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Tag: Jay-Z (11-20 of 182)

Jay Z and Kanye West bring the throne to SXSW

Back in 2011 and 2012, super friends Jay Z and Kanye West took their epic Watch the Throne tour everywhere from Paris to Vancouver. Even New Jersey got a two-night stand. One place they skipped, though? Austin, Texas.

That changed last night, when Jay and ‘Ye took over the Austin Music Hall for Samsung’s big SXSW party. Needless to say, people were excited; even Tyler, the Creator, who had a showcase of his own to play later that night, could be seen wilding out in the middle of the young crowd and, inevitably, inspiring a flood of Samsung-sponsored selfies from the fans around him. (Sadly, Tyler’s scheduled 1 a.m. showcase at Mohawk would end up being marred by tragedy.)

So did the Throne live up to the hype? Without a doubt. Sure, the concept and set-list was more or less a facsimile of the official tour — the rappers dueled from atop opposing glowing cubes amid a spastic laser show, before eventually taking the actual stage together and tag-teaming in and out for solo mini-sets — but that didn’t stop everyone from losing themselves during the two-hour blowout. And both Jay and Kanye have put out a bunch of new music since they last convened onstage: Hova had his (also Samsung-aided) Magna Carta Holy Grail, while West had his Yeezus masterpiece, plus the Cruel Summer comp he released under the G.O.O.D. Music banner.

But since the notes on my phone are roughly 85% exclamation points, it might be best to break it down by the numbers: READ FULL STORY

Daft Punk/Jay Z collaboration leaks -- LISTEN

Wow.

A Daft Punk/Jay Z collaboration has leaked; Pitchfork confirms it’s real (and that Kanye wasn’t involved). It’s not clear whether the song is a leftover from Jay’s Magna Carta Holy Grail or Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (or neither),and it’s currently unknown if an official release  for the track, called “Computerized,” is planned. (A rep did not immediately return request for confirmation that the track is legit.)

(As some have pointed out, it’s also possible that the whole thing is just an internet Franken-baby; that keyboard line is a loop from Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy track “Son of Flynn”, but the date and source of the Jay Z verse is still unknown.)

So how does it sound? Listen below to find out: READ FULL STORY

Jay Z's Roc Nation to manage Kanye West

His throne continues to build: Jay Z’s Roc Nation will now manage Kanye West.

The management company and West’s label announced Monday that Roc Nation will work alongside West’s production house, DONDA, on managing the Grammy-winning superstar’s music endeavors. Izvor Zivkovic will continue to manage West as well.

Roc Nation manages Rihanna, Shakira, Timbaland, and other acts.

West officially launched DONDA in 2011, and it is named after his late mother, Donda West. The rapper has used the company to design the technology for his latest tours and to produce the Cruel Summer short film.

Shaun White's iPod: Jay Z, Black Lips, and David Bowie provide Olympic inspiration

He may have just withdrawn from the inaugural Olympic Slope Style event in Sochi, but two-time gold medalist Shaun White will still need musical motivation to drive him to a third gold in the Halfpipe.

For his third and final Olympics, the 27-year-old snowboarder and guitarist for Bad Things has been tapping into Jay Z, the Black Lips, and David Bowie to get him amped for the Games, which kick off tomorrow (though White’s halfpipe competition won’t be until February 10). He opened up his Olympic playlist for EW.

Jay Z, “My First Song”
“I’m going to the Olympics for the third time, and I’m trying to find that motivation to still continue in something like this. Jay talks about treating everything like it’s your first, or like it’s the last time you’re ever gonna do it. I really like that. You gotta treat it like, dig deep and find that reason you really wanted it in the first place. He goes on some funny rant at the end, like ‘S—, I’mma go golfing,’ like, what he’s gonna do after? And I’m like, ‘Cool, that’s my whole deal too’ — just put my head down and work hard like I did when I was younger and good things will come from that. I’m not much of a golfer, but I get the reference.” READ FULL STORY

Jay Z addresses Barneys controversy on new Rick Ross collab 'The Devil Is a Lie'

You can press pause on Beyoncé now—and be grateful Bey hasn’t convinced everyone to quit releasing teaser tracks off upcoming albums.

This one’s from Rick Ross, whose Mastermind will arrive early next year, and Jay Z, and it is so wonderfully good: Equal parts Rozay roll and blaring Blueprint soul—a jubilant celebration of two rappers who at this point can only really have fun with tales of crack dealing.

Although Jay Z also addresses the recent, quite real issue of his continued partnership with Barneys after “shop-and-frisk” lawsuits were brought against the department store: “See what I did to the stop and frisk?/Brooklyn on the Barneys like we own the bitch/Give the money to the hood, now we all win/Got that Barneys floor lookin’ like a V.I.M.”

READ FULL STORY

Beyonce's brand new album -- stream samples of all the songs and videos here

beyonce-visual-album.jpg

Ah, what innocents we were—going to sleep last night in a world with only four Beyoncé studio albums, and waking up to the bizzonkers news blitz that is her self-titled no. 5. (Read Nick Catucci’s review here.)

