“I went to the show in Jersey last night but nothing compares to being at the Garden.” That’s how the conversation began when I ran into my longtime friend Remo Da Rapstar while entering MSG, on my way to tonight’s Watch the Throne concert. The marquee read “Jay-Z And Kanye West: Watch the Throne” with a notice that the show was sold-out posted nearby in a vibrant blue color. Watching the number of New Yorkers filing into the revamped arena, there was no questioning that the Garden would be packed to capacity. Hov has been known to launch a few landmark shows at the “World’s Greatest Arena” and may be another one for the books.
Tonight RapFix is live blogging from the New York City stop on the Watch the Throne tour. We were there for the launch in Atlanta, we followed up with North Carolina and brought you New Jersey this past weekend. Tonight, Hov and Ye’s trek gets even more exciting as the pair raise the levels on the Richter scale. Stick with us throughout the night for another memorable evening of hip-hop.
8:58 p.m.: I’ve been to a few Jay and Ye shows at the Garden but something about tonight feels special. Yankee fitted caps are just 1/3 of the attire of choice for some of New York’s hip-hop heads. Feeling right at home, in a New York state of mind.
9:05 p.m: the last time I was at the Garden was Feb 9th for a Knicks game against the Clippers. The entire crowd was chanting “we want Melo.” The next Knicks home game Melo was here. Gotta love MSG. It means so much for the spirit of New York City.
9:21 p.m: – Ok, The Throne are officially late. I’ve talked to a few of my homies who all said showtime kicked off 9:05 on the dot. Either something went off schedule or big brother and little brother got some tricks up their sleeves. Let’s see how the night unfolds.
9:30 p.m: – showtime!
9:31 p.m: – Jay and Ye come out to “H.A.M.” A little bumpy but the Garden is in awe right now.
9:33 p.m: the neon green lights on Jay and Kanye as the stage rises makes these dudes look like they have the “glow” from the Last Dragon.
9:35p.m: jay and kanye rapping “who gon stop me” while atop…an aquarium?
9:37p.m. grrrr….Jay goes acapella at the end of “who gon stop me.” he completely blacks out on those bars
9:30 p.m: the American flag drops out setting up Otis Redding vocals. you know what time it is!
9:41 p.m: Kanye standing next to hov while flames of smoke wisps from outta the stage is a picture perfect moement.
9:42 p.m: Welcome to the Jungle up next. The Garden roars similar to the myriad of wild animals seen on the large LES monitors backing The Throne.
9:44 p.m: Jay spit “Rest in peace to the leader of the Jackson 5.” Really touching considering the events that took place today.
9:46 p.m: the stadium goes quiet black before the sample “What You Need.” The crowd sings every word from the hook “What ’cha need, what, what ’cha need”
9:49 p.m: The boy Hov is digging in the crates. After reminding everyone what hood he reps, Jigga goes into “Where I’m From.” Vintage NY cut.
9:51 p.m: Jay has mastered the art of audience participation on “Jigga What, Jigga Who?” it’s like he’s parting the red sea on 7th avenue.
9:53 p.m: Hov rocking the Garden dolo right now. Not to mention Kanye in the back plotting. Too many hits for two men.
9:55 p.m: Kanye’s turn. Ye’s light show for “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” is just another step in his captivating live performance.
9:50 p.m: Kanye goes into “Flashing Lights” with what else, flashing lights all over the Garden
10:03 p.m: the crowd LOVES Kanye’s “Through the Wire.” A true defining moment in Kanye’s career.
10:05 p.m: loving Kanye and Jay sporting the black Ts with the album art from WTT.
10:07 p.m. Kanye’s shoes are glowing lime green just moments before a thunderous “Diamonds Are Forever” rocks the stadium.
10:09 p.m: Hov’s back on after showing out on his verse from “Diamonds.” Now the god MC is on to “PSA.” Its Monday Night Raw at the Garden. The Throne is tag-teaming MSG right now.
10:11 p.m: as my man S. Dot said, its a bit odd to see Hov performing “You Don’t Know” minus Bleek. This was his shining moment.
10:12 p.m: Kanye returns for “Run This Town.” The visuals in the back are showing a car chase. Pretty sweet.
10:16 p.m: the incorporation of the animals during “Monster,” cheetahs, panthers and bears and the overall show, plus the album art, makes me wonder about the concept behind this project.
