Is Jay-Z trying too hard?

155125__jayz_lJay-Z is still big, big, big. He does everything in a big way, and this weekend’s 24-hour, 7-city "hangar" tour was no exception (watch clips here). The recently un-retired rapper started at 6 a.m. in Atlanta and ended — after stops in Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago (pictured), and Los Angeles — at 6 a.m. the next day, in Las Vegas.

At least his stamina is admirable. MTV News and the Associated Press accompanied him on the tour, revealing what fan turnout was like, what modes of transportation Jay-Z and Co. used ("cream-colored leather seats" were involved), and what the changing wardrobe looked like (in case you were wondering, variations on a theme: hoodies).

In a word, zzzzzz.

It seems as though people still love Jay-Z. They line up by the hundreds to see him at any hour of the day. (Then again, Ricky Martin fans still line up by the hundreds to see him, too.) Still, I have to wonder if the concertgoers and millions of others will buy Jay’s record. Maybe, but he just doesn’t do it for me anymore. There’s a lot less edge. The retirement thing felt so obvious, and the photo ops in Africa felt contrived. When you start performing with Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, I say my goodbyes. It’s a little sad, but what can you do? Life’s like that sometimes. Jay, I wish you the best of luck.

addCredit(“Jay-Z: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage.com”)

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Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • Jasmine

    I love hip-hop. Therefor, Jay-Z will always be a big deal to me. I think people are getting to used to this manufactured, catchy-hook, Ying Yang Twins, Lil’ Jon, D4L crap. Artists like Jay-Z, Nas, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, TI, and even Luda always excite me. They are hip-hop.

  • Katie

    I agree with the comment above…all the novelty rap acts out there are b-o-o-o-ring
    bring on Jay-Z and 99 problems

  • poochie

    Jay-Z has grown up and is acting like a classy “business man”. If you are a suburban person looking for edge, you need to go and walk around the hood in your town. I am proud of the rappers that have turned their talent for words into a empire. HOVA!!!!

  • Jeff

    The new album is boooooring. Not a classic what so ever.

  • saynt96

    The mini concerts were a hype for his album but who cares because it was OFF THE HOOK. It’s like he never left. The man can perform and is talented, so your answer to the question is people still care and it will show when it’s #1. So glad because I’m tired of mindless crunk music because HOVA IS BACK!!

  • Ep Sato

    Whats the song where he’s all “jay to the izzo, c to the izzy” or something? I love that track.
    Agreed with those who say the Jay Z sylings have gotten old. Do we really need more bragging about custom suits, fashionable hos and $400 bottles of champagne? Methinks it’s time the main man got on his corporate jet and got back to work. As Jay Z himself once said, Hip hop is a young man’s game.

  • Phil

    Ep, Jay-Z track you’re asking about is actually “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” from the Blueprint disc.
    If you haven’t heard, the promotion of the concerts was so that jay could get the word out to his fanbase to actually go buy his new disc, KINGDOM COME, when it drops tomorrow, since it leaked online over a week ago, and showed up on MySpace Fri. I’ve already listened to it a few times today on AOL Music, and I have to say, as shocked as I was to hear that Chris Martin of Coldplay was producing and featured on one of Jay’s tracks, the album closer, “Beach Chair” actually works. I’ll be surprised to see if Alternative leaning stations that supported Jay’z “99 Problems” will pick this album track up and start playing it.
    Either way, as many are predicting, but not quite certain due to the numerous leaks, Jay’s KINGDOM COME could very well have the biggest sales debut of the year and cap out over the million plus mark, which hasn’t been done since Eminem dropped his last actual disc of new tunes. I hope he actually does sell that many units, it would be a good sign for the music industry as the holiday rush begins. HOLLA

  • Jasper

    Jay is my ATF rapper so I’m glad he’s back! I haven’t heard the new album yet (shame on you listening to leaks! What’s the site again?) but I love the single. I’m just mad that when he’s in LA I’ll be at work, (damn lower middle class!!). I think he’s evolving as is Hip-Hop as a genre and culture. Once again he’s blueprinting how to grow old gracefully in a youth driven market but stay true to yourself. I hate when rappers get the money and fame and out of poverty but still ‘represent’ the hood and keep getting arrested and acting like common criminals. And as for edge, I think bringing Coldplay into the Hip Hop arena is sort of edgy. Just like sampling ‘Annie’. It’s unexpected and refreshing.

  • belladawn

    The King is back! Jay’s fans will show you how relevant he is..

  • Jessica CG

    I totally disagree that “all the novelty rap acts out there are b-o-o-o-ring,” as poochie says (above).If you don’t like the music then don’t listen to it. There is soo much diversity in music it’s not even funny. Rap is large percentage of that, but there are still other types of music. So that may your opinion but don’t rip on other people that like it.

  • Jessica CGca CG

    I totally disagree that “all the novelty rap acts out there are b-o-o-o-ring,” as poochie says (above).If you don’t like the music then don’t listen to it. There is soo much diversity in music it’s not even funny. Rap is large percentage of that, but there are still other types of music. So that may your opinion but don’t rip on other people that like it.

  • t3hdow

    To Jessica:
    I’m a rap fan and think the novelty rap does suck hard. I hate all these new rap songs that are merely club anthems instead of something substantial. Although I admit a few of them are half-decent, the majority of them are awful and is dragging down the genre more and more. D4L? Ugh. Chicken Noodle Soup? What the hell were they thinking?

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