Since the rhetorical question of "who's the best MC, Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas?" was posed on the slept-on-classic "Where I'm From"--found on "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1" by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter--the names and careers of Jay-Z and Nas have been inextricably linked. So why break the trend?
After record-breaking performances by both over the Labor Day weekend--Jay-Z at the Made in America Music Festival and Nas at Rock the Bells--the pair is again in the limelight with major moves coming down the pike. For Jay-Z, aside from he and his wife, Beyonce, hosting a fundraiser for President Barack Obama at his 40/40 club, he's now just a few days away from christening the stage at the Barclays Center in his native Brooklyn, with a five-show run Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 3 and 4. The shows have been void of tickets for months, selling out in minutes after they went on sale to the public.
However, new possibilities to enjoy a semblance of the festivities have been made available. Following the historic opening night performances at Barclays, Young Guru (Jay-Z's DJ and resident engineer) will leave the stage and keep alive the spirit of the concerts with a series of after-parties. On Sept. 28, Young Guru, along with DJ Square Biz, will be joined for a special DJ set by fellow Brooklyn hip-hop stalwart Talib Kweli.
The opening night party will be at Free Candy, 905 Atlantic Ave., at the corner of St. James. Doors open at 10. On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, Guru and the Roc Boyz (Jay-Z's band) move to Littlefield with an intimate Brooklyn jam session featuring special guests affiliated with Roc-A-Fella and the new-look Roc Nation. Although guest performers have yet to be announced, you can safely bet that with the guests Jay-Z is ready to bring out at Barclays Center, Young Guru and the Roc Boyz will have ample firepower to enliven the room at the 300-capacity venue. Littlefield, located at 622 Degraw St. in Brooklyn, is less than one mile from the Barclays Center.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, Young Guru and the Roc Boyz take the party across the bridge to Manhattan's exclusive trendy nightlife spot, the Box (189 Chrystie St.). Complimentary drinks will flow courtesy of Belvedere, so this after-party is poised to be the capacity-filled. To secure your entry to this exclusive industry event, get your advance tickets and show up early. Tickets for the respective shows can be purchased at www.littlefieldnyc.com/event and www.theboxnyc.com.
For Nas, the venue isn't as grand as an arena, but it will be monumental nonetheless. Following the release of his sixth No. 1 album, the new opus, "Life Is Good," a standout performance on this year's Rock the Bells tour and a just-announced dual headlining tour with Lauren Hill, hip-hop's most influential MC has announced an exclusive show to take place on Monday, Dec. 31, at 9 p.m. at Radio City Music Hall. As if the Times Square area won't be crazy enough!
Said Nas, "There is no better place for me to spend New Year's Eve than New York City, and there aren't many better places to perform in this world than Radio City." Fans began to purchase tickets this past Friday, Sept. 14, the same day Nas celebrated his 39th born day.