By Daniela Sol
Taking the stage with the power and swagger only the legendary rapper can, Jay-Z performed Wednesday, November 29th at the Capital One Arena.
The stage consisted of a simple set-up: a squared platform right down the middle of the arena with four giant screens that moved throughout the whole concert. Although the set-up was straightforward, the beaming lights and the cinematography displayed on the screens were fascinating.
The rapper, whose full name is Shawn Corey Carter, opened the concert with “Kill Jay Z,” a song from his new album 4:44, which made the crowd bounce and get a taste of what was to come. The concert consisted of most of his new singles and very important Jay-Z classics as well. “The Story of O.J.” was a favorite that not only got the crowd pumped but also sent a powerful message along with it. As the song played, cartoons describing the song’s chorus were displayed on the big screens. The bouncy characters, displayed in black and white as cartoons from the 1930s and ‘40s, paired perfectly with the beat of the song.
In all the other 4:44 songs that Jay-Z performed, a combination of clips of his wife, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, were displayed. Artists like Rihanna and Kanye West also appeared in the videos. The videos were paired up with a show of lights that hit the rapper as he fluidly preached all his lyrics.
The artist got political opening the concert, casually yet firmly addressing the crowd with the phrase: “Remember everybody, love trumps hate. Always.” He also touched the issue of mental health when introducing his song “Smile”. Jay-Z gave advice to the crowd about being aware of people around you, since everyone might be going through something, and to help each other out. He dedicated the song to all those people who are currently suffering from any mental health challenges and asked the crowd to light their phones or anything available in their honor.
He did a tribute to his hometown, the one and only New York City, and especially Brooklyn, with one of his most famous songs, “Empire State of Mind”. He also performed a song all ‘90s kids most likely jammed to in their time, “99 Problems”.
All his songs, both old and new, plus his poised performance, proved once again how Jay-Z is nothing but the king of rap. To close the night, the rapper showered his fans with love after a performance that will be remembered by everyone.