Jay-Z is busy already saving the rest of hip-hop. Now, the legendary Webster Hall has scheduled the Grammy-award winning artist to headline the reopening of the venue in the East Village on April 26.
The iconic venue was shut down back in 2017 for renovations as part of its sale to AEG and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (the company that owns Barclays Center). Now they’re christening its return with a performance from Hov.
The only issue — tickets started around $300 and are reportedly reselling at $800 a pop.
Jay Z is playing the re-opening of Webster Hall. Pre-sale tickets START at $250.
According to the site, the tickets are “a resale marketplace for event tickets.” The website places tickets for sale “by individuals who can no longer attend the events that they purchased, and by professional resellers.”
In operation since 1886, Webster Hall started off as a storied club called the Ritz. Since then it has grown to become one of the biggest independent venues in New York. Still, although Webster Hall has hosted some of the biggest names, the famous venue Hall has always had a grimy hole-in-the-wall feel.
Likewise, East Village is a neighborhood that’s been there forever. There are old-school bars, performance spaces that share the streets with cocktail lounges, boutiques, vintage shops, tattoo parlors and more.
Going there to see Jay-Z for $800 doesn’t only sound right, it doesn’t feel right.
“When we were thinking about who would be the right choice to open this legendary venue, we knew it had to be a world-famous New York City icon,” said Brett Yormark, chief executive officer of BSE Global said in a press release.
“No one fits that description better than Jay-Z, who will join an unparalleled list of celebrated performers who have played Webster Hall.”
To be fair, there aren’t going to be many places where you can see Jay-Z for lower than $300 bucks. Additionally, no one is suggesting that he isn’t worth the watch. Plus, he is performing another installment of his rare B-sides tapes. For these prices, the concert should be at an arena with an entire experience to foot — not at a private venue.
The concert hall says in a press release that the recent renovation “aims to preserve the iconic features of the venue while modernizing it to meet today’s entertainment and guest experience standards.” I guess that means more expensive ticket prices.
If one thing is for sure, Jay-Z is a billionaire who knows how to move like one. Maybe his financial preachings on 4:44 only suggest that maybe we’re too broke to see him.
Others set to perform there include Patti Smith and Her Band, Rosalia, MGMT, Empire of the Sun, Old Dominion and Chromeo and you can cop tickets online here.
Friday releases have become customary for hip-hop’s album dumps but today (Friday, Nov 30th) was one for the books.
Just for a brief snapshot: there was Earl Sweatshirt’s Some Rap Songs, which has been long awaited since his last album, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, was released in 2015. Kodak Black continued his momentum after being released from prison with the single “Calling My Spirit,” Lil Baby dropped his second studio album, Street Gossip, Big K.R.I.T., dropped a surprise album, Double Down, and Chance The Rapper returned with the single. “The Man Who.”
We’re talking household names that have already made an impact on the game, all in one night. But throughout all the noise and ooh’s and ahh’s, one verse cut clear through and stood alone: Jay-Z’s feature on Meek Mill’s single, “What’s Free”.
Now, for too many reasons that one the internet lost their collective minds. Anytime Jay-Z raps it’s an event, he arguably pulled off the verse of the year but weeks removed from the last day of December and, apparently, he dissed Kanye?
This was the line everybody went crazy over:
“No red hat, don’t Michael and Prince me and Ye //
They separate you when you got Michael and Prince’s DNA //
I ain’t one of those house (expletives) you bought //
My house like a resort, my house bigger than yours,”
To be fair, ever since Jay-Z and Beyonce didn’t attend Kanye and Kim’s wedding in 2014, their relationship hasn’t been quite the same but the duo, who have countless classics together under their belt, clearly started to go in a different direction after Ye’s public rants during 2016’s Saint Pablo tour where Ye said,
“Don’t call me after the robbery and say ‘how you feelin?’ You wanna know how I’m feelin? Come by the house,” he tells a packed crowd at his Seattle concert. “Bring the kids by the house. Like we’re brothers. Let’s sit down.”
If anyone knows the Carter’s, you know they move discreetly, so you can imagine why the tie was severed at this point.