“I see music,” Beyoncé said in a statement about the many videos that accompany the album. “It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.”

She also talked about the irregular nature of Beyoncé‘s sudden release. “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she said. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.”

EW’s music critic Nick Catucci is hard at work in his music-critic terrarium, prepping a full review of the album which will be up on EW.com this afternoon. (Update: Here’s the review!) In the meantime, though, you can take a look at the full run of the album’s video snippets (there are visual clips for each of Beyonce‘s 14 tracks, plus three bonuses), and draw your own conclusions:

READ FULL STORY

Grammy nomination snubs and surprises: Justin Timberlake, Sara Bareilles, Lorde and more

The nominations for the Grammy Awards always seem to lead to more arguments than any other music awards shows’ choices do. That’s inevitable, since the Grammys’ list of categories is so vast and sometimes confusing, and the criteria by which the nominating committee settles on its selections is often inexplicable.

The announcement of the list of potential Grammy winners last night was no different, and it starts at the top: Jay Z lead all artists with nine total nominations, even though his 2013 release Magna Carta…Holy Grail was considered tepid at best (an adjudication Jigga himself seems to share). What’s even stranger is that none of those nine nominations are in the Big Three categories: Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Record of the Year. He also shares a couple of those nominations with Justin Timberlake for “Suit & Tie.” So Jay taking home the most nominations is a little deceptive — it’s not like the year Adele scored a boatload of nods and then dominated the proceedings.

That’s only the beginning. Here are nine more confusing snubs and pleasant surprises embedded within the Grammy nominations.

Surprise: Justin Timberlake
Weep not for JT; he picked up seven nominations across a multitude of categories, including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

READ FULL STORY

Jay Z ranked all his albums, but did he get it right?

Yesterday was Jay Z’s birthday, and he celebrated turning 44 years old the way anybody would: By announcing he and his wife were going vegan and then ranking his 12 solo albums.

Jigga put his debut Reasonable Doubt at number one and his post-retirement comeback Kingdom Come at the bottom (of that last one, he noted, “First game back, don’t shoot me”). Here’s what his whole list looked like, with his commentary (and note that this only deals with his solo joints, so neither of his R. Kelly team-ups nor Watch the Throne were included).

1. Reasonable Doubt (Classic)
2. The Blueprint (Classic)
3. The Black Album (Classic)
4. Vol. 2 (Classic)
5. American Gangster (4 1/2, cohesive)
6. Magna Carta…Holy Grail (F—wit, Tom Ford, Oceans, Beach, On the Run, Grail)
7. 
Vol. 1 (Sunshine kills this album… Streets, Where I’m from, You Must Love Me)
8.
 BP3 (Sorry critics, it’s good. Empire (Gave Frank a run for his money))
9. Dynasty (Intro alone…)
10. Vol. 3 (Pimp C verse alone… oh, So Ghetto)
11. BP2 (Too many songs. F—ing Guru and Hip Hop, ha)
12. Kingdom Come (First game back, don’t shoot me)

So now that Jay Z has come clean on how he thinks his career has shaken out, there’s only one question left: Did he get it right?  READ FULL STORY

Jay Z stands by Barneys, promises to address accusations of the store's racial profiling 'head on'

Jay Z announced Friday he’ll move forward with a planned collaboration with Barneys New York despite recent allegations of racial profiling at the luxury store, an ongoing investigation into the claims and public pressure that he back out of the deal.

In a statement on his website, Jay Z said he’d agreed to move forward with next week’s launch of his BNY SCC collection under the condition that he helps lead the store’s review of its policies.

“The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policymaking to others hoping that someone addresses the problem,” said Jay Z. “I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.”

He said 100 percent of sales from the collection of clothes, accessories and jewelry will go toward his charitable foundation, which supports educational opportunities for disadvantaged students, and an additional 10 percent of all Barneys’ sales during Wednesday’s launch day will also be donated. READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z 'The Black Album' turns 10: A look back at a decade of non-retirement

What More Can He Say? It’s been ten years since Jay Z released his seminal Black Album and announced that he was leaving the game forever. (We know how that went.) To celebrate the decade that was, here’s a review of some of Hova’s greatest accomplishments in the years since he announced his post-Black “retirement”:

Fade To Black

What’s retirement without a farewell party? Jay’s retirement blowout at New York’s Madison Square Garden — the arena sold out within a day, and included appearances from his future wife Beyonce, and announcer Michael Buffer to send him off properly — was filmed and later released as a documentary called Fade to Black.

Just kidding! Four more albums

2006 saw the unretirement of Jay with the release of Kingdom Come in November (it moved 680,000 copies its first week out, his best numbers to date). Then came the American Gangster concept album, inspired by the Denzel Washington movie of the same name, in 2007, and debuted at no. 1 yet again.  The Blueprint 3 followed in 2009 (yet again, a no. 1) and spawned the monster hits “Empire State of Mind” and “Run This Town.”

July 4, 2013 brought his 12th studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail –also his first to sell one million copies in a single week, albeit with an asterisk. With its Samsung tie-in Magna Carta helped shake up the standard practices of Billboard and the RIAA.

READ FULL STORY

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