TRUTH. I know this is not a verse from J Cole. It’s from his mentor and Roc Nation labelhead Jay-Z. My reason for leading today’s DDR with an excerpt from “N****s in Paris” rests in my attendance at the launch of the world tour called “Watch the Throne” in Atlanta this past Friday. If this is what balling feels like, then I am not afraid to accept it. Thank you to the Universe for lining up the people and the positive energy to get me home to witness with my sister the first of a two-night show. I left Boston on a 4pm flight, changed clothes on the plane, landed in Atlanta at 7:30, and my sister and I headed to Philips Arena. Comp tickets in the Jim Ellis Lounge. Ballinnnnn’ in my raspy Jim Jones voice!!!
It felt like two concerts for the price of one. Both Jigga and Yeezy had their own mini-stages, and one big stage that they shared. The show opened with “HAM”. Jay-Z was on one stage and Kanye was on another. Kanye did some of his classics like “Get My Money Right” and “Good Life”, both produced by Atlanta producer DJ Toomp. He also did “Jesus Walks”, “Heartless”, and “Runaway” from Dark Fantasy. Jay-Z performed “On to the Next One”, “Jigga What”, “Encore”, and “Brush Your Shoulders Off”. There were lasers, red lights, and green lights. Fire, flame, and big screens showing footage relative to whatever song they performed. For example, “Welcome to the Jungle” was footage of a cheetah in a safari chasing down a hyena or something. “Made in America” was carried by video of Martin Luther King, images of the KKK, and a nuclear bomb’s mushroom cloud rising into the atmosphere. And the bass knock in “No Church in the Wild” made the arena shake – or at least it felt like it because the energy was just that thick. After they worked out the sound kinks, the show began to run even smoother. I suspect Saturday night’s show was much tighter.
The DDR: The performance of “N****s in Paris” was so intense the arena actually looked like a tribe of people jumping up and down all at the same time, members swing their arms around. It was so intoxicating that Hova stopped the song and told the sound guy to start it over. We went even higher! It was phenomenal. I stood up the entire concert. My feet were killing me after my adrenaline settled at the end. It was worth it!! “N****s in Paris” is one of my favorite songs and verses because of its literal meaning, but more so because of the Paris metaphor. What is your Paris? Where is the place that you go to – physical or imaginary – that reminds you that your life could be much different. Perhaps much worse. Be sure to celebrate your Paris whatever it might be. Because if you escaped what I escaped you’d be in Paris getting f’d up too! Enjoy your Monday. 30 Days of… Starts Wednesday Nov 2nd!! Stay tuned.