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Tag: Jay-Z (21-30 of 182)

Jay-Z defends deal with Barneys after profiling accusations

Jay-Z — under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers — said Saturday he’s being unfairly “demonized” for just waiting to hear all of the facts.

The rap mogul made his first statement about the controversy in a posting on his website. He has come under fire for remaining silent as news surfaced this week that two young black people said they were profiled by Barneys after they purchased expensive items from their Manhattan store.

An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating this week, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys for the holiday season, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.

But Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — defended himself, saying that he hasn’t spoken about it because he’s still trying to figure out exactly what happened.
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Jay Z talks Blue Ivy, wooing Beyonce and more in 'Vanity Fair' cover profile

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Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail didn’t please everyone, but it’s all good — Blue Ivy loved it.

In a new Vanity Fair cover story, Hov addresses a range of topics, from his days as a crack dealer to his current situation as a fortysomething rapper — as well as his daughter’s music tastes. Read on for some of the highlights:
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Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, and the long legacy of album sequels

This week saw the early streaming release of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2 – you can listen to the whole thing in its entirety over at iTunes right now (and then read the official EW review). 

2 of 2 is the sequel to March’s The 20/20 Experience, Timberlake’s long-awaited return to pop music. It’s also the latest in a relatively recent phenomenon: The album sequel. (Add Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 coming in November, to the list.) If movies can do it, why can’t the music world?

With these releases in mind, it’s time to look back at the best examples of album sequels. They don’t all work (in fact, a lot of them do not—be wary of rappers returning to old titles that weren’t that good in the first place), but these are the 10 best, in no particular order.

Jay Z, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life
Jigga has had two different sets of sequels, but his In My Lifetime series is consistently stronger than those albums that contain the title The Blueprint (the original Blueprint is a stone-cold classic, but its two follow-ups are bloated and inconsistent). Vol. 2 was the album that found Jay crossing over into pop territory, as the Annie-sampling single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” gave Jay his first jolt of mainstream popularity—which he has ridden into his status as one of our premiere music stars.

Dr. Dre, 2001
The long-awaited, unofficial sequel to Dre’s landmark solo debut The Chronic (in some circles, it’s still called Chronic 2001, it’s long-rumored working title) hits just as hard as its predecessor and features a handful of tracks (including “What’s the Difference?” and especially “The Next Episode”) that sounded instantly timeless—and have remained so.  READ FULL STORY

Kanye West and Jay Z each announce separate tours

Kanye West, who hasn’t gone on a solo tour since 2008, announced this morning that he’ll embark on The Yeezus Tour, a 23 city North American trek kicking off October 19 in Seattle (the same place West launched his Glow In the Dark tour back in ’08—Yeezy must really dig the Space Needle).

He’s bringing along summer festival VIP Kendrick Lamar as his opening act. Tickets go on sale next Friday, September 13 in most cities, and you can check out all of the dates and venues at the bottom of this post. And if you see your city listed — um, no return dates for you, Kazakhstan — be sure to let your local French bakery know when Kanye is coming; as we know, dude can be pretty demanding.

Not to be outdone, Jay Z also announced a new tour this morning. Jigga’s Magna Carter World Tour finally has its North American bookings, which will begin in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 30 (hope he’s packing a parka). The 34 date run will take him through the new year and includes a pair of stops at his home court in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on January 12 and 13. Tickets go on sale Thursday, September 12, and the entirety of Jay’s run is below as well.

So the two biggest hip-hop acts in America are going on separate tours, hitting many of the same cities. Let’s assume that the tickets will be impossibly expensive (because let’s face it, most all concert tickets are impossibly expensive), and you can only afford to go to one this fall. Which one do you choose? Let us know in the comments.

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Jay Z and Ron Howard's 'Made In America' documentary to air on Showtime

Jay Z has had a busy summer: A platinum album, a sold-out tour, and a new video with Justin Timberlake for “Holy Grail.”  But, while fans gear up for the second year of his Budweiser Made In American Festival on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway this weekend, the rapper scored yet another win as Showtime announced plans to debut the documentary about the Jay Z-curated festival on October 11th at 9 p.m. ET.

The film, directed by Ron Howard,  chronicles the inaugural two-day music fest and will make its first appearance at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7. Produced by Jay Z and Ron Howard, the documentary will feature live performances and interviews with Kanye West, Odd Future, Janelle Monáe, Jill Scott, Run-DMC, Passion Pit, Pearl Jam, and more from the 2012 festival.

Watch the trailer for the film below:

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Jay Z drops 'Holy Grail' video featuring Justin Timberlake: Watch it here

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Surprisingly, Jay Z didn’t make a single appearance at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, despite the fact that it took place inside the arena that he kinda-sorta had a hand in constructing. (Though he and Mrs. Carter did show up for the after-party.)

Perhaps he was just putting the finishing touches on the video for “Holy Grail,” the Justin Timberlake-featuring single that has been sitting in the top 10 since Magna Carta Holy Grail dropped. In the clip, directed by Anthony Mandler, Jigga contemplates Mike Tyson in front of the video monitors from 12 Monkeys inside Daniel Plainview’s dilapidated mansion while presiding over the nightmare feast from Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” video.