10:23 p.m: one thing you won’t see in the Garden tonight: Frank Ocean during “Made It In America.”
10:24 p.m: the visuals for Martin Luther King Jr during “Made It In America” is powerful.
10:27 p.m: Jay and Ye sit on the edge of the stage to rap the realest song off WTT “New Day.” It gets so real Jay takes his hat off for this one.
10:20 p.m: another front porch fave rolls on after “New Day”…”Hard Knock Life.” Its the Jay-Z show ladies and gentlemen.
10:34 p.m: Jay hops up once the Michael Jackson sampled “H-Izzo” comes on. Kanye exist stage right once more.
10:35 p.m: crowd is chanting “Hova, Hova,” when he asks, “What time is it?”
10:36 p.m: Jay-Z performing “New York” in the Garden is an iconic moment. Every New Yorker screams the track’s hook with pride, every run.
10:46 p.m: the sounds of the piano riff signals that Kanye is on deck with “Runaway.”
10:47p.m: ’Ye appears on the same rising block that Hova made his initial appearance on, singing auto-tune.
10:48 p.m: this makes wardrobe change numero tres for the Louis Vuitton Don. Hov, on the other hand, is still sweating out his black tee.
10:50 p.m: is Kanye singing his auto-tuned heart out about Amber Rose at the end of a remixed version of “Runaway?”
10:52 p.m: “Heartless” is a winner in the Garden as the crowd recites the record along with ’Ye, word for word.
10:57 p.m: Hov re-emerges on the opposite rising block from Kanye, black hoodied out for the Swizz beatz produced “On To The Next One.”
10:58 p.m: Jay-Z fixated on this enlarged platform, looks as if the money mogul has his own mini-skyscraper.
11:03 p.m: Jay is turning this into a Garden party once “I Just Wanna Luv U” dropped.
11:06 p.m: Hit for hit. Jay and Ye are trading party faves. Kanye electrifies the crowd once “Good Life” drops. another MJ-inspired record.
11:13 p.m: an array of lighting comes on for Kanye during “All of the Lights.” Kanye stops the music before the song really takes off. “where is all of my lights?” then stops it again. “ya’ll think I’m playing? let’s try this one more time, please.”
11:19 p.m: Hov magically appears for Big Pimpin’, providing Kanye West with some relief. These guys have more hits than Reggie Jackson.
11:20 p.m: I LOVE hearing “MTV Jam of the Week” on Big Pimpin’. We truly represent the culture. Shouts to my man Tuma on that one.
11:21 p.m: Jay assists Louis Vuitton Don for “Gold Digger.” Jay is smiling from ear to ear, just soaking up the love from MSG.
11:23 p.m: wonder how soon-to-be dad Jay-Z feels about Kanye’s baby references on “Gold Digger,” hmm…
11:25 p.m: no wonder Jay and Ye are claiming the Throne. Jay unleashes yet another party banger with “99 Problems.”
11:30 p.m: A touching video montage plastered across the screen ends with a young child draped in signature Klu Klux Klan garb, setting the stage for “No Church In The Wild.”
11:35 p.m: The Garden may have to be remodeled one more time after this performance of “Niggas in Paris.” The crowd is going absolutely cray!
11:37 p.m: “Puuuuulllllll uuuuup” “Niggas in the Paris” on rewind. The balcony is literally shaking in the Garden.. Melo and Stoudemire would be jealous right now.
11: 41 p.m: “New York City we had a beautiful time with ya’ll tonight.” Hov says as he walks to the top of the stage with Kanye by his side. “thank you for the love.”
11:42 p.m: crowd continues to cheer loudly moments after The Throne have left the stage.
11:43 p.m: wish granted. Jay and Kanye return for “Niggas in Paris” again. The trifecta!
11:45 p.m. a wad of cash was tossed just as Hov raps “what’s 50 grand to a muthafucka like me, can you please remind me…”
11:46 p.m: “let’s take it to overtime,” Hov signals to Ye as the horns from “Encore”
11:52 p.m. and the show keeps going. “Let’s go off script.” Hov goes in on “Lucifer” then “Money Ain’t A Thing.”
11:53 p.m: Kanye has a few tricks up his sleeve with “Keep Em High” but cuts his verse short after he forgets his lines.
11:55 p.m: Jay-Z is singing autographs while Kanye raps “All Falls Down.”
11:56 p.m: Hov says one more. “We need one more song so we can walk out nice.”