Jay-Z’s 9/11 Benefit Turns Into All-Star Marathon With Beyonce, Kanye, Rihanna, Mayer and More

September 12th, 2009 by Jayson Rodriguez Leave a reply »

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 spotlig...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


Leave a Reply