justin-timberlake-and-jay-z-perform-in-toronto-for-legends-of-summer-tour

Recap: Jay-Z And Justin Timberlake's Legends Of Summer Tour Is The Show Of A Generation

Hov and J.T.'s integrated sets form a dynamic duo

TORONTO – If there is a better summer date concert, it takes place in an era long ago or a generation far away. For the titan-clashing team-up of arguably the greatest MC ever and a multitalented pop icon who returned to the stage after a six-year musical hiatus is made for him and her.

Even without hearing a single couplet, you know Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s month-long Legends of Summer tour, which will touch 12 cities in North America, is strategically brilliant. Both artists are peddling new albums, so it’s fitting that the night opens with Timberlake singing the hook for Jay’s “Holy Grail” and climaxes with Jay rhyming on Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie,” the champagne flute his only instrument.

As for what happens in between, well, it helps that J.T. can do a mean Pharrell. Although Jay-Z and J.T. each get solo mini sets, it’s their collaboration that makes Wednesday, in Mr. Carter’s words, “a special night.”

The consummate pro, Jay-Z strolls around in his gold chains and Nets strapback, effortlessly spinning gems; “On to the Next One” and the new “Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit” sound better big and live. Not only does Jay have the support of an 11-piece band, but J.T. runs around the stage to help him out, singing Pharrell’s parts on “Frontin’ ” and “Give It to Me,” strumming guitar during “P.S.A.,” and playing the cop’s part in “99 Problems.”

Seeing a superstar so willing to be the setup man is refreshing. Of course, Timberlake gets his shine, too, winning with “What Goes Around” and “Senorita”; The 20/20 Experience’s “Mirrors” becomes a female singalong. The guys have hits.

PHOTOS: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND JAY-Z ROCK TORONTO TOUR STOP

If you want to nitpick, you can. “U Don’t Know” would pack more wallop had the DJ just let Just Blaze’s beat run; a band can’t do that track justice. Timberlake’s solo set begins to lose steam around “Take Back the Night,” the only time any fan could be spotted actually using the seat for which they paid handsomely. And entire swathes of Jigga’s back catalogue go ignored. American Gangster, In My Lifetime Vol. 1 and Reasonable Doubt (gasp!) don’t get any love. Even low-hanging fruit from 2011’s Watch The Throne—no “Niggas in Paris,” that was last tour—isn’t plucked.

Such omissions, however, are bound to happen when you have a dozen studio LPs and more hits than the show’s 160-minute running time will allow. The magic, as was the case in past Jay-Z co-headline blowouts (Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Eminem) is in the hand-offs and assists.

In a building packed with 60 percent women (rough estimate), Jay’s lone slow jam, “Song Cry,” scorches then disintegrates into J.T.’s “Cry Me a River,” reminding us these happily married men wrote more interesting lyrics when there was a little dirt on their shoulders and smudges on the mirror. And Timberlake crooning Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” while bathed in a lone spotlight serves as the perfect hype-up for “Empire State of Mind”—a combo sure to score at Yankee Stadium later this week.

Yes, the party is as well calculated as it is executed, following a structure and hit list Jay-Z is comfortable with. Even within the cavernous dome of Rogers Centre, there is no space for improvisation, no illusion that the masters are making it up as they go along. It’s a business, man.

Still, Legends of the Summer favors elegance over excess. The lighting and splashes of video—in keeping with the aesthetic of Magna Carta and 20/20—complement the songs, but there are no fireworks or roll calls of dead MCs or gratuitous video interludes. There are too many smash songs to be heard.

So when J.T.’s “My Love” bleeds into Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’,” and everyone’s wearing shorts or skirts, and the home of a losing baseball team is suddenly batting a thousand, there is no excuse not to bounce. —Luke Fox

Photo Credit: Jonathan Lall

From the Web

More on Vibe

SirusXM

Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Believes Jay-Z's NFL Deal Can Take Kaepernick's Mission To New Heights

The conversation around Jay-Z's NFL deal has been heard from newsrooms to barbershops. While there are many perspectives to take into consideration, Omari Hardwick believes we should consider what Mr. Shawn Carter's move can do to bring Colin Kaepernick's mission to the next level.

Speaking Swaggy Sie's SiriusXM show The Heat Wave on SiriusXM's The Heat this week, the Power star opened up about the parallels of activism and where Jay stands with his decision to partner with the organization.

"Jay-Z's point which I really understand is that of 'How how long do we simply pledge in a hazing way of taking a knee and there not being necessary productivity from it or not a conclusion from it (when is there ever conclusion from it) or steps to be closer to a conclusion?'" Hardwick said. The actor, who is a friend of the rap icon, says Jay's deal can help broker new opportunities for people of color.

