Friday, January 21, 2011

Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City.

I came across an old story/review of one of the best nights of my life. I decided to share. Enjoy!

"Ain't no love, in the heart of the city..
I said where's the love?
Ain't no love, in the heart of town..

And then the Fugee's gonna break up, now everyday I wake up
Somebody got something to say
What's all the f--king fussing for? Because I'm grubbing more
and I pack heat like I'm the oven door?
Ni--as pray and pray on my downfall
But everytime I hit the ground, I bounce up like roundball
Now I don't wanna have to kill Soundbar
Don't wanna have to cock back the four pound bar
Look scrapper I got nephews to look after
I'm not looking at you dudes, I'm looking past you
I thought I told you characters I'm not a rapper
Can I live? I told you in ninety-six
that I came to take this s--t and I did, handle my biz
I scramble like Randall with his
Cunningham but the only thing running is numbers fam
Jigga held you down six summers; damn, where's the love?"

It was because of verses like this that I was a fan. His truth spoke to my soul. I have been hooked since the day I heard “I’m Feelin It.” I remember being in the back of a black Altima with friends and my boyfriend at the time put this cd on. From the opening chords, I was intrigued. By the chorus, I needed to know this rapper. From that moment, he had me.

I had waited, it seemed, all my life for this one night. For me to be in the same room as he was phenomenal. I was beyond ecstatic. I knew every word to every song on every cd he had released. All of his features, remixes, and mixtape appearances were in my mind too. to say that I am a fan is literally the biggest understatement EVER!! I never, ever bootlegged him. No, not my favorite rapper!! I could never do that to him. I supported this man since day one! Because there is something about him that touches me way down deep in my being. I love his delivery, demeanor, flow, but most of all, his swagger. There is no other rapper who has a swagger any where near the magnitude of his. There is no comparison to any other rappers in my book. He is in my opinion he is true to one of his nicknames: the God MC. He goes by a plethora of names and all of them are befitting of the man. He is HOVA. He is Hov. He is the Jigga Man. He is Shawn Corey Carter. And, most commonly, he is Jay-Z.

The day is April 9, 2008. It happens to be a cool Wednesday evening in New Orleans. The location is the New Orleans Arena. We arrived @ 6:45pm. A few steps from the parking garage at the Superdome to the Arena, and it was official, I was IN THE BUILDING!!! And, according to my guy who is in the know, Jay was in the building as well!!! I seriously had been smiling from the time I woke up until now. The anticipation had been growing ever since I heard that the tour was coming to my city. I already knew that I would never forget tonight.

My girl and I sat and talked. Wasting time until the main event popped off. My cell keeps ringing. And, every time that it would ring, a different Jay song would play. I told you that I am a true fan. "I Know," "Song Cry," "I Made It," "I'd Do Anything," "Hey Papi," "Party Life," "Excuse me (the La,La,La version)," and "Hollywood" just to name a few. I was so ready to see the man hit the stage!!

This would be the concert of a lifetime. And if you are not in the Arena tonight , then it really sucks to be you! Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Jay. From “Reasonable Doubt” to “American Gangster” every album is my favorite!! The Dream performs his 20 minute set. He is good. I really enjoyed his performance of “I Luv Your Girl” because its one of the tracks I listen to often. He then introduces Mary J. Blige once his set is done. The lights drop. The curtains rise. And, there at the top of the stairs, in the center of the stage are Mary and Jay, back to back dressed all in black!! I am instantly out of my seat. They open with a Hip-Hop classic from Jay’s first cd, “Reasonable Doubt”. The intro chords of “Can’t Knock The Hustle” flood my ears as they proceed down the stairs. They would also perform “Song Cry,” “Heart of the City,” and “You All Are Welcome.” Now, granted, Mary’s set was fire, but she was really just lagniappe to me! I was there for one main reason. And his name was Jay-Z.

Mary’s set ended with much applause. Then, it was Shawn Corey's turn. He came out to the chorus of "Say Hello" & it was on. Not saying much, just walked down the stairs, bobbing his head to the beat. “Say hello to the bad guy (hello) they say I’m a bad guy I come from the bottom but now I’m mad fly. They say I’m a menace that’s the picture they paint they say a lot about me let me tell you what I ain’t.” Then he was front and center. In my city, at my Arena, in arms length, Jay stood proudly before me! He is beyond a combination of energetic and laid back cool on stage. He smiles at the crowd. He still seems amazed that we know every bar of every song of his. As a fan, how could I not be well versed in his discography? He clowned with the audience, performed many hits, & even had time for a political shout-out. He was exciting & funny on stage. He performed "I Know" one of my favorite tracks on American Gangster. He performed singles as well as cult classics. The most touching moment, in my honest opinion, was when he did his verse from ''Minority Report" as scenes from "When the Levees Broke" played on the screen. It was like he felt my city's pain.

There aren't enough words for me to explain to you how great it was or how excited I still am. It's something about Jay's flow, delivery, & message that touch me. He makes me think. He makes me stop in my tracks and run the verse back like “Did he say what I think he said?” He personifies music. Some say that his time has passed and I think those people are nuts. He said it best “HOV'S A LIVING LEGEND AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY, EVERYBODY WANNA BE HOV AND HOVS STILL ALIVE!! He is Hip-Hop and there is no one (living) that is greater. I got to experience it firsthand. Wow!! I may not ever go to another concert that is as complete as the one I was at last night & that's just fine!!

“I supposed to be number one on everybody’s list
We'll see what happens when I no longer exist
F--k this (What more can I say?)”


  1. All I can do is nod my head in agreement and reminisce to the Farewell concert at Madison Square Garden..I don't even have the words to describe how I felt that night..only thing I can say is he truly is The Greatest Rapper Alive...

  2. HB, you already know how I feel about Jay-Z because you feel the same. I wrote this almost three years ago. I really hope him and Kanye go on tour for this "Watch the Throne" project and come here. I need to see him again.