Jay-Z was voted the greatest MC of all time and Mary J. Blige is the greatest R&B singer of our generation, so when they call themselves "the Heart of the City," they're really repping Anytown, U.S.A. If you love hip-hop and/or R&B, you've more than likely been enamored with Jigga and MJB at certain points, if not throughout their careers.
The box-office receipts are indicating that their fanbases (both individually and collectively) aren't waning. Their joint-headline venture is selling out across the land, and even though the duo played a show in New Jersey several weeks back, on Friday Jay and Mary finally made it to their city, NYC. Who has meant more to the Apple than Jay and Mary? There's a short list of artists that have arguably had just as significant an impact, but a pair who have meant more? That's a tough one.
Jay and MJB have two sold-out dates coming up at Madison Square Garden. Friday's show was added last, and of course it was filled to the brim. Women and men. The 'hood and Hollywood. Young and long in the tooth. Grimy rapper Uncle Murda and cleaner-than-a-preacher-on-Sunday celebrity Oprah Winfrey. Everyone came out to the show.
With fans including Jodie Foster, Naomi Campbell and Justin Timberlake in attendance, Hov and the Queen did what they do: electrify with an endless array of hit records.
During Jay-Z's solo set, he has a part where he shows off. Jay literally sits in the DJ booth and pushes buttons to cue up instrumentals of classics like "Money Ain't a Thang," "Who You Wit" and "Hard Knock Life." "F--- that," Jay yelled every time he played a song, cutting it off within seconds of bringing it up. Humorously, he started " '03 Bonnie & Clyde" and just like before, he stopped it after a second. "F--- that," he said with a grin. Then Hov pulled up Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" and, you guessed it, said, "F--- that too. ... No disrespect."
But almost immediately, Beyoncé came onstage, walking with a sassy "how dare you" strut. Jay started "Crazy in Love" again, and B did her crowd-pleasing "uh oh" dance. She walked over to Jay, did a spin, smiled and went backstage. Jay doubled over laughing.
The Heart of the City Tour hits Atlantic City, New Jersey, Monday night (May 5) and returns to New York May 6 and 7.