Posts Tagged ‘Jay-Z’

For its 121st year, Carnegie Hall will host its first solo hip hop artist headliner. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will once again make history by performing at the historical music venue during his benefit concert to raise money for both the United Way and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.

With the release of his most recent solo studio album “The Blueprint 3,” Jay-Z now holds the record for the solo act with the most No. 1 albums in Billboard history and the second-most No. 1 albums altogether. The only thing stopping Jay-Z from holding the record for the most No. 1 albums are The Beatles.

The Jay-Z and The Beatles comparisons have always been discussed, and this historic event will only perpetuate them. Although not the first rock band to perform at Carnegie Hall, The Beatles did change the culture of the venue. Historically, Carnegie Hall was a venue for classical music and, as time progressed, it evolved. Classic jazz artists such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and even Count Basie began to perform at the Manhattan concert hall. When The Beatles performed at Carnegie Hall during their first trip to the U.S., those in charge began to diversify the styles and genres of the artists that they booked, and allow underrepresented genres more frequent acts than they had previously hosted.

Despite debates over who is better or who will be the most timeless popular music icon(s), this is a perfect example of how the music industry should and can be a cooperative effort between artists even if they represent different genres or different time periods entirely.

-A.J. Allen

Last week, the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards were finally announced. The results reflected the interests of the general population of mainstream music listeners., but an incredible buzz has arisen from some of the nominations, more specifically those concerning Kanye West. He received more Grammy nominations than did any of his colleagues this year.

After only receiving one nomination for the song “Power” in the category of Best Rap Solo Performance and taking home no awards during last year’s Grammy Awards, Kanye West has come a long way. West has received two nominations for his Jay-Z collaboration “Otis” in the categories of Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance; three nominations for “All of the Lights” in the categories of Song of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Performance; one nomination for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” in the category of Best Rap Album; and one nomination for “Watch the Throne” in the category of Best Rap Album. With so many nominations, it’s natural to worry how the egotistical West will respond in the case that he doesn’t win any awards.

West has a track record for doing and/or saying inappropriate things in public, especially at award shows. Whether it’s the VMAs, the AMAs or even a Hurricane Katrina relief concert, West never fails to make a fool of himself. Let’s hope that Gretchen Wilson, Justice vs. Simian or–his favorite–Taylor Swift don’t try and get in the way of any of Kanye’s nominations.

-A.J. Allen

This week, Jay-Z’s brand Rocawear put up a t-shirt on its site with the words “Occupy All Streets” for $22. Clearly this was a way for the Rocawear brand to take part in Occupy Wall Street.

How great is it that in the midst of the genuine uproar over poverty and unemployment (to put it briefly), a member of the ruling class (yeah sorry, that’s what the 1 percent is) would try to capitalize on the movement.
And not just any member of the ruling class: Jay-Z is someone who comes from utter poverty and knows exactly what systemic inequality looks like. For him to try to capitalize on this movement and profit from it just shows the power of greed.

Since the shirt came out and Hov realized that this might not be the best way to try to make a buck, the shirts have been taken down from the site. I guess not all publicity is good publicity. [[Editor’s note: As of Monday morning, the t-shirt is now for sale again on back-order via the Rocawear website.]]

-Nadjma Sako

Mind the Gap are anything but your typical alternative rock band. Alex Yang, Ruwanga Samath, Ozzy Doniz and Greg Cahn are taking the states by storm with their innovative sound. The diversity of the band’s composition brings musical versatility to the forefront. The group blends smooth vocals and melodic acoustics with futuristic synthpop that keeps the listener guessing from track to track.

The unique qualities of each song are engaging and command the audience’s full attention. The band recently released their debut album “The Good Fight,” and have begun to receive widespread recognition. In celebration of the band’s recent nomination for the 2012 All Indie Music Awards, JERK caught up with band members Greg and Alex to further delve into the complexities of their music.


Pop/R&B star Justin Bieber has won upwards of 40 awards for his accomplishments as a singer, including: eight Teen Choice Awards, two Kids’ Choice Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and three American Music Awards. Although already established as every 13-year-old girl’s idol, Bieber is clearly not content and has decided to try his luck at rapping. On Nov. 2, Bieber appeared on L.A. radio station Power 106 to show America his rhyming skills in a freestyle over Kanye West’s and Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne” hit “Otis.”

