Mary J. Blige Live Show>>>>> Jay-Z Live Show

So me and the homies Jesus and Lowkey went to see Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige perform their second to last Heart Of The City tour date at Madison Square Garden last night.

I’m a big Jay supporter pre-Kingdome Come, but I must say, I’ve never enjoyed his stage show much. His catalog is insane, though. I mean, it’s really impressive when you consider that he didn’t even perform hits like, “Do It Again” and “Excuse Me Miss” remix after an hour plus set. Thank God, because we may have been there for a few more hours and I couldn’t possibly bear it. Dude is just too constipated up there. It’s always the same reluctant back and forth hand and shoulder motions and “put your diamonds up” requests. I may as well have given the MSG engineer my iPod and told him to put Jay on shuffle. Same difference, except I may have heard “D’evils” or “Friend Of Foe.” I actually take insult to dude asking me to move and put my hands up when he refuses to budge his damn self. I don’t buy the laid back excuse. I suspect that he is either uncomfortable or doesn’t like to exercise much. Amazingly, he apparently used to be worse.

Meanwhile, word is that Mary J. got better. I wouldn’t know. It was my first time seeing her perform live, and I must say she just killed it. She gets flack for having limited range, but her voice sounded just like her records live. Where Jay was stiff, Mary was energetically two-stepping, doing the whop, some quasi pop and locking and of course her own indescribable MJB dance moves. She just leaves her heart and soul on that stage.Blige’s catalog is just as monstrous as Jay’s. Shorty performed all types of classics including, “Real Love,” “Sweet Thing,” “Bring Me Joy,” “All I Need” with a suprise appearance from Method Man, “Your Child,” “Family Affair” and many more. Impressively, dudes joined in on the sing along during “Not Gon Cry” and “I’m Going Down,” two of her most chick-relatable songs. Usually dudes would have fell back and tried to look cool, but Mary was going in so hard, the fellers, me included, just couldn’t do her like that. The sing along reached a peak on “I’m Going Down,” where Mary held the mic for the audience and let them sing the entire freakin’ song.By most accounts, Mary’s set topped Jay’s. Also see what my homies Lowkey and Jesus had to say about the concert.

Let’s not get it twisted, Hov still gives a decent show, but I’m starting to think he needs guests to be great on stage. Ask anybody about his farewell MSG concert, the show documented in Fade To Black. Dude had the Roots backing him up, Foxy Brown, Mary, Ghostface, Beyonce, all types of guests. It was sick! Last night, Beyonce came out for 30 second strut to “Crazy In Love” and Hov put a picture of Barack Obama on the jumbo screen after taunting George W. Bush. Had the Illinois Senator popped onstage, it would have been the end of the world, but he obviously had his hands full with the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. The thing is, I can listen to your joints at the crib, so if I come to see you live, you better be doing back flips or something. Seeing Jay reminded me of how sick his catalog is. But seeing Mary made me realizes how great of an entertainer she is. Any of you went to the show? Speak on it!

For any questions or to submit song for XXL’s upcoming “Soundcheck” section, hit me up at

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • gooch

    come on man, hip-hop sucks live…. hip-hop is studio music…. it ain’t made for the stage, unless you coming out on some Wu-Tang shit, or some Roots shit

    • Be a Nigger Too

      Co-Sign, not many rappers put effort into their live shows anymore. They just walk back and forth across the stage grabbing their dicks. (pause) There are still a few great performers in hip-hop such as Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Redman, Kanye West, The Roots, Lupe Fiasco, etc.

    • DJ Daddy Mack

      “I’m a big Jay supporter pre-Kingdome Come”



  • dj ashy fingerz

    hip hop STARTED live so fuck all that studio music talk

  • gooch

    yeah sure it started live, but it didn’t start in front of 20 thousand people in madison square garden…. that’s a totally different type of venue. And it’s not like Jay-Z is sitting there in the middle of a party just emceeing the fucking event…. it’s his concert, as a perfomer.