Kanye’s decision to dive into politics didn’t help his case either. Between championing Trump, wearing the MAGA hat, saying slavery was a “choice” and going to the White House, we all could see there was clear contrast in paths between him and Hov, especially given how Jay has been socially active on the other side of Kanye’s political sphere — fighting for prison reform and even going back and forth with 45 himself.
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!
Leave it to Jay-Z for everyone to run off with the meaning of a bar that was the polar opposite of it’s intended meaning. But the bar was brilliant, really.
Instead of doing what the WorldStar enthusiasts, instigators, and President Trump want, Jay-Z decided not to bash his long-time friend. In the example used in the verse, Jay- Z actually thinks it’s counterproductive to feud with his comparably influential peer unlike Michael Jackson and Prince in the 80’s and 90’s.
Jay, who on 4:44 talked about Black prosperity and had songs like “Family Feud,” is living out those principals with this move and it’s really a power play and message to the hip-hop community about unification. Meek’s Championshipsfeatureatures a verse from the Drake.
Meek’s album is an ode to making it through trials and systems placed in front of us to victory. He talks about his battle with the courts and his freedom, the need for community and what triumph for him looks like.
Jay’s verse wasn’t a diss at Ye but rather a call for strength in numbers. Ye even commented on Jay’s explanation suggesting Throne 2 album. Hov took the high road with Ye, only time will tell if the poeple will too.
For the marketing campaign Jay-Z placed ads all over NYC, including several subway stations like the Jay St. stop in Brooklyn as well as Times Square. Signs were also spotted in Los Angeles.
The Brooklyn rapper didn’t stop there. He proceeded to premier an ad during Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The ad cast Mahershala Ali and left Jay-Z fans with hints of a possible short film featuring Academy Award-winner Lupita Nyong’o as well as Donald Glover.
To make the hype even crazier, Tidal tweeted last night that you have to sign up for the streaming service before midnight in order to experience 4:44.
If you didn’t sign up for Tidal before midnight, you are basically fucked. The only way you could experience the exclusive content is by switching to Sprint.
Genius marketing. Especially since Sprint acquired a 33 percent stake of Tidal, bumping the music streaming service’s worth to $600 million. The partnership also makes Tidal available to Sprint’s 45 million retail customers.
Looking back, this isn’t the first time International Hov has used his business savvy to promote an album.
Remember Magna Carta Holy Grail? Jay-Z paired up with Samsung to release his 12th solo album on July 4th back in 2013.
You know what’s boss af?
Pairing up with Samsung and not only striking a $20 million deal, but having them pay for the marketing and front $5 million to purchase 1 million copies of your album.
Let’s take another look at a small step Jay-Z took and turned it into a big business. His promotion of Armand de Brignac, the iconic gold bottle with an ace of spade on it.
No one had ever really heard of the champagne before Jay-Z premiered it in his video for his hit song “Show Me What You Got.”
Back then everyone was poppin’ Cristal, but Jay-Z was responsible for everybody changing their expensive beverage of choice.
So why Champagne Armand de Brignac? Three minutes into the video above you see a waiter bring Hov a bottle of Cristal Champagne but he dubs it and tells him to fetch the gold bottle with the ace of spade.
Why all the beef? Hov boycotted Cristal because of offensive comments from the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud. Rozaud spoke to the Economist in regards to the association between Cristal and the bling lifestyle and if it could actually hurt the brand,
“That’s a good question, but what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”
Hov pulled the champagne from his small chain of popular sports lounges — where bottles of Cristal sold for $450 and $600. In response to Rouzaud’s comments, he said,
“It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud views the ‘hip-hop’ culture as ‘unwelcome attention,”’ Jay-Z said. “I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands including the 40/40 Club nor in my personal life.”
Guess what Hov’s next move was? Copping his own champagne. Jay-Z was paid millions of dollars and equity in Sovereign Brands to promote the champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, that no-one had heard of.
In Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office, Zack O’Malley Greenburg broke down Jigga’s profit:
“The production cost per bottle of Armand de Brignac is about $13; the wholesale price is $225. The maximum output is 60,000 bottles per year. If Jay Z splits the $212-per-bottle profit evenly with Cattier and Sovereign, a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests his annual take would be a little over $4 million.”
Moving on to the next venture that Jay-Z absolutely crushed, his work with search engine Bing and his autobiography Decoded was revolutionary once again.
Bing and Jay-Z collaborated and created probably one of the best marketing campaigns the web has ever seen. Media was calling the campaign “Rap’s Rosetta Stone.”
For the collab, Bing and Hov dropped a page of the book every day in a new location over the course of a month leading up to the autobiography’s release. Each location was inspired by a different story on each page.
Pages were placed in 13 major cities in the US. This allowed fans to experience Hov’s story in real time, putting the entire biography in context.
A bronze plaque was installed in the Marcy Projects, an entire Cadillac was wrapped in a page and paid homage to the birthplace of hip-hop, and a page was even transcribed onto the floor at the Delano Pool in Miami.
The campaign helped Bing acquire an 11.7 percent increase in visits, enter the global top 10 most visited sites, and earn 1.1 billion media impressions.
Jay-Z’s Facebook followers grew by 1.1 million and Decoded was a NYT bestseller for 19 weeks. This was all in the course of one month.
Let’s not forget about Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation. Founded in 2008, the full-service entertainment company houses a record label, talent agency, a touring and concert production company, music, film, and television production company, and a music publishing house.
The client list includes some of the world’s most recognizable names: from Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, and Big Sean to Yoenis Cespedes, Kevin Durant, Dez Bryant, and Robinson Cano.
To jump start Roc Nation’s music distribution, Hov signed a 4-year distribution deal with Sony Music back in 2009. Following their success in 2010, Roc Nation partnered with London-based entertainment company Three Six Zero Group.
In February 2013, Roc Nation made major moves, signing a worldwide music publishing administration deal with Warner/Chappell Music.
Even after the Sony deal expired, Hov managed to get a multi-year partnership with Universal Music.
Music is not Roc Nation’s only money maker. The sports division brought in a whopping $19.2 million as of September 2016, representing less than 20 clients. That is a major move.
Jay-Z has got the Midas touch. Just this year, Roc Nation announced the formation of Arrive, a new division of the company that will focus on investing and nurturing promising startups. Hov will own the past, present, and future.
The ambiguous ads left the music industry in a state of confusion as media and fans tried to figure out what the numbers meant. Blogs crafted theories attempting to decode the numbers, but no site could figure it out.
Variety’sRoy Trakin went in with the breakdown of what the numbers could possibly mean,
Jay-Z and Beyonce have both attached significance to the number “4,” sporting matching “IV” tattoos on their wedding, while Jay Z’s birthday is December 4 and Beyonce’s is September 4. Their daughter’s name Blue Ivy (IV, the Roman numeral for 4). He’s also released songs called “22 Twos” and “44 Fours.” Others speculate it’s the long-awaited Blueprint 4 or the :44 could mean the eagerly anticipated Jigga-Bey collab. Or could it be a reference to the birth of the couple’s twins?
Trust me, when those numbers were revealed, and knowing that Jay-Z was behind it, I bugged.
Especially after seeing Swizz beats and Jigga together in May on Instagram with the caption “AlbumModeZone”
Alright, Hov are you just chillin’ laughing at us? Like, what exactly is 4:44? Is it an album? Is it a video album? Could it all just be a hoax?
An ad premiered during Game 3 of the NBA Finals last night giving us at least some answers.
The commercial had incredible visuals and starts out with Mahershala Ali’s slowly creeping out of the darkness to the toughest fuckin beat. The scene then cuts to Ali sparring with a punching bag. Viewers then got to see the amazing cast of who would be starring in the film with Ali.
No big deal just another Academy Award winner, Lupita Nyong’o, and Donald Glover. It turns out 4:44 is a collaboration between Tidal and Sprint and it is a film that will debut on Tidal.
There is obviously still speculation if Jay-Z is dropping an album and once we followed the link it brought us to a landing page that said we would find out more tomorrow. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.