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

Sean Rayford/Getty Image

Man Who Recorded Murder Of Ahmaud Arbery Arrested

A third man has been arrested in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who recorded Arbery’s murder, was taken into custody on Thursday (May 21), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced.

“The family is extremely relieved,” attorney S. Lee Merritt, who represents Arbery’s mother, said in response to Bryan’s arrest. “We didn’t know if this was going to happen, but we all knew that it should happen.”

Arbery was killed on Feb. 23, while out for a jog. It wasn't until two months later that his story went viral prompting an investigation by the GBI after the local D.A., who was previously over the case, declined to make any arrests.

According to jail records, 50-year-old Bryan was booked into the Glynn County Jail on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan made his first court appearance on Friday (May 22) where his lawyer filed a motion for a speedy trial.

Bryan accompanied father and son, Gregory McMichael, 64 and Travis McMichael, 34, as they followed and cornered 25-year-old Arbery before the younger McMichael shot him to death. The McMichaels claim the shooting was self-defense.

Father and son were arrested for aggravated assault and felony murder earlier in the month. All three men are being held at the same jail.

The mugshots of Gregory and Travis McMichael, who have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/O0M6vPMs1Q

— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 8, 2020

Merrit noted that Arbery's family hopes the men will be convicted. “Well obviously we want to see the arrests lead to a formal indictment then a vigorous prosecution and conviction. But there are other people we believe were involved. We spoke with the DOJ earlier today about their investigation into the corruption that delayed these arrests in the first place.”

An attorney for the elder McMichael claimed that the pair are victims of a  “narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts.”

“While the death of Ahmaud Arbery is a tragedy, causing deep grief to his family -- a tragedy that at first appears to many to fit into a terrible pattern in American life -- this case does not fit that pattern,” attorney Frank Hogue said. “The full story, to be revealed in time, will tell the truth about this case.”

The murder remains under investigation by GBI in partnership with the District Attorney Joyette Holmes of the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

See more on Bryan's arrest in the video below.

Continue Reading
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Quavo Talks Earning His High School Diploma At 29

Quavo officially belongs to the class of 2020. The 29-year-old Migos rapper announced that he graduated from high school on Friday (May 22).

“Finally can say I graduated high school class of 2020,” Quavo captioned an Instagram post of himself sporting a blue cap and gown.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Finally Can Say I Graduated High School Class Of 2020 We Lit 🔥 Now What College Should I Go To? 🧐 And To Celebrate We Gonna Drop SMASH TONIGHT 🔥🌊 BERKMAR HIGH NAWFSIDE BABY

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on May 21, 2020 at 4:26pm PDT

Now that he's a high school graduate, the Georgia native is considering attending college, as he shared in an interview with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Radio alongside Migos members, Takeoff and Offset. During the talk with Tunechi, Quavo expounded on his decision to get his diploma.

“I was doing stuff for the community and schools… always involved and just me being considered like a dropout you’re not really like an alumni,” he said before explaining that one of his former high school teachers is now a principal and encouraged him to get a diploma. “He hit me up like 'you should go back and get it.' I went back and got it.”

Quavo added that Weezy was, “definitely one of my inspirations for going back to school.”

The rapper, whose birth name is, Quavious Keyate Marshall, attended Lilburn’s Berkmar High School, where he was the starting quarterback for the 2009 season. Quavo dropped out of high school in his senior year.

Peep the Migos’ Young Money interview below.

Continue Reading
Doug Pensinger

Disney World Could Help Revive What’s Left Of NBA Season

The 2020 NBA season could be headed for a revival. The league is in talks with Disney World to potentially restart what's left of the 2019-2020 season this summer, the NBA confirmed on Saturday (May 23).

“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said in a statement.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”

The NBA was forced into cancellation amid the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, contracted coronavirus and exposed several other plays to the disease, including teammate Donavan Mitchell.

Since then, several former and current NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19, the most recent being basketball great Patrick Ewing.

“This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said upon announcing his health diagnosis over the weekend. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”

Continue Reading

Top Stories