As previously reported, Jay's deal with the NFL provides him with the title of "live music entertainment strategist" which includes a partnership with Roc Nation and the businessman consulting on entertainment, specifically the Super Bowl halftime show, and contributing to the league’s activism campaign, Inspire Change. Other social-justice efforts were left unspecified but as mixed reviews rolled in, it was later rumored that Jay was also looking to take ownership of an NFL team.

Supporters of Kaepernick have slammed Jay for his decision but Hardwick believes there's more to be discovered.

"With Jay-Z, with all of his power, all of that with it (50 would be the same way) to not act on it and go, 'Listen Goddell, listen, Commissioner and team, being from the hood and now going to the heights of life that I made it to, these are some steps I think could activate that which Kaepernick and others like him want to activate as opposed to simply going, 'I'm protesting.'"

"My father says this, 'When the gun sounded, we of brown color knew what direction to run. If the gun sounds now, we'd be running into each other,'" he added.

"If [Jay's] view is of that, it is arrogant to assume people without that view would understand what Jay-Z is always doing. Jay-Z's view and his description of being past that don't necessarily mean that it's understandable by the people who are not at the same of view of that, but he's not forgetting them. His objective is to get the lowest common denominator of those who are brown to a better place. Half the league if not more than half the league is brown."

When it comes to Kaepernick, the actor says it's time for the athlete to play football again. "I feel like Kaepernick has to be given some sunshine in terms of playing ball," he said. "He's still young. You're telling me someone who is second or third-string player out there that shouldn't be second or third-string? Definitely not over Kaepernick."

Watch the interview below.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Lil Uzi Vert Reveals That His Grandmother Suffered A Debilitating Stroke

From the outside looking in, it may appear that Lil Uzi Vert is living the good life, but the 25-year-old Philly native admitted that he has been masking his pain. In a string of tweets posted Thursday (Aug. 22), Uzi revealed that his beloved grandma was on her way home after spending “months” in the hospital following a stroke and more health struggles.

“I’m scared excited happy and sad but mostly thankful,” he tweeted. “Today my grandma is coming home she was in the hospital and rehab for months she cannot walk. She cannot talk all the way but I feel her [getting] better by the second.

“My grandma been in the hospital for MONTHS man, she had a tumor over her eye the [doctors] removed half of it when she finally woke she had a stroke on her entire left side and cannot move it,” Uzi continued before revealing that his grandmother raised him. In another tweet, Uzi confessed to “flexing so hard and buying the world because deep down I’m hurt.”

He went on to explain keeping the family matter quiet from his millions of fans. “I know you beautiful ladies and successful gentlemen [probably] saying ‘he should of been told us' but I never been threw this I needed privacy I needed Family comfort because I just didn’t understand.”

Read his emotional tweets below.

I love you grandma you got this ♥️

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

I’m scared excited happy and sad but mostly thankful. So Today my Grandma is coming home she was in the hospital and rehab for months she cannot walk. She cannot talk all the way but I feel her gettin better by the second ♥️

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

My grandma been in the hospital for MONTHS man she had a tumor over her eye the Doctors removed half of it when she finally woke she had a stroke on her entire left side and cannot move it . IF YOU DONT KNOW THATS WHO RAISE ME

I love my grandma more than Clothes

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

I Know you beautiful ladies and successful gentlemen prolly saying

He Should Of Been Told Us but I never been threw this I needed privacy I needed Family comfort because I just didn’t understand.

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

I Been Flexing So Hard And Buying The World 🌍 Because Deep Down I’m Hurt ......

— Uzi London 🌎☄️💕® (@LILUZIVERT) August 22, 2019

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Dave Chappelle To Reportedly Host Ohio Block Party Honoring Victims Of Mass Shooting

Dave Chappelle will reportedly be helping to raise the spirits of residents in Dayton, Ohio following a mass shooting earlier this month. Chappelle is set to host a free block party in the city this weekend, Page Six reports.

The “Gem City Shine” benefit concert will be held in the city’s Oregon District, and is aimed at is honoring “the lives lost and to reclaim the community’s favorite places to shop, dine and enjoy time with family and friends,” according to a Facebook events page. Tickets are free but are only available to residents of Dayton and surrounding areas. The 45-year-old comedian has lived in Ohio for several years with his wife, Elaine, and their three children.

On Aug. 4, a gunman opened fire outside of a bar in the Oregon District, killing 10 people and injuring 17 others. Additional victims were hit by police bullets. In total, more than two dozen people were left injured. The gunman was killed by authorities.

“Gem City Shine” goes down Sunday (Aug. 25) from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Continue Reading

Top Stories