Kanye West and Jay Z are going on tour again, but this time they are going their separate ways. The rap duo known together as The Throne are ready to hit the road to promote their respective new releases Yeezus and Magna Carta… Holy Grail.
Kanye West’s The Yeezus Tour will travel to 23 cities in North America starting October 19 in Seattle, WA and closing December 7 in Houston, TX. He’s touring with rising rapper Kendrick Lamar who is set to appear at nearly all venues. The few that he’s missing promise another special guest that is listed as “to be announced.” Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 13.
Jay Z’s Magna Carta World Tour hits 33 cities in North America; he’ll be performing at the NY Barclays Center in Brooklyn for two nights in January. The tour kicks off on November 30 in St. Paul, MN and ends on January 31 in State College, PA. Tix become available Thursday, September 12 at 10AM EST.
Here we have the music video for “Holy Grail,” the Justin Timberlake assisted track that gracefully eases listeners into Jay Z’s recent release Magna Carta… Holy Grail. Director Anthony Mandler was clearly given creative freedom during the construction of this visual spectacle. The track is heavily remixed here with verses out of order (Jay spits his rhymes before JT’s hook rings, for example) and certain parts are slowed down significantly. It’s hard to say if this version is better than the original creation, but there’s no denying that this newly polished version works. It’s like listening to the song again for the first time, and in my opinion, that’s an interesting experience.
Watch Jay rap in a ghoulish mansion and JT croon amongst the flames in the clip embedded above. In a sharp move, Hova teamed with Facebook to exclusively launch the “Holy Grail” music on the social network.
On Friday night Jay Z (rest in peace hyphen) premiered his music video for “Picasso Baby,” a track off his latest album Magna Carta… Holy Grail. But it’s more than just a music video, claims the rapper. He calls it “a performance art film” as it incorporates more than just him rapping along to his rhymes. Jay introduces the clip with reflections on performance and hip-hop as art. It’s a music video/documentary hybrid, if you will.
Last month Hova took over Chelsea’s Pace Gallery in New York City for six straight hours where he rapped “Piscasso Baby” in front of a crowd consisting of excited fans off the street as well as famous artists, actors, dancers, and performers. Mark Romanek, who previously collaborated with Jay on his 99 Problems music video, directed this eight minute video (the final two minutes or so is all credits) and shot it all using eight different cameras. Celebrity cameos include Alan Cumming, Judd Apatow, Michael K. Williams, and Wale.
It’s definitely one of the most candid and straight up fun music videos I’ve ever seen. Jay seems to be having a genuinely good time amongst his people and his high energy is contagious to the viewer. So, enjoy this performance art film music video documentary, or whatever you want to call it.
If you were watching Game 5 of the NBA finals tonight you couldn’t have missed this: in a three-minute spot paid for by Samsung and promoting its Galaxy smartphones, rap legend Jay-Z introduces and previews his 12th studio album titled Magna Carta Holy Grail. Thankfully there’s no product placement or any cheesiness at all here, really; it’s just Jay and his collaborators Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Rick Rubin, and Swizz Beatz brainstorming new beats and rhymes for Jay’s upcoming, surprise release.
“Pretty much the album is about this duality of how do you navigate your way through this whole thing — through success, through failures — and remain yourself,” remarks Hova.
That post title–it’s like music to your ears. Justin Timberlake and “Suit & Tie” featured artist Jay-Z are headlining a tour together. The “Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour” starts July 17 in Toronto and ends August 17 in Miami travelling through a total of 12 North American venues (the others include New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Hershey, Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, and Philadelphia). Tickets go on sale next week on Thursday, February 28 at Ticketmaster.com; if you RSVP to the event on Facebook you can gain access to presale tickets one day earlier. Also, if you obtain tickets using the Live Nation app you can snag tix on the 27th as well. All dates excluding the stop at Yankee Stadium will be available to the general public starting 2/28; New York sale information is “to be announced soon.” Jump after the break to view all the tour dates.
In addition to a summer tour, JT is exposing his brand in other ways. On March 9 he’ll be hosting Saturday Night Live for the fifth (!) time and he’ll also be serving as the evening’s musical guest. And from March 11 through 15 he’ll be featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Justin Timberlake shows off the moves we’ve missed in a music video that’s all dressed up in black and white and directed by The Social Network helmer David Fincher for the Sexy Back singer’s latest single “Suit & Tie.” Rapper Jay-Z breaks out a smoking cigar for the occasion and makes a cameo, too.
JT’s third solo studio album The 20/20 Experience is due out March 19; preorder at iTunes today.
