-Z live for the first time. The crowd went bananas as Weezy performed his verse and the hook to Hello Brooklyn then went into the beginning of “Duffel Bag Boy”. Weezy then stopped the music looked right at the New York City crowd and said while pointing to Jay-Z “The best rapper alive!” then pointed to himself and said “The next rapper in line!” I was floored. He won many fans in New York last night by showing he isn’t completely insane and give Hova his respect, in person.

The second half of the two hour show featured Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, and Freeway as they tore through the popular Rocafella family classics like “Rock the Mic” and “What We Do”. The show hit a bit of a lull as Jay performed songs like “Ignorant Shit”, “Excuse Me Miss” and “Party Life” to which Jay-Z said “Ya’ll must have bought the bootlegs if you don’t know this one.” Party Life and Ignorant Shit were not on the bootleg release. I found that funny. He recovered with “Blue Magic” and “I Get Money”. Diddy couldn’t even excite the crowd after seeing Wayne. Another thing I noticed was a subtle diss to Dame and Biggs during the song “Hovi Baby” where Jay left their names out of a line and addressed himself as the champion again instead.

After being called out for an encore Jay addressed the crowd and announced he would be dedicating the show to Kanye’s Mother who passed away a few hours before the show. I am assuming this was a sudden occurrence because Kanye never mentioned any illnesses, he was on tour with Jay throughout the week, and his mother was on a promotional tour for her book “Raising Kanye”. The news of her death is tragic and I send my love and prayers to Kanye and his family. It was a shame I couldn’t hear him perform “Big Brother”, but the circumstances are understandable. I’ll wait until next time. I will write more on the story when more information is released.

The big finish was not the song “Encore” as it typically is. Instead the entire Rocafella family came back on stage including Tru-Life and Young Chris, but not including Uncle Murda, Kanye, Neef, and Peedi. The entourage did however include the newest member of the Roc, Jadakiss! Jay-Z officially announced Jadakiss signing to the Roc at the culmination of the show. The crowd went nuts. Green Lantern then tried to organize an impromptu performance from Jada by playing the “All About the Benjamins” beat but Jada killed that by saying “come on man that’s puff’s shit.” Puffy was still backstage I assume. Then after a quick conference with Jay, Green Lantern dropped his own beat for “The Champ is Here” but Jada shut that down also by saying “come on man I don’t know the words to that one. Ya’ll are putting me on the spot here.” He was visibly uncomfortable and possibly high so Jay let it go by finishing “Roc Boys”.

All in all the concert was a smashing success. The only thing I can say that was negative was the fact that he didn’t play many tracks from “American Gangster”. I wanted to hear “American Dreaming”, “Success”, and “Falling”. The news of Kanye’s mother made it a little hard to enjoy the end of the show as well. But in the end the God came through and made the $100 – $1000 tickets worth every penny. There wasn’t an unhappy person in the congregation of the Church of Hov.

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4 Responses to “Jay-Z finishes strong at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom”

  1. Jadakiss Joins the Roc - Video « The Digital Streets Says:

    […] The Digital Streets Spittin like I ate a Grenade « Jay-Z finishes strong at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom […]

  2. Jay-Z at Hammerstein will be Broadcast Online for Free « The Digital Streets Says:

    […] Starting on November 19, fans can visit music.msn.com/jayz to access the November 11th concert at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom for free.   […]

  3. Jay-Z @ Hammerstein Ballroom *Official Video Preview* « The Digital Streets Says:

    […] Read the Digital Streets detailed review of the concert here.  […]

  4. Tell Em Why you Mad Porta! « The Digital Streets Says:

    […] Jay-Z Hammerstein concert reveiw […]

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