Jay Z Pays Respect to Chinx and B.B. King, Takes Aim at Spotify at B-Sides Concert in New York [EXCLUSIVE]
Jay Z showed fans the perks of subscribing to the TIDAL streaming service at Terminal 5 in New York on Sunday night (May 17) by giving them a top-notch performance during his special B-Sides concert.
The crowd chanted “Hova, Hova!” as the L.A.-based band 1500 or Nothin started to gear up around 8:45 p.m. It was only right for the band to set the tone of the night with the iconic The Dynasty: Roc La Familia intro from 2000. The hip-hop veteran didn’t waste any time coming onstage a few minutes after the beat dropped.
Of course, the legendary Young Guru and producer Just Blaze manned the beats and helped push the sounds throughout the Hell’s Kitchen venue. "Are y’all ready for this b-side s--- or what?" the 45-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. native asked the crowd while adjusting his black fitted hat. Hov was not flashy at all, dressed in a black and white T-shirt, black jeans and Timberland boots.
He pushed through more than 25 classics during the concert, going from both sides of the stage asking, “Y’all rocking with me tonight?” while performing “Streets Is Watching,” off of his sophomore album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. He continued to pour out lyrics from Reasonable Doubt, Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter, The Blueprint, American Gangster and The Black Album.
Jay was pretty impressive as he remembered the lyrics to his songs of almost 20 years without missing a beat. The most touching moment of the night was when Jay stopped and dedicated a few minutes to say some words about rapper Chinx, who was shot and killed in Queens early Sunday morning.
“So, yesterday this is part of the show I did this ah, little freestyle and s---. I don’t know if y’all heard about it, but I felt like tonight I want to say something. That’s a bit more important. It’s like a killjoy. Um, one second I don’t want to kill the vibe. A young man passed away name Chinx," the lyricist shared. "I think it’s real important for us. I can’t understand that we are seriously under attack like never before. Rest in peace to Chinx and we still killing each other. We need to understand that we are kings and queens and we are under attack.”
Reflecting on the hood, he continued to express the lack of a win-win situation for those trying to get out. If you leave, you’re judged. If you stay and succeed, they envy you.
“We gotta protect our own," Hov stated. "I came from the same place y’all come from and I made it out the hood, so I know how hard it is. We gotta take responsibility for the s--- we doing. You understand what I’m saying? Let’s not make it hard on ourselves."
Shortly after, he went into the freestyle where he came for Spotify and YouTube and shut down all haters against TIDAL. The crowd clapped in agreement as he started to spit ”You know n----s die for equal pay right, you know when I work I ain’t your slave right.” The MC ended the freestyle with “its just politics as usual” and of course jumped into “Politics as Usual" from his 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt.
An hour into his set, “R.O.C., we running this rap s---” from “Takeover” starts to vibrant through the speakers. The crowd went wild as the Roc-A-Fella crew came onstage. The notorious and untouchable performed “What We Do” from Freeway’s 2003 LP, Philadelphia Freeway. Memphis Bleek, Freeway and Beanie Sigel weren’t the only ones in attendance. Jay Electronica came out with massive energy, spitting the “We Made It” freestyle he and Jay Z teamed up for last year.
"Should we go all the way tonight?” Jay asked the crowd before going into tracks like “Can I Live,” “Feelin’ It,” “Dead Presidents I” and “Allure.” He interacted with the audience more than a few times. “I've been wanting to do this concert for like seven to 10 years,” he admitted. "It's like a gift you're here tonight. I appreciate y'all.”
Towards the end of the night, Jay Z paid a special tribute to Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King. "Everybody take their hats off, let's pay homage,” and the crowd did just that as his guitarist performed a solo of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” “And now for the new black anthem,” Jay yelled as he went into "Public Service Announcement.” The diamonds were high in the air during The Black Album banger.
Jay Z gave New York a little bit of everything from his catalog Sunday night while acknowledging the legends before him and the slain artists after him and squashing beef with anyone who hit the stage. He certainly proved why he's Brooklyn's finest.
Watch Jay Z Perform "U Don't Know" at B-Sides Concert
Watch Jay Z Perform "What We Do" With Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Memphis Bleek & Young Chris
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