First Person // Jay-Z’s 4:44 Tour

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

On Friday November 3rd, 2017, I saw one of the greatest rappers to ever walk the Earth perform. In order to truly understand the importance that was Jay-Z’s 4:44 show, you have to understand where I’m coming from.

Being born in 1998, the rap scene was tough for me to grasp onto. As I got older, I created a tighter bond with my cousins that grew up during the golden age of hip-hop. I remember going over to my uncle’s house and walking to my cousin’s room in awe. Julio had boxes on top of boxes with Air Jordan’s like a palace with The Black Album in the background like a choir. I remember him letting me see his entire collection and I was mesmerized. I remember buying my first pair of Air Jordans — the 2015 Air Jordan Aqua 8s — and got a flashback from the days back in my cousin’s empire of sneakers.

Fast forward to the summer of 2017. Jay dropped 4:44 and sent everyone on a wave. In the world of mumble rap and trap music, HOV’s album was the refreshing change of pace the rap game needed. Then it hit me:

He’s going on tour, there’s no doubt about it.

I’ve been to a lot of concerts with phenomenal performers such as Kanye, Drake, Kendrick and others. Not to knock on any of those named above, but Jigga’s performance couldn’t be compared. Being in the lower bowl of the venue, not only did I get a better view but I had a more profound concert experience. After Vic Mensa’s woke set, the lights dimmed and the video panels he had opened up like a flower blossoming.

Jay-Z at Talking Stick Resort Arena

As the lights started fading in, the panels displayed pictures of Jay-Z being lit on fire as an 808 drum struck. He opened up with “Kill Jay-Z” and then the hits started dropping. “Allure,” “Lucifer,” “Moonlight,” “The Story of O.J.,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “No Church in the Wild,” “Empire State of Mind,” “D’Evils,” “Beach is Better,” “Bam,” and even Blue Ivy’s freestyle which had us Tidal users and free streamers go Boom shakalaka, boom shakalaka.

I felt like I was right there with Jay-Z. It’s as if I could feel his pain when he choked up singing “4:44.” I felt like I was laughing with him when he messed up the verses on “99 Problems.” I felt like he saw me every time I put the Roc up. Everything in shaka, everything in faka. The night ended with “Numb/Encore” as an ode to Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington who took his own life just weeks after Jay-Z released his 13th studio album.

This concert was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you for keeping it real Jay-Z. Not sure if this will be your last album or tour but just in case, bye Jay-Z.

Jay-Z at Talking Stick Resort Arena Jay-Z at Talking Stick Resort Arena Jay-Z at Talking Stick Resort Arena Jay-Z at Talking Stick Resort Arena

Related Posts: