“Guess Who’s Bizzack?”

Jay Z at the Greensboro Coliseum
February 28, 2010
With Young Jeezy and Trey Songz

The masses are descending upon Greensboro Coliseum this weekend to catch a glimpse of some of the biggest teams and best college basketball players in the country at the ACC Men’s Tournament. Two weeks ago, on February 28, the scene was similar but also very different as people flocked to the Coliseum to catch a glimpse of the ultimate baller–the best rapper alive–Jay Z.

My friend Woody and I jumped at the chance to see this concert, although he doesn’t agree with the best rapper alive statement. Jay Z has already “retired” twice, so who knows when he’ll seriously call it quits. He’s also coming off one of the top four or five albums of his career (in my opinion), so we didn’t mind the Sunday afternoon trip to Greensboro for the show.

The opening act was Trey Songz, who warmed the crowd up with his R&B set. I had never heard of him prior to showtime, but I’m out of the loop on these things. The crowd knew his songs though, and he did a good job of getting them warmed up.

Other than seeing Snoop a couple times with rock bands, I hadn’t really been to a rap concert. My dad taking me and a friend to the Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Hammer concert at the Dean Dome in fifth grade is not the same. So we just figured that Young Jeezy, the other featured artist, would perform his set before Jay Z. But when we heard the arena go from silent to bumping the first lines of “Run this Town,” we realized this was not the case and sprinted from the Coliseum bar up to our seats.

Jay Z did the first couple of songs by himself, then brought out his long-time hype man, Memphis Bleek. The two trading verses during “99 Problems” was one of the highlights of the first part of the set. The anthem that has become “Empire State of Mind” was the other early highlight. No Alicia Keys, but the woman they had singing that part did a powerful job, and the projection screen showed dramatic aerial shots of The City That Never Sleeps while Jay Z paid tribute to his hometown. Quite a moment. He later brought Trey Songz out to sing Kid Cudi’s part from “Already Home” off the new album–one of my favorite new tracks.

Then Young Jeezy came out and performed his song, “Real as it Gets,” with Jay Z that appears on The Blueprint 3 . Jay Z left the stage and Jeezy went on to perform about 8-10 of his songs. I recognized some hooks, but again, I don’t listen to new R&B/Hip Hop on the radio. But I really felt old when I noticed that the crowd was almost into Jeezy’s songs more than they were Jigga’s. Kind of a sad moment for myself, so I went and got a Busch Ice super tall boy and waited for the man I came to see to come back on stage.

Jay Z’s finish was strong, and I think the majority of the crowd at the highest grossing date on tour (according to Jay Z’s comments at the show’s start) left feeling as satisfied and as hyped as I did. It’s easy to argue that seeing Jay Z now is like seeing Zeppelin or The Stones in their prime. Now I can brush that dirt off my shoulders and cross that one off my list.

Slide show of the concert from the News & Record (no audio)

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One Comment on ““Guess Who’s Bizzack?””

  1. Andy Medlin Says:

    Here is an interesting break down of the BP3 album by Bomani Jones, a sports talk radio host whose commentary on most things I enjoy. I don’t agree with his feeling on “Young Forever,” but all around, a good analysis.

    http://www.bomanijones.com/blog/2009/09/03/lets-talk-about-blueprint-3/


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