For two straight nights on September 13 & 14, hip hop legends Jay-Z and Eminem hit the stage performing the first ever concerts at the new Yankee Stadium as part of their Home and Home tour. The rappers sold out Yankee Stadium for both nights, playing to crowds of around 80,000 fans. The concept of the tour was for both rappers to fill stadiums in their respective home towns of Detroit( Comerica Stadium- September 2 & 3) and (Yankee Stadium- September 13 &14)
In bringing their show to the iconic Yankee Stadium the rappers showed that they are not about to let age dictate what their current role in hip hop should be, and that they are here to stay in hip hop. Also in bringing the show to life the rappers presented a sense of unity in hip hop– which is not often displayed by inviting fellow hip hop artist Dr. Dre, Drake, Kanye West, 50 Cent and G-Unit, Swizz Beatz Drake and Nicki Minaj to the stage to name a few.
Before the evening’s headliners even hit the stage the mood was set for the evening first by playing a string of tracks from slain rapper Tupac Shakur, who’s status is one of being a legendary hip hop icon. Atlanta rapper B.o.B. opened the show with songs from his debut album ” The Adventures of Bobby Ray” including Nothin on You and his latest single Magic, ending his half hour set at 8 pm. The crowd was just getting warmed up and although gave a positive response to B.o.B’s performance it was evident the crowd was eager for the “main” event.
At 8:30, words appeared on the two giant LED screens on the side of the stage, which discussed about Eminem’s break from hip hop in 2005, and how now was his time to return. Arising from under the stage Eminem launched into his track “Won’t Back Down” off of his latest album Recovery. Throughout Em’s hour and forty minute set he performed tracks off of his latest album including “Love The Way You Lie”(minus Rihanna), as well as classics such as Stan, The Real Slim Shady, My Name is…, Kill You,Without Me and others. During his set Em brought out Dr. Dre during “The Real Slim Shady”to massive applause, in which the two went on to perform “Still D.R.E,” “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” and “Crack a Bottle.” Before exiting Em instructed the audience to show their love for Dr. Dre, and getting the audience to chant for the release of Dre’s upcoming album Detox to which the Dr. replied, I will not let you down.”. Other guest during Eminem’s set included 50 cent and G-Unit, in which 50 came out during “Patiently Waiting”, then did a solo performance of “In Da Club”. Eminem closed out his set with “Not Afraid” returning a few moments later for a Encore performance of “Lose Yourself”, marked by a ending filled with enough fireworks for a Independence Day show.
About a hour and forty minutes after Em’s performance Jay-Z came out from under the stage performing “Dynasty” followed by “Run this Town,” during which he brought out Kanye West to the stage. West and Jay-Z performed Power Remix together as well as Monster, in which Kanye and Jay were joined onstage by Nicki Minaj, in which the crowd went wild.Kanye also brought the crowd back to “Graduation” with his performance of his 2007 track “Good Life”. Jay performed many of his classic hits from his career, including “Hard Knock Life,” “Big Pimpin,” “Jigga What, Jigga Who,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “99 Problems,” “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” and “Dirt of Your Shoulder” just to name a few. Jay also brought out Queen of Soul Mary J. Blige to perform with him on “Song Cry”, Swizz Beatz to perform “On To The Next One”, wife Beyonce for “Forever Young”, Eminem for “Renegade”, Bridget Kelly for Empire State of Mind rapper Drake for “Light Up”. Jay ended the show with “Encore”.
The shows at Yankee Stadium were definitely a defining moment not just in the careers of Jay-Z and Eminem but for hip hop as a whole. What attracted the fans to the shows were not only their love for the artist, but the plain idea that Jay and Eminem both truly know what hip hop is, and they don’t pretend, never coming across as fake giving the audience that genuine honest feeling about their music and performance.