  • ri067953

    Yo, this post is bullshit. Jay rocked it and I saw him in front of an audience in So. Cal doing the same show. Jay can’t run around because most of his songs demand breath control. I bet half of these young emcees couldn’t perform songs with the same intensity as Jay. Plus, he doesn’t need some hypeman to fill in the blanks. What’s he supposed to do, run around on stage just for the sake of it? You want him to do the running man on stage or something? When I saw Mary, she just paced around the stage and performed with an emotion that I found fake. Jay ain’t hammer and remember that.

  • killa

    I went to the concert in Greensboro N.C. some of my folks went in Atlanta and we all agreed on the same thing. They both killed it. It was one of best concerts I have ever been to. I quess you wanted Jay on stage in hammer pants and 50 dancers. This was a horrible post. MJB and Jay are the heart of the city.

  • kckid

    I saw jay at the hard knock life tour years ago and the niggaz bout put me to sleep. I’d say every show I’ve ever seen jay at he was the weakest performer. Meth and red killed that show, dmx too. Then that roc army tour he might as well just put on a cd and sat down for the next hour, would used the same amount of energy.

  • H-LO

    I agree, (from what I’ve seen so far on video) HOV succeeds with many guests sorta as a moderator, leading smoothly through the set. But his performances for themselves are just decent considering what could be done with what is quite possibly the most impressive catalogue of any rap solo artist (post retirement does enhance it)…. I wonder what ever happended to the 10 years Reasonable Doubt tape.

  • incilin

    Co-sign Gooch. And I’ve seen Wu Tang and Roots live and they were pretty much the best acts to see. BTW, anyone ever notice how at every other hip hop show the sound quality sucks. So much so I can’t the beat to the song until half way in?

  • Pierzy

    I saw the show when it came thru Philly at the end of March. My girl loves Mary and I love Jay so obviously it was a great show for us… Mary absolutely killed it! But I liked Jay, especially when he did “Can I Live” and very few people other than me knew the words, especially the youngn’s.

    However, I liked Hova’s show better when I saw him in 2004 with the “Jay-Z & Friends” show (after he kicked R. Kelly off the “Best of Both Worlds” tour) and until now I couldn’t put my finger on why. Maybe it’s because he had mad people come out – Bleek, State Prop, MJB, T.I., Puff, DMX, etc – to help him out. Good call my dude…

  • Pierzy

    And I hated Kingdom Come but American Gangster was gully to the core!

  • eleven

    Aight I thought Jay was the greatest live i mean i seen him everytime he did a tour…. thats until i seen KANYE WEST!!! THAT NIGGA SHOW IS FUCKIN AMAZING!! I WAS AT THE ATLANTA SHOW… YOU KNOW YOU GREAT WHEN QUINCY JONES COME SEE YOU LIVE… but KANYE show is worth whatever you pay for the ticket!!! HE LIKE THE RAP VERSION OF U2!!!!!

  • Sleepy Wonder

    Mary J. Is My Future Ex-Wife.

  • Ak Donovan

    Paragraphs dude! Goddamn!

  • bongolock

    Had the Illinois Senator popped onstage, it would have been the end of the world

    thats rich

  • Uptown

    Ok May 7th was the last show or there is a final show tonight on the 8th? I’m a big Jay fan from the beginning to now. Never saw him live but I’ve seen my fair share of live hip hop, maybe the best hip hop show i ever saw was Cypress Hill, House of Pain and Funkdoobiest on Halloween 93 at Roseland, NYC. Then again, hip hop was still the shit back then. Was still a crazy show. Always loved Mary, I mean, how can you NOT like or at least highly respect Mary if you love hip hop??? She sis, in a way, steal the show from JaY…I liked it best when they sung together. At first I was scared it was gonna be an all Mary show, as Mary went the first set. Bringing Meth tical was a good look.