Hip-Hop Tour To Star DMX, Jay-Z, Method Man, Redman

Diverse rap stylists to team for 37-date swing, starting Feb. 27 in Charlotte, N.C.

Rappers Jay-Z, Method Man, DMX, and Redman have joined forces for a blockbuster tour set to kick off Feb. 27 at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C.

Dubbed the “Hard Knock Life” tour, it’s named after Jay-Z’s new album, Vol. 2….Hard Knock Life. The diversity of styles on display over the course of the 37-date outing — the terse, direct delivery of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man, the fluid raps of Jay-Z and Redman, and the gruff, barking style of DMX — could be quite a lure for hip-hop fans.

Starting in the South and moving up to the Great White North, the tour will then shift to the East Coast before shooting across the country for the closing dates in California.

Both DMX and Jay-Z have enjoyed stays at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart in recent months for their latest efforts. Meanwhile, Method Man’s solo recording, Tical 2000: Judgement Day, was stopped just short of the top slot on the chart by Garth Brooks’ record-setting Double Live album.

In June, DMX railed against certain artists and accused them of clogging up the top slots on the charts. The occasion was the release of his debut album, “It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot,” featuring tracks such as “F—in’ Wit’ D” (RealAudio excerpt) and “Get At Me Dog” (RealAudio excerpt).

“A lot of whack motherf—-ers out there right now [are] killing the charts,” DMX said, referring to his rap on the track “Stop Being Greedy.” “I’m saying, let some brothers who are actually talented … get some of this money.”

Little more than six months later, DMX has a pair of his own albums resting comfortably in the Top 25.

Although a tour packed with such star power would seem certain to be a smash at the box office, Ray Waddell — writer for the talent-and-touring-industry section of the trade magazine Amusement Business — cautioned that package hip-hop tours with platinum-selling artists don’t always mean gold at the box office.

“Traditionally, there’s a paradox,” Waddell said. “[Despite massive] album sales, rap tours are not the top tours out there. [Promoters have] tried similar tours, [such as] Smokin’ Grooves, [that haven’t] done as well as a lot of the other multi-act festivals. Give them credit that they keep trying. If they ever find a way to translate record sales into ticket sales, it will be one of the top-selling tours out there.”

Jay-Z, DMX, Redman and Method Man North American Tour Dates:

Feb. 27; Charlotte, N.C., Charlotte Coliseum

Feb. 28; North Charleston, S.C., North Charleston Coliseum

March 2; Washington D.C., MCI Center

March 3; East Rutherford, N.J., Continental Airlines Arena

March 4; Cleveland, Ohio, CSU Convocation Center

March 6; Dallas, Texas, Reunion Arena

March 7; Houston, Texas, Compaq Center

March 10; Toronto, Ont., Air Canada Centre

March 11; Montreal, Que., Molson Centre

March 12; Detroit, Mich., Cobo Arena

March 13; Camden, N.J., Blockbuster-Sony Center

March 14; Pittsburgh, Pa., Pittsburgh Civic Arena

March 16; Columbus, Ohio, Schottenstein Center

March 17; Rochester, N.Y., Blue Cross Arena

March 18; Providence, R.I., Rhode Island Convention Center

March 19; Hampton, Va., Hampton Coliseum

March 21; Hartford, Conn., Hartford Civic Center

March 23; Albany, N.Y., Pepsi Arena

March 25; Buffalo, N.Y., Marine Midland Arena

March 26; Baltimore, Md., Baltimore Arena

March 27; Boston, Mass., Fleet Center

March 28; Uniondale, N.Y., Nassau Coliseum

March 31; St. Louis, Mo., Kiel Center

April 1; Louisville, Ky., Louisville Gardens

April 2; Milwaukee, Wis., Milwaukee Arena

April 3; Memphis, Tenn., Mid-South Coliseum

April 4; Rosemont, Ill., Rosemont Horizon

April 7; Greenville, S.C., Bi-Lo Center

April 8; Albany, Ga., Albany Civic Center

April 9; Jacksonville, Fla., Jacksonville Coliseum

April 10; Atlanta, Ga., Lakewood Amphitheatre

April 11; Birmingham, Ala., Birmingham-Jefferson Coliseum

April 13; El Paso, Texas, El Paso Convention Center

April 14; Albuquerque, N.M., Tingley Coliseum

April 15; Phoenix, Ariz., Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion

April 16; San Diego, Calif., San Diego Sports Arena

April 17; Anaheim, Calif., Arrowhead Pond