Surprisingly, this is not the first time Bieber has shown interest in rapping. Ever since his release of “Baby,” these types of videos have been floating around the web. Bieber has even been featured as a rapper on Chris Brown’s latest mixtape, “Boy in Detention,” in the “Look At Me Now” sample-inspired track “Ladies Love Me.” Shawty Mane, Bieber’s rap alter ego, even released a music video via Twitter called “Speaking in Tongues” about a year ago.

Perhaps, it was the Ludacris verse on Bieber’s hit “Baby” that inspired the Canadian-born vocalist to test his abilities in the Hip-Hop realm. Or, maybe this freestyle was just a publicity stunt so that Bieber could have something in the news other than his baby mama drama and influence people to purchase his new holiday album, “Under the Mistletoe.” Either way, this freestyle is sure to make Bieber critics more skeptical of the teen’s abilities and Bieber fans more enthusiastic about his talent.

-A.J. Allen

Just because I’m going to see Jay-Z perform tonight at the Nassau Coliseum. He’s a musical genius with witty lyrics and incredible swagger. Needless to say, I love him, and I hope you enjoy one of his new singles, “On to the Next One.”

My favorite lyrics in the song:

“No I’m not a Jonas, brother I’m a grown up/No I’m not a virgin, I use my cojones.”

~Krystie Yandoli, Blog Editor

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out.


Here are A couple of definitions for you to consider…

The expression of the relationship between urban youth and their environment. The art of the streets.”

“A culture and form of ground breaking music and self expression with elements that consisted of the elements of graffiti art, DJing, MCing, and breaking. Today Hip-Hop is considered to be dead in the mainstream because so-called mainstream Hip-Hop doesn’t have the elements of hip-hop and have no meaning. The stuff on MTV and the radio can’t be called Hip-Hop because the lyrics don’t have any meaning or self expression. Wack artists today just rap about their shopping lists and other bullshit. There are no more DJs making a prescence since artists today think they can manage without them. Without a DJ there are no scratches and cuts. No much graffiti art is being shown in videos. Artists such as 50 Cent, Nelly, Chingy, J-Kwon, P. Diddy, Cash Money Millionaries lack the 4 elements since their lyrics are ridiculous (no MCing skills), they don’t have any DJ presence in their tracks (notice that so-called hip-hop today lacks scratches and cuts), and not much graffiti art is being expressed. The point of this defintion is to show that MTV/Radio mainstream Bling Rappers should be categorized as Hip-Pop artists, not Hip-Hop artists.”

A lot of the literature I read discussed how hip-hop has deviated way too far from its poetic roots and is now too manufactured to be considered legit. Personally, I just like donning a hoodie and pretending to be a tru gangsta. “Ladies is pimps too.”

Sounds like? A Tribe Called West and De La Soul are known as hip-hop pioneers. Contemporaries would be Run DMC, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Public Enemy, P. Diddy, Ja Rule, Nelly, Jay-Z.

~Sam Morgenstern, Asst. Web Editor

See America Posters - if only government sponsored ads were still this cool...time for a change?

See America Posters - if only government sponsored ads were still this cool...time for a change?

He writes his own books—both landed on the New York Times Bestsellers List. He listens to music as mixed as he is—Howlin’ World to Yo-Yo Ma to Sheryl Crow to Jay-Z fills his ipod playlists. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was a ballet dancer turned politician. And Obama’s own grassroots presidential campaign inspired a political art movement without precedent (check out my November post “A Portrait of Hope”…).

Obama is a cultural giant. And big government is back. This could mean good things for the arts.

Obama’s campaign was sympathetic towards and strongly rooted in our nation’s cultural issues. The Obama-Biden ticket promised a new arts policy—fighting away the copyright-obsessed world of creative expression and fighting for a new kind of accessibility to America’s best cultural forms.

Some see the establishment of a secretary of culture/arts as the next obvious step. But I know (as much as you do) that a new secretary isn’t what we need. Even Quincy Jones commendable fight for such a secretary and his online petition (just shy of 250,000 signatures) isn’t enough for to think otherwise.

What we need is action. And I think the president’s swift and strong actions as lifeguard to a drowning Uncle Sam are an optimistic start. His new economic recovery plan is a beefy “yes we can” initiative that’s better than a Band-Aid for the bad fall of our big businesses. (more…)