“Hard Knock Life”/ “H to the Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”/ “Empire State of Mind”
S.Dot: New York, we here!
J-Rod: Brooklyn in the house! Without a doubt, Kings County (I see you Bed-Stuy) was reppin’ in the A. Still, Jay had some guts to spit his Big Apple anthem in the Peach State. Like the beginning two tracks, though, particularly “Hard Knock Life,” first he got their hearts and then he won their hearts. Advantage, Jigga.
“Runaway”/ “Heartless”/ “Stronger”
S.Dot: Kanye’s outfits for this show… That’s all I’m going to say.
J-Rod: Yeezy, I think, made his mark during this blokc. He changed part of his (puzzling) outfit and with the collar of his leather jacket popped, he launched into a moving back-to-back display of emotion. He stood on the elevated stage as it flashed beaming red lights and delivered a soliloquy, of sorts. “When you love someone it’s not easy when people are in your business, especially like they are with mine,” he said before the Auto-Tune kicked in. “I thought you’d always be mine. If you love somebody tonight hold on real tight.”
“On to the Next One/” “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”/ “I Just Wanna Luv U (Give It 2 Me)”/ “That’s My Bitch”
S.Dot: Once again they were victorious with the lighting. Jay’s silhouette during “On To The Next One” was disgusting. Futuristic fresh! Oh, and something has to be said for hearing a song in the right setting. I never cared for “That’s My Bitch,” but after feeling the energy of the record at the concert, I’m gonna give it a closer listen… Wait… Still not one of my favorites.
J-Rod: Jay made the Illuminati proud on the opener. With the lights turned down and his silhouette projecting on the screen behind him, the leader of the R-O-C roused the audience into a frenzy. (*Flashes Illuminati hand signal*)
“Good Life”/ “Touch the Sky”/ “All of the Lights”
S.Dot: I wanted them to implement the rising stage for “Touch The Sky.” All good, though.
J-Rod: It was like Mr. West worked his way into game shape up to this point, starting off with a measured take on his early solo intermissions and by this interlude he was all in. “Touch the Sky” was tough; the screens behind him displaying eagles soaring was an ill addition.
“Big Pimpin’”/ “Gold Digger”/ “99 Problems”/ “No Church for the Wild”/ “Lift Off”/ “Niggas in Paris”
S.Dot: Funny exchange how they went “Big Pimpin” to “Gold Digger” to “99 Problems.” But to me, “No Church In The Wild” stole the show. The lead up to the record with some really disturbing images on the screen above the main stage was highlighted by a small Caucasian boy standing in a KKK robe. “What A Wonderful World” played during the montage.
J-Rod: The first two songs featured a cool “Big Brother” moment. After Jay finished “Big Pimipin’,” Ye ran on stage (see, I’ma let you finish…) and told Jay: “I love “Big Pimpin’,” I used to watch it on TV. I used to look up to you. I listened to the lyrics. I try it. But then, you know what happens…” and “Gold Digger” boomed through the speakers. After that, things really got bonkers when they did “Niggas in Paris” three times in row. Racks on racks on racks!
“Encore”/ “Illest Motherfucker Alive”/ “So Appalled”
S.Dot: “Encore” made sense, and I loved the spontaneity with the last two songs, when they asked the crowd to wait while they figured out what tracks to do (Jigga even had to put his ear pieces back in, LOL) but I really wanted “Murder To Excellence” and “Roc Boys.” No “Roc Boys”…?
J-Rod: There’s no better song to end a rap show than “Encore.” Hands down. Yeah, it’s an easy gimmie to a devoted audience (but a layup is worth two points just like a tough fade away). Still, in every city, every time, it never fails; Kanye on stage was an added bonus. Every one in attendance, all at once, chanting Hova over and over again, throwing up their Roc diamond signs with their hands. Jay and ‘Ye were definitely in their zone.