NEW YORK — [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] set the stage on fire Wednesday night at Manhattan's Blender Theater (figuratively speaking, of course). But that didn't stop local fire officials from barging into the venue as the rapper's scheduled 45-minute set extended just past an hour.
Hov, however, gave the crowd at the MySpace/ "DJ Hero"-sponsored event fair warning. After running through hits like "Show Me What You Got," "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)" and "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," Jay-Z said he was just getting started.
"They told me to give y'all 45 minutes," he said from the stage, clad in all black except for three red stripes on his shirt sleeve signifying his new album, The Blueprint 3. "I think I'mma go an hour and 15. I need more time for my records."
Close to half an hour later, however, the music abruptly stopped while Jay-Z and Memphis Bleek were performing "You, Me, Him and Her." Then fire alarms sounded and FDNY officials entered the venue. The Brooklyn rapper didn't appear happy about the delay as he wiped his face amid chants of "Hova."
Fortunately, the officials exited after just minutes.
Jay-Z then launched into his "A Billi" freestyle before DJ Neil Armstrong cued "Can I Get a...," getting the crowd bouncing.
Executives including Bad Boy president Harve Pierre were in attendance. Downstairs in the venue's lower level, MySpace fans who scored tickets were able to try out "DJ Hero," the upcoming hip-hop-inspired video game spun off from the "Guitar Hero" series. But the real entertainment was upstairs onstage.
Jay-Z entered to "Run This Town" and quickly went into "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" and "U Don't Know." He might have been decked out in all black, but his mood was festive and light. He set the tone early when he stopped the music and addressed the audience.
"You, homeboy, sitting on the steps," he said. "This ain't a poetry reading. You f---ed my vibe up. All these great people came here to party."