H TO THE IZZO: Jigga, The Fillmore, Last Night
1. Live hip-hop could use more live instrumentation. Jay-Z’s 8 piece band, plus DJ, breathed new life into classics like “99 Problems” and ” P.S.A” giving them the deep kick and crunchy shred that only a live band can deliver.
2. Black is gangsta. From Hov’s upside down Betsy Ross Flag (the one with thirteen stars) T-shirt with black stripes instead of the traditional red, white and blue version, to the band decked out in vintage black suit vests, white shirts and black ties — Hov’s political statement can be summed up in two words: American and Gangster.
3. Jay truly lives up to his self-proclaimed status as the “monster of the double entendre” This was even more apparent during the show as Jay from time to time would repeat a line, just so you could get how dope it really was and hopefully see that there are two meanings there..i.e. “Surviving droughts/I wish you well, how sick am I/I wish you health.” Ponder that.
4. My only complaint was the “surprise guests.” While it was great to see Beans, Free, the Gunna’s and Bleek, was anyone really surprised? I mean, this is Philly…home of the State Prop…I would have been more surprised if they didn’t show and run through the Philly anthems, “What We Do,” and “Roc the Mic.”
5. Highlight of the show? When the crowd recited the entire first verse of “Big Pimpin'” prompting Jay to say, ya’ll don’t need me anymore, goodnight…only to return to “Encore” and close the show with “Roc Boys”…guess the game still needs Hova.
TEXT BY M. EMANUEL/PHOTO BY JONATHAN VALANIA
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The easiest word to describe M. Emanuel is ‘complex.’ At least as it relates to tastes and interest, he offers a varied palate for that which inspires thought or emotion. Typically framed against the backdrop of hip-hop culture, but with a sharp awareness of what preceded the culture and what is now influenced by it, he’s intrigued by the intersection of commerce and art. It’s a rather natural position and balance of contrast that one would expect from a former college radio DJ turned corporate attorney who collects sneakers on the side and still writes rhymes from time to time. While we can’t expect to hear a full-length anytime soon, you can expect unique and hopefully enlightening insight from someone who, while navigating the world of corporate politics, has always kept his ear to the pavement. Hailing from Virginia, but now firmly entrenched in the 215, M. Emanuel focuses his daily grind in the areas of intellectual property and entertainment law. His many interests include music, film, the arts, fashion, sports, and travel, holding hands on the beach, shots of Patron, and making it rain.