jay z at barclays center

All of Hova’s hits…

by Christian Lavery


Without any elaborate stage design, special appearances from industry cohorts, or crazy costumes, Jay Z took to the stage of Brooklyn’s masterful venue to give the fans exactly what they had come for: a concert where Hova’s hits were the only thing that mattered.

Monday started as any other for us here at NYLON HQ – we were a little groggy, extremely tired, and simply trying to make it through the most dreaded day of the workweek. But before long, that all changed, and with a simple invite from our friends at

Armand de Brignac

– the makers of the gold, spade- embellished bottles of champagne that have become synonymous with Jay Z himself – we were off to see the kid from Marcy Projects perform on his hometown turf and in the arena he help build.

We got there, took in the atmosphere for a moment, and before we knew it, the stadium was packed with people and filled with energy that only escalated when Shawn Carter emerged to kick off night number two on the New York City portion of the Magna Carter World Tour.

Focused solely on delivering each of his carefully crafted lyrics to the crowd with over the top intensity, HOV set forth to bless the crowd with tracks like “Tom Ford,” “Somewhereinamerica,” “Picasso Baby,” “Crown,” and “Holy Grail.” And of course, this was all done while peppering in the songs that brought him his superstar status in the first place -- while only be backed up by his live band, which featured super producer Timbaland.And as any good showman would do, just as the performance ended – or just as the crowd thought it was ending – Jay came out to give his fans a little extra love, highlighted by a few acapella verses, a quick “Who Gon Stop Me” freestyle over Timbaland’s live rendition of “The Way,” and a few intimate moments with folks in the stands.

It was an amazing night and in a world where musical talent sometimes gets trumped by performance props and crazy atics, it was refreshing to take in a concert where the music made the most noise.

Thanks again to the kind people over at Armand de Brignac.