There’s new music to hear from artists you might have thought you’d never hear from again. First up is the musical trio Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, better known together as Destiny’s Child. Before Beyoncé became her own star, she led a group that pumped out hit after hit in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Remember “Independent Woman,” “Survivor,” and “Bootylicious?” Well, apparently there’s more where that came from. Last Friday, Destiny’s Child released their first single since 2004 called “Nuclear.” It’s produced by Pharrell and rather than bouncing back with a thumping beat they’ve invigorated their new image with a soft R&B tune that makes you remember just how well these ladies can harmonize together. “Nuclear” is a track off a brand new compilation album from Destiny’s Child Love Songs. The 14-track album contains romantic-themed songs they recorded between 1997-2004. As you can see in the tracklisting posted after the break, “Nuclear” remains the only new material to be included. Listen to it, it’s embedded above. Beyoncé will reunite Destiny’s Child on-stage when she hosts this year’s Super Bowl half-time show.
The latest single off Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music compilation album Cruel Summer is “Clique.” It features verses from Big Sean, Mr. West, and the other half of The Throne, Jay-Z. The track is produced by Hit-Boy and it’s a hot one. Hear it below and get ready for Cruel Summer due out September 18.
Though this docu dropped over a year ago, Paradigm Magazine’s recent interview with filmmaker Robert Lopuski successfully launched the ten-minute behind-the-scenes look at the making of Kanye West and Jay-Z collab album into the wild for the masses to finally witness. The interview, which can be read in full here, tells the story of how Lopuski randomly bumped into West in New York City and how that act of fate fashioned the opportunity for the filmmaker to collaborate with the musician in Sydney, Australia during the production of Watch the Throne. Lopuski was forced to shoot most of the video with cheap Flip cams but the result is quite grand. West is known for his secrecy, and this is an exciting (even if very brief) glimpse into his life as he’s amongst friends (Jay, Beyonce, Russell Crowe, other producers) and making music. The best part, however, is when we get to see Kanye’s life-long mentor Jay in a rapper’s predicament as he practices his verse from “Why I Love You”; this starts at the 7:30 mark.
Lopuski shines a candid light on the typically private life of these rappers and the final product is definitely worth a look. The video attempts to bring things full circle as the WTT footage is mixed with archived clips from the early days when Jay was helping producer Kanye elevate his game as a solo rapper. Says Lopuski, “In the world of hip-hop, anybody who does something different is a genius, anybody who does something successful is making history; you know it all becomes these exaggerated, bombastic endeavors. And so, for me, I was not interested in that; I was more interested in the smaller moments. The quiet power of talent.”
It’s been a rather busy week for valuable members of the G.O.O.D. Music family. On Tuesday the music video for “No Church In The Wild” dropped; it’s the third single off Kanye West & Jay-Z’s collaborative effort Watch The Throne. Unlike the previous two singles that also received clips (“Otis” and “Ni**as In Paris“), this riot-themed music video directed by Romain Gavras and shot in Prague does not feature the Throne duo nor featured artist Frank Ocean. Still, like everything West outputs it is visually pleasing and deserves at least one go-around. Watch it after the break.
Following “Otis“, “Ni**as In Paris” is Kanye West and Jay-Z’s second single off their collaborative effort Watch The Throne. For the music video, ‘Ye and Jay spliced together footage from their recent Watch The Throne tour and edited in sexy models, jungle cats, and an insane amount of strobe lights to create a psychedelic, if not headache inducing, trip. West, who directed the clip, had to include a “Viewer discretion is advised” warning at the front of it for people with photosensitive epilepsy… so there’s that. If you think you can handle it, mash play and see what it was like to experience the WTT tour through the trippy, admittedly creative mind of Mr. West. If you can get past all of the lights, that kaleidoscope effect is actually pretty neat and effective.
On January 7 Beyoncé gave birth to her first child with husband Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter. Two days later, the rapper released a song featuring their newborn credited as “B.I.C.” Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D. lent a helping hand, too. In “Glory” Jay celebrates his new baby girl: “The most amazing feeling I feel, words can’t describe what I’m feeling for real / Maybe I paint the sky blue / My greatest creation was you.” At one point Jay reveals that Beyoncé suffered a miscarriage in the past, but he manages not to linger on that topic and finishes strong with audible cries emitting from baby Blue. Listen to the beautiful track above and head over to Jay’s blog Life+Times to read the official announcement of BIC’s birth. He must’ve been in an empire state of mind when he cobbled together that blog post; the song is tagged with NYC’s landmark lit up blue.