Shawn Carter has a wealth of knowledge that expands beyond most. When you’ve been around the block as many times as this man has, the experiences and references become embedded in the lyricism easier then a snap of the finger.
We all know by now that Hov has a love for art and all that surrounds it. So why not perform inside the MoMA and shoot it as your video? That’s exactly what Mr. Carter did. Incorporating actors, art dealers, writers, street dancers, 9th graders and legends only adds to the allure. From the ever so powerful Marina Abramović, to the comical Judd Apatow, to youthful blackbelt Toby Kinberg, Jay-Z brings extraordinary energy to whomever is in his presence.
Legends of the Summer is a fitting name. Justin Timberlake, with his boy band turned solo platinum recording artist status, an SNL skit here and there, some golf with Bill Murray, and maybe even a film with Mila Kunis. Then there’s Jay-Z, arguably the biggest Hip Hop mogul, along with being one of the most influential persons in the world, he happens to be a decent business, man. Both of which are fresh off platinum albums, it doesn’t get much better then that. As soon as the two gentlemen stepped on to that stage, this untouchable aura arrived, and infected the building for over two hours.
As part of Jay-Z’s Life + Times cultural hub, his YouTube channel pokes it’s head in on some interesting topics. He has enlisted long-time Hip Hop enthusiast Elliot Wilson to weigh in on the ongoing debates of the industry. In the last couple weeks, some great videos have surfaced; the rivalry between the Knicks and Nets, we see Black Hippy on tour, and the debate on whether Kendrick Lamar is hype or real.
Due to the most recent video directed by Mr. Gavras for Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “No Church In The Wild,” I figured it was time for a post dedicated to his stunning visuals. The Athens-born 30 year old French director has a knack for high energy, gritty, controversial music videos. He has the ability to take a song and transform it into something formidable. The visuals and the storyline make it impossible to turn away for even a couple seconds. Warning: The videos are very intense and include violence and nudity. NSFW.
This is the second instalment to the Throwback Thursday feature. 2001 is the year.
Jay-Z released the first Blueprint which would be later followed by two more. The Shins entered the scene with their quirky indie music which later turned to gold. Death Cab For Cutie started gaining some traction as far as being “known” goes. Usher caught fire, from the previous record selling less than a million copies, to 8701 selling almost 8 million worldwide.
Inspired by iTunes shuffling through some gems a few days ago, Throwback Thursday has taken form. It’s always a blast looking through the past; what you jammed to at elementary school dances, the tracks you hid from your parents, the ones that inspired you to stick that Z95.3 sticker on your bumper and everything in between. You may have them hiding in your libraries and just need to dust them off and try again, or you’ve lost them to a overly scratched mix CD, either way enjoy the posts.
First up, 1999. Despite all the pop, it was a strong year in Hip Hop with Dr. Dre’s second LP 2001, Nas’ third, and Jay-Z fourth