I promised a play-by-play of the Watch the Throne concert day. Without further ado…
4PM: I get back to my girlfriend’s apartment in Brooklyn from a quick (bicep & tricep) pump at the gym. She stumbles half asleep out of her room and I decide I need a hearty meal before this concert. So I slide into the kitchen to prepare some spaghetti. Her roomate’s brother, Jason, is posted in front of the television, submerged in his apple computer monitoring fantasy football like a real man.
4:45PM: Dinner is about ready. Jasmine mumbles something to me about Dez Bryant, how her red bull just kicked in, and admits she’s excited about the concert. Why wouldn’t she be excited? She loves yeezy and loathes Jay-Z. Conflict of interest I guess.
5:20PM: Jason decisively renders his verdict asbout my spaghetti; “It’s good. Really good.” Sure it doesn’t take much to make great spaghetti but there happens to be a duel of sorts between Jasmine and I. Who makes the best spaghetti? Me. Time for some music. First track “Love Lockdown”.
5:45PM: Now Playing: “Salt Shacker”. I need the atmosphere to shift in here. No one seems to be as excited as me.
6:20PM: Now playing: “Stronger” & “Dueces” (remix). There’s a short debate over what Jasmine should wear. Here comes Amber (her roomate) with her opinion and her opinion immediately supercedes mine. It’s a wrap. As long as Jasmine feels comfortable and sexy I have to acquiesce. And she (always) looks damn good. For the record, I will not be chuckin’ dueces.
7:05PM: Marche rolls up. Everyone heads downstairs to the car and we start our journey to New Jersey. I’m really getting excited about the concert. Marche is excited as well, making agressive, evasive manuevers in the car. Jasmine looks over at me and fastens her seatbelt. Now playing: “I’m On One”
7:25PM: Amber is on the phone. I whisper, “Amber get off the phone. I need to hear this song.” “She’s on the phone with someone in Iraq.” Ooops. He gets a pass for being in a war zone. Now playing: “Party” Beyonce.
7:40PM: Lord have mercy. The radio is at it’s lowest volume and the women (Jason and I are outnumbered 3:2) start talking about relationships. It’s inevitable – assemble a group of women and this will no doubt occur. It’s some type of natural phenomenon. All of a sudden the Ford is transformed into an Oprah-esque open forum about relationships. I look over at Jason peering out the window presumably brainstorming how to kill himself.
8:00PM: We arrive at the IZOD Center
8:04PM: Murder Death Kill confirmation. Hold your gasps of horror. Murder death kill is a two part reference. The next vehicle I own will be all blacked out. “All black everything” as Hov would say. Anything (especially vehicles) blacked out I refer to as “murder death kill’d out.” I shared my delightful anecdote with Jason earlier and while walking in the parking lot he pointed to a car, “Murder death kill.” I knodded in agreement and Marche says, “What movie is that from?” I got really excited that she was familiar with the movie reference. “The one with Wesley Snipes? Demolition Man!” Jasmine acknowledged the movie reference earlier as well and now Marche has validated my claim that everyone knows the phrase “Murder Death Kill”. Demolition Man, what an awesome movie.
8:15PM: Seats are dope. We have our own little row of seats. The second (rising LED) stage is literally 30 feet away from us.
8:45PM: Standing in line for drinks. Looking around, the crowd is very representative of Kanye and Jay-Z fan base. A tapestry of ethnicities, ages, sizes, and shapes.
9:15-9:18PM: Jay-Z enters the arena adjacent to our seating section and the arena erupts with screams. Beyonce comes out behind Jay and makes her way to VIP. It’s pandemonium. They’ve just finished “HAM” and the second stage in front of us lights up and begins to rise. The stage is visually awe inspiring. I have a keen sense of smell and the stage is not the only thing that begins to rise; someone, actually some thousands, have just lit their blunts to mentally prepare for what’s sure to be sensory overload for the next two hours.
9:22PM: “Otis” crowd sing along
9:27PM: “Welcome To The Jungle” My man on the organ is showin’ out.
9:30PM: Kanye speaks to the crowd, “I go by many names. Martin ‘The Louis’ King Jr…”
9:38PM: We’re into individual performance territory now. Mr. West begins with “Can’t Tell Me Nothin” and goes into “Flashing Lights”. “Who makes songs about lights and fashion? This is the original”, says Kanye.
9:42PM: “Jesus Walks” starts up and Jasmine goes bananas. Kanye does the Jesus walks across the stage and drops to his knees to finish the track.
9:45PM: “Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is JOV!” Flames shoot from the stage and the arena is shaking with voices rapping along with Jay.
10:00PM: “Monster” cues and Kanye proclaims, “Best rap group of all time.” There’s a close up of Kanye on the big screens and literally as I turn to Jasmine to say, “Look at that niggas bracelet”, everyone else around us (and probably the entire arena) says the same thing verbatim.
10:10PM: “Hard Knock Life” This song was my first introduction to Jay-Z. My cousin, Farrah, gave me “The Life and Times of Sean Carter Vol.2” and I was made a Jay-Z fan instantly. I might have been twelve.
10:26PM: “If I told you I didn’t like the dress you wore tonight, don’t mind me. I’m an asshole…cuz you always fine…” Those words really resonated with Jasmine for some reason. Kanye performs “Runaway” on the second stage right beside us.
10:32PM: “Stronger” on the stage beside us.
10:35PM: “On To The Next One” mixed in with a little “D.A.N.C.E.” by Justice. This was an awesome mix and it only lasted for the intro. I would’ve given anything for that hint of Justice to stay in the entire track.
10:54PM: “All Of The Lights>Big Pimpin'” I almost lost it about this point in the concert. “All Of The Lights” went SO HARD and the transition was seamless and flawless.
“Y’ALL NIGGAS AIN’T READY!!!!”
11:12PM: This is what Kanye screams again and again as “Niggas In Paris” begins. This is the end of the show and the most anticipated song of the night. The duo performs the track three times. The encore track is “Encore”.
11:27PM: I’m sitting down, head in hands, trying to gather myself after one of the best shows I’ve had the priviledge of experiencing. We compare voices, identifying who screamed their lungs out of functioning properly and head to the car.
12:00PM: Jasmine says Jay-Z has elevated from a 4 to a 74 in her book. We all agree that’s a fair upgrade.
12:54AM: Everyone gets back home very hungry. I attack the spaghetti. Amber says, “That little spaghetti sauce is good.” I say, “I know, I made it. I can’t wait to tell Jasmine what you just said.”