The DMV enjoyed a fantastic night of hip hop music on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017. One of the best rappers to ever grace the mic, Jay-Z made a stop at Capital One Arena for his highly anticipated “4:44” tour. Opting to have a stage in the middle of the arena with eight screens that mimicked his movements throughout the night was a wise move. No matter where you were sitting in the venue, there was a great view.
Gracing the stage at approximately 9:30 p.m. and not exiting until nearly two hours later, I was first treated to images of Hov in a fresh Yankees hat across eight video screens. When Jay emerged from the lower platform, I knew I was in for a fantastic night with a performer who possesses all the confidence of a seasoned vet.
Opening the show with “Kill Jay-Z,” from his thirteenth album, 4:44, Jay-Z shared his flaws with the audience as a man. The album, which was released earlier this year, is not only one of the best Jay-Z albums in years, but it’s also one of the best albums released in 2017. 4:44 can be seen as a companion piece to his wife’s Lemonade album and shows how vulnerability can lead to an artist’s success.
While Jay didn’t perform the entire 4:44 album, it was a treat to hear half of the songs from the album performed live. Some of the highlights included my personal favorites “Bam,” “Moonlight,” “The Story of OJ,” and the album’s title track. Jay also took the time to revisit hit songs from his expansive catalog.
Having a live band instead of a DJ seemed to give Jay a larger than life amount of confidence. Hearing classics such as “Big Pimpin,” “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” and “Heart of the City” with a band backing him was one of the many highlights of the nights. While Jay gave the crowd what they wanted when he performed his classic material, I found myself identifying more with Jay when he performed the newer material.
At the age of 48, Jay is now a seasoned vet in the game. Hearing Jay speak eloquently about losing a child, I realized I wasn’t seeing an entertainer perform, but rather a fellow father giving his testimony. While I generally don’t go to many hip-hop concerts (I’m more of an R&B fan). I’ve enjoyed seeing Jay live three times throughout his twenty-one years as a solo artist. With the 4:44 tour, Jay-Z continues to claim his place as Hip Hop Royalty. It was a night to remember from honest lyrics to being in sync with his band and an impressive thirty song setlist.
Final Grade A