The Jay-Z Experience

Please correct me if I am wrong, but Jay-Z is the standard in the rap game.

Yesterday, I had the fortune to get floor seats at the Verizon Center to see Jay-Z.  I must confess, I usually avoid the sports arena concerts.  I remember when I first started “going out” to clubs, a friend recommended that I attend events where people dress up because they are less likely to fight and mess up their good clothes.  Even with all of that, I just prefer to watch artists in smaller venues.  I love the intimacy of the experience.  Even the more popular artists, I really try to catch them in a small venue.   However, there are those artists like Jay-Z that have “stadium status”.   You can’t avoid it.

So believe it or not, this was going to be the first time I attended a concert a the Verizon Center.  So as I make it to my seat, I was impressed.  I mean, folks from all walks of life were in attendance.  It was truly a melting pot in there from the young professional to the middle-aged mom to the teenager. Everyone was representing.  I always knew rap/ hip-hop was global, but to see it in this stadium capacity compared to the small venues I frequent can only be summed up in one word: POWERFUL.  It was an amazing experience.  This one man had a whole crowd  dancing, reciting his lyrics, holding up the Roc diamond, chanting “Hova, Hova!”  This was truly a testament to the power of music, and the power of Jay-Z.  I couldn’t deny that what I was seeing was a reflection of the passion and  hard work of Jay-Z, and for the most part, I liked what I was seeing- from the beautifully designed backdrop that displayed various dynamic images, to his wardrobe (I must admit I like how he now wears colorful, no doubt expensive beads instead of  the iced out chains and medallions)  to his well-crafted lyrics.

Photos Courtesy of Curtis Shearin
His lyrics…what is Jay-Z rapping about that appeals to so many people, and has brought him to this level of fame and power?    Three words: The American Dream.  And what is even more appealing is that he talks about that ultimate satisfaction of knowing you accomplished your dream in spite of the nay-sayers and haters.  He is the modern ‘rags-to-riches’ story that inspires people from all over the world want to live in America.  His life story is the ‘Everyman’s’ fairytale– from being a drugs dealer in Marcy Houses projects to becoming the most financially successful hip-hop artist in America (AND he got the girl).  You can chronicle his evolution and ascension to American icon.  This is powerful.

Ultimately, I hope it is powerful enough to motivate his fans to achieve greatness in their own right.  If it is to have a family, to finish school, own a business, volunteer in the community, save money or buy a house, we are all capable of accomplishing our dreams.


  1. This was a great review, keep it coming. Check Out Sade’s comeback “Soldier of Love” would like to hear more about her pesonal story. I heard the single, AWSOME!


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