There’s a scantily-filled swimming pool and a tower of champagne glasses, as well as Timberlake crooning in front of a burning car. It’s pretty arresting, honestly, and the remixed iteration of the song is miles beyond the album version. 

The clip premiered on Facebook, but you can give it a spin below.  READ FULL STORY

Chart news: Luke Bryan album snags year's third biggest sales week, Katy beats Gaga in the singles race

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Luke Bryan just joined the majors.

The country star has been a force to be reckoned with for a while now, of course. But this week he entered a rarefied club thanks to his new album’s monster sales week: Crash My Party sold slightly shy of 528,000 copies in its debut week, Billboard reports, putting Bryan behind only Justin Timberlake (968,000) and Jay Z (just north of 528,000) in terms of first-week album sales this year.

To make the feat more impressive is the fact that Bryan’s sales week is the biggest posted by a male country musician in almost nine years, since Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying (766,000). That’s right, Tim McGraw – talk about back when.

Meanwhile, on the pop end of the spectrum, the East Coast-West Coast battle between the new Katy Perry and Lada Gaga singles came out in the California Gurl’s favor. “Roar” topped the Digital Songs chart, bowing with a higher-than-expected 557,000 downloads. That’s the sixth-biggest sales week for a digital song, Billboard points out, and the third biggest for a debut.

Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” on the other hand, only slotted at No. 3 with 218,000 downloads in its opening week.

And in between the two ladies (just like he likes it) is Robin Thicke, whose unstoppable “Blurred Lines” stood at No. 2 with 291,000.

Jay Z bringing his 'Picasso Baby' to HBO -- VIDEO

Earlier this month, Jay Z showed up at a Manhattan art gallery and lip-synched his Magna Carta Holy Grail track “Picasso Baby” for hours as gallery-goers streamed in and out to be part of the surprise art installation.

Now everyone can partake in Jay’s experiment when Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film hits HBO. A sneak peek from the mega-music video includes Alan Cumming and Judd Apatow interacting with the rap royalty, along with throngs of fans invited to get up close and personal. Check out the preview below:
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Jay-Z wins at everything: His new album tops album charts, breaks Spotify records

Jay-Z’s got a lot of reasons to smile this week.

First off, he’s married to Beyoncé. Still! But more immediately, the man’s latest effort, Magna Carta Holy Grail, is killing it commercially: Soundscan reports that the album moved a blockbuster 527,000 copies in its first week, giving Jay the 13th No. 1 album of his career.

That number exceeds the high-profile bows of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (339,000 its first week out), and Kanye West’s Yeezus (327,000). It’s still, however, lower than the year’s biggest debut, Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, which notched 968,000.

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Jay-Z shot a video at a Manhattan art gallery today, and everyone wanted to be involved

What does Pace Gallery, Lena Dunham’s mom, and Twitter all have in common?

They were all obsessed with Jay-Z this afternoon, after the rapper surprise showed up to Pace Gallery in Manhattan, where Vines of Jay-Z dancing amongst museum-goers –presumable to be turned into some kind of music video —  quickly dominated social feeds. Take that, Tilda Swinton!

Admittance to watch Jay-Z lip-sync/performance art his new track off Magna Carta Holy Grail, “Picasso Baby,” required a golden ticket of sorts, an invite-only white piece of paper that was emailed to lucky members of the art, media and – according to at least one person EW spoke with outside – even the 40/40 club membership list yesterday. The paper, after check-in in another building, allowed a lucky few into the gallery to pretend to party with Jay-Z.

Outside the gallery, which, around 4:00 local time this afternoon was populated with over 100 fans attempting in vain to get inside the guarded big white doors, EW caught up with a few of the dancers/performers who’d been hired as background, and even they didn’t find out that it was a Jay-Z video until earlier that day. “It was all hidden,” explained Nicole Page, one in a group of six performers that were waiting in the 90-degree weather for their call time. “We were told it was for a Mark Romanek [who directed Jay-Z's "99 Problems"] video. We don’t know anything except what the time frame is. …We’ve been here since this morning.”

For Manhattanites who instantly booked it downtown upon hearing of the Jay-Z sightings, the mixed reviews of Magna Carta (Read EW’s review) had no place in this line, full of people who were eager to profess that the rapper’s 12th studio album was among his best yet. “F—ing awesome!” one line member yelled to EW. Aaron Cho, a twenty-something fan who was hopeful to get a glimpse of his idol, also couldn’t help but gush: “[I] love it, especially “Picasso Baby.” I work in the art industry and I love that Jay-Z is talking about art. It’s really related to the music world as well. ‘I want to be a billionaire’ It sounds greedy but it’s awesome at the same time.”

For fan Sal Emelin, who has been to five Jay-Z concerts, even the importance of a grad school final couldn’t slow down his attempt to rush to the gallery. “[Magna Carta Holy Grail is] one of his best albums. I expected it to be a so-so album, due to him not really promoting [it],” he explained. “…It’ll take time for people to really listen to it and let it settle in their minds. History will show it to be one of Jay-Z’s top albums.”

Alas, even great spin like that doesn’t immediately get you inside.

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