Crazy in Love with Jay-Z; Rapper Proves He's an All-Time Great ... with a Little Help from Beyonce

The Evening Standard (London, England), September 25, 2006 | Go to article overview

Crazy in Love with Jay-Z; Rapper Proves He's an All-Time Great ... with a Little Help from Beyonce


Byline: CHRIS ELWELL-SUTTON

REVIEW Jay-Z Wembley Arena

AT FIRST glance, he may seem to be your typical hip-hop artist, ticking all the usual boxes: a love of flashy jewellery, a tendency to wear sunglasses at night, plenty of gun and drugbased lyrics and an extremely high opinion of himself.

But Jay-Z showed last night that he fully deserves his extraordinary rise from humble beginnings as a Brooklyn crack dealer to all-time-great status as a rapper, as well as becoming half of hip-hop's premier power couple alongside Beyonce Knowles, who drove the crowd berserk when she joined her man on stage.

Opening with What More Can I Say? - one of the older favourites from the huge body of work he's delivered over the last 15 years - he showed off his crisp, tight rap flow and poised showmanship, rendering-Wembley Arena's seats bum-free throughout an electrifying show lasting just under two hours.

Always a favourite with UK audiences, Jay-Z's hip-hop version of Beware Of The Boys, the classic British Asian bhangra track, created a storm, provoking a particularly strong response with the line "Leave Iraq alone!"

Confusion briefly took over as the DJ threw on the unmistakable beat of Made You Look, a track by fellow New York rapper, Nas. This turn of events was especially puzzling, since Jay-Z and Nas have engaged in bitter verbal warfare over the last few years. As the wonderful truth dawned on the crowd, a deafening cheer and frenzied foot-stomping ensued, and Jay-Z welcomed his former foe on stage to perform his hit. …

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