Despite going platinum many, many times over and being recognized as rap music's reigning MC, Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, has never really lived up to the promise of his 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt. With nine albums in eight years, Jay-Z has built his foundation on quantity, and has successfully traced the paths of Russell Simmons, Sean Combs, and Percy Miller to become the modern era hip-hop mogul. As part of his Roc the Mic set, fans can expect hits like "Hard Knock Life," and the Texas-themed "Big Pimpin'," along with abbreviated takes on classics including "Can't Knock the Hustle."
| ROC THE MIC TOUR: |
JAY-Z, 50 CENT, SEAN PAUL, FABOLOUS, BUSTA RHYMES
Friday, August 1
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
16765 Lookout Rd. 657-8300
Since roaring onto the scene via A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" in 1991, Busta Rhymes (aka Trevor Smith) has remained hip-hop's most genuinely animated character. Teamed with visionary yet underachieving filmmaker Hype Williams, Busta, like Missy Elliot, has pushed the artistic boundaries of music videos to luminary heights. On wax he has perfected both the posse cut and cameo verse. These days, Busta seems more adept at crafting and appearing on hit singles that don't always outshine sub-par albums, yet he still delivers one of the genre's most dynamic live sets.
Fabolous, the youngster on the tour, is essentially Mase circa 1997, without the dimples and shiny suit. Resigned to his monotone flow, one can only hope that the bulk of his bubblegum raps will be reserved for the obligatory "official" after-party. •