Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Filed under: There was some debate as to whether it was right to perform on 9/11 — but whatever your opinion on the matter, there is no debating that Jay-Z tore the roof of Madison Square Garden last night. Jigga performed dozens of his hits, including the … Read more

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Filed under: , , With songs like “Shadowboxer,” “Sleep to Dream” and “Criminal,” Fiona Apple became famous during the angry female singer-songwriters wave of the mid-90s. Guess what she looks like now! … Read more

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Filed under: , Jermaine Jackson made it appear that he pushed back the date for the Michael Jackson tribute concert so big artists could clear their schedule and appear — but here’s something you probably didn’t see.On the official website for the concert, if you … Read more

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Life On Planet Wayne

One night in March, an elevator opens
onto the 23rd floor of a midtown Atlanta skyscraper, and Lil Wayne
steps into the alcove of his luxury condominium. His place takes up
the entire floor of the building. Still, to enter the apartment
proper, Wayne must affix a digit to a biometric fingerprint
scanner, which unlocks his door with a satisfying pop. Inside,
massive windows offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
Perhaps to avoid competing with such vistas, the decor in the
apartment is…

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Jay-Z’s 9/11 Benefit Is All-Star Marathon
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Jackson Vienna Tribute Rescheduled
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LAPD Cops Questioned in Rihanna Photo Leak
Daft Punk Bring Exclusives to DJ Hero
News Ticker: SNL, Neil Young, Snoop
Grohl, Novoselic “Dismayed” By Cobain in GH5
Ellen DeGeneres Joins American Idol
Jay-Z Burns Through BP3 at NYC Gig
Rolling Stones Reissuing Ya-Ya’s
Van Halen to Tour in 2010: Report
Eminem, Alicia Keys Join VMAs Lineup
Jackson’s This Is It Trailer Gets VMAs Premiere
Lil Jon Grabs R. Kelly, Akon for Crunk Rock
Springsteen to Receive Kennedy Center Honor
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Beatles Remasters Arrive: Our Review
Whitney Houston Rules the Charts
Guitar Hero 5’s Van Halen Freebie
Blige, Brown Won’t Perform at Jackson Event
Breaking: Girls

Scroll down for full news stories, commentary and much more in Rock Daily.

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More than any rapper and more than most pop stars, Jay-Z knows the significance of a moment.

The Brooklyn MC’s career is practically defined by them. There’s his Summer Jam obliteration of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy back in 2001, the same year he brought out Michael Jackson for Hot 97’s annual concert. There was his retirement show at Madison Square Garden captured in the documentary Fade to Black. And then there was his Radio City Music Hall show to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Reasonable Doubt. And who could forget the Best of Both Worlds fiasco with R. Kelly that turned into the celebrated Jay-Z and Friends jaunt. He’s even transformed festivals into his personal showcases, with his appearance at Glastonbury last year and All Points West this year.

But when Hov announced he’d be headlining a September 11th benefit show, to not only coincide with the anniversary of his classic album The Blueprint but also to mark the release of his latest effort, The Blueprint 3, one had to wonder if this ambitious slate reeked of opportunism.

It did not.

Last night at the Garden, Jay-Z delivered a carefully orchestrated and riveting show striking the the impossibly difficult balance of serving the cause and seizing another night that will stand out in his long list of historic performances.

“We celebrating life tonight, we having a good time,” Jay-Z told the sold-out audience, which included Diddy, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Chris Rock, among other celebrities. “But let’s not forget in 2001 when the first Blueprint came out terrorist attacked New York. They thought they would weaken us. They were sadly mistaken. We stand here even stronger. This is our town. We run New York City. We run this town.”

And with that, the blaring Rihanna’s wailing voice boomed over the sound system. The “Umbrella” star then appeared under the spotlight decked out in a dominatrix-like black outfit. “We are, yeah I said it, We are, This is Roc Nation, pledge your allegiance,” Jay-Z rapped.

Kanye West joined the pair toward the end of the song, completing the triumvirate as he jumped from the stairs on the middle of the stage. ‘Ye stuck around for a few more songs, diving into “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” before asking Big Brother if he can keep going.

“Let’s do it,” Jay replied.

“Good Life” then came on, sans T-Pain, and an animated West — complete with a new ‘do, with zig-zag lines cut into his hair — fumbled a few of his lines but saved himself with an impromptu freestyle. “I fucked up the flow, but everybody know, I gotta give a shout out to my big bro,” he spit, drawing a smile from Jay.

The parade of guest appearances continued with Pharell Williams, Swizz Beatz and Mary J. Blige joining Jay-Z. John Mayer also popped up to play guitar for Jay-Z on “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).”

Throughout the set, Jay-Z dipped into catalog but also performed new songs from his recently released BP3. Upstart Kid Cudi arrived onstage to assist Hov on “Already Home,” where the legendary rapper eviscerates mouthy MCs who say Jay-Z’s tenure on top is in the way of their rise to fame.

“These niggas want me to go, don’t they know that I’m gone/ They know that I’m space shuttle level, they need oxyggggon/Don’t they know that I yawn/ Only time they exciting is when they mentioning Shawn,” he rapped.

The Timbaland-produced “Venus vs. Mars” was another new tracked Jay-Z performed. He closed the song out with a new freestyled verse at the end where he name-checked Kanye’s lady friend Amber Rose and financial villain Bernie Madoff. Seconds after he finished, Beyoncé, featured on the song’s chorus, emerged from the bowels of the Garden rising up through a trap door to perform “Diva.”

The star wattage was bright but the greatest applause of the night came in honor of the service men and women who protect our country on this tragic date eight years ago.

As “Young Forever” spilled out over the arena speakers, a beautiful montage of firefighters and police officers who lost their lives on 9/11 eight years ago appeared behind Jay-Z on a huge screen. “Make some noise for those that lost their lives so we could live ours,” Jay-Z said.

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