The Best Scenes From Jay Z's 'Fade To Black' Movie
November 14, 2013 - 9:20 pm
The visual aesthetics the production team decided to start off with, really kicked the movie off well. Viewers get a glimpse of the outside of the iconic MSG and “Sold Out Jay Z” signage lit-up at night. Beyonce enters…Jay explains how monumental the moment is by explaining the significance. “We in the Garden nigga, that may be no big deal for pop acts or rock acts to sell out the garden a couple nights in a row but hip-hop, we wasn’t even allowed in the building,” he says as the camera shows fans filing in. In case Jay didn’t show, Memphis Bleek assured everyone that everything would be under control with the Roc team running the show… “Beans is here, freeway here if Jay don’t show up – we gon’ shut this shit down even more.”
Michael Buffer intro
What would a main event be without Michael Buffer? The man previously preserved for boxing and wrestling matches was called upon by Jay Z for his special night. Even watching at home, it’s easy to feel the energy he brings to the microphone.
Jay’s Blueprint hit “H to the Izzo” received an epic makeover when he performed the track in front of an intimate crowd on MTV. With the help of Jaguar Wright and the Roots, the song helped anchor Jay’s “Unplugged” album, filled with all-acoustic versions of Blueprint bangers. Their reenactment that night was nothing short of amazing.
Jay Z and Timbaland's Relationship
“Some people are permanently inspired.” Timbaland happens to be one of those people in the eyes of Jay Z. This scene offers viewers a look at the creation of “Dirt Off Your Shoulders.” Aside from working together consistently, the jokes and laughter these two trade shows that their relationship is more than just business. After hearing Jay’s unwritten verse to his own beat, all he can say is “every rapper that’s out that’s supposed to be hot will be terminated.”
The Roc-A-Fella gang joined Jay on stage to perform “What We Do” and several other songs. It’s good to see the team together, especially since the Dynasty’s demise was soon after. Nostalgic “good ol’ days” performance. Freeway, Beanie Siegal and Memphis Bleek each had hits as solo artists, which made the team that much stronger. The crew learned how to share the stage together in the late 90's (See Backstage).
The making of 99 Problems
While Rick Rubin didn’t actually produce anything on Magna Carta, he did work on The Black Album. This scene delved into the dynamic of Rick Rubin and his eerie relationship with Jay. “Since this album is autobiographical, I had to go to one of the few people that could recapture that feeling I had when I was a kid” Jay says about Rick in the scene. “Rick ain’t normal I don’t give a fuck… he’s just strange by strange standards. Downstairs we’re doing hardcore rap records, he’s upstairs with koala leaves talking about a Tibetan freedom concert plan.” The visual of the Bison heads lodged on the wall in the studio is pretty creepy. Perhaps it’s for the ambiance? Mike D. makes a quick cameo to give his approval of “99 Problems.”
This power couple was obviously “Crazy in Love.” Beyonce’s three-song set included her infamous “uh-oh” dance, “Baby Boy” and “Summertime.” Ghostface paid his respects to the couple by performing his verse off “Summertime” but only after a cool “chaining” moment with Slick Rick.
Before Watch The Throne
Somehow Kanye seemed extremely humble in Jay’s presence. Granted these were the days he looked at Jay as his “Big Brother” but it’s interesting to see a young, wide-eyed Kanye looking to impress his mentor. Check out his tangerine colored Lacoste polo… obviously pre-dating his leather jogging pants and Maison Margiela days.
The Queen of R&B Arrives
The King of hip-hop being joined by the Queen of R&B made for a rather royal moment onstage. Mary J. Blige joined her longtime friend to perform their hustler anthem (“Can’t Knock the Hustle”) off Jay’s debut album. Mary literally made the song cry by singing her heart out on the chorus of "Song Cry" and harmonizing so effortlessly. It’s unfortunate Jay and Mary never won a Grammy like she did with Method Man. Hov channeling LL Cool J to perform his “I Need Love” freestyle was a definite high-point during the night. The last bars in his freestyle would go on to become a popular social media status for Jay Z fans everywhere. “I know the difference between a Bitch and a “Bey.”
Best of Both Worlds
Why couldn't they make one more album? It hurt to hear these two fell out the way they did but Kellz’ appearance at the Garden for the show brought the crowd to their feet. Arguably the best at their own respective genres, (sorry JT) Jay and Kellz combined for an untouchable duo. For those that missed their tour, this probably served as a bit of a make-up. By the way, the all –white was all right with us!
“Everything I do is inspired by life, so of course it’s inspired by the people that’s closest to me. Ya’ll inspire me, I couldn’t be where I’m at without y’all , I love all of ya’ll.” Amongst his closest companions Jay Z delivers a beautiful speech, thanking those that have inspired him along his journey. No championship celebration here — just champagne, Bey and Rocafella.