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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2008 Concerts

One word to describe Hip-Hop concerts in 2008? Spectacular! Not only did just about every major name in Hip-Hop tour in 2008, they also provided fans with those “I remember exactly where I was when it happened” moments. While some performances were out of this world, others provided fans with preeminent acts that extended across multiple genres. With the economy collapsing like a playing card pyramid left out in a hurricane, Hip-Hop concerts in 2008 provided the largest value for your ever declining dollar. It seemed that artists were competing against one another, and like any Econ 101 course will tell you, competition is great for the consumer. In the end if you missed out on these once and in a lifetime experiences, I figure you’ll be kicking yourself throughout the article, so brace yourself!

Heart of the City TourThe first tour to conquer the Hip-Hop world in 2008 was the amazing genre uniting Heart of the City tour. Featuring Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige, this tour provided the greatest balance between Hip-Hop and R&B of any tour to ever precede it, and conveyed just why the two genres go hand and hand. Jay and Mary are arguably the most respected and well regarded acts of their respective musical arenas, therefore even before you even stepped foot in the building you could feel the aura and essence that the concert was sure to bring. While many concerts with multiple acts will simply proceed without much collaboration, The Heart of the City concert dominated on all grounds. Mary performed all of her smash hits having the crowd groove with each vocal and continuously moved about the stage as if she was still stuck in her ’90s form. On the other side Jay performed like a champ, as he commanded the stage and performed hit after chart topping hit. The highlight of the concert came as Mary and Jay performed the several tracks that they collaborated with throughout their illustrious careers. “Can’t Knock the Hustle” off of Jay’s classic debut stole the show, as the duo made the place feel as if it were ’96 all over again. The most interesting part of the concert was looking around and seeing the same guys that were just “Big Pimpin'” with the Jigga man, turn around and sing about how they can’t “Be Without You” with Ms. Blige.

Glow In the Dark TourThe critically acclaimed Glow in the Dark tour was perhaps one of the greatest concerts to ever be performed. Kanye West really performