Jay-Z celebrated the 10th anniversary of his first and most critically acclaimed album, “Reasonable Doubt,” by performing the set in its entirety last night (June 25) at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
With the Roots’ ?uestlove directing a 60-plus member orchestra, the show began with Jay-Z entering the stage in a 1996 Lexus. “What up, New York,” said Jay-Z, decked out in an all-white tuxedo with a black scarf. “We’re going last to first, not first to last.”
Performing the album backwards, Jay ran through the “Reasonable Doubt” tracks flawlessly. Sauce Money came out for “Bring It On,” though fellow MC Jaz was nowhere to be found. Memphis Bleek appeared for “Coming of Age,” while Foxy Brown rocked “Ain’t No Nigga,” though she was a bit off beat. Brown recently suffered serious hearing loss, although she has reportedly undergone surgery and is on the mend.
Adding an entirely new verse to “22 Twos,” the “44 Fours,” Jay-Z demonstrated that if he doesn’t release a new album this year, at least he is accumulating new rhymes. “Brooklyn Finest,” featuring the deceased Notorious B.I.G., found Jay-Z performing Biggie’s verses with the crowd rhyming along.
The highlight of the evening came when Beyonce, dressed in a white ball gown with a flower in her hair, filled in for Mary J. Blige’s chorus on “Can’t Knock the Hustle.” And like a good girlfriend, she threw up the Roc-A-Fella hand gesture as she floated off stage.
Following a brief intermission, Jay-Z returned to perform hits from various albums, including “What More Can I Say,” where he mischievously added, “Ya’ll see what happens when I no longer exist.”
Jay-Z will be back in live action for five dates in the United Kingdom in Ireland in September, beginning Sept. 21 in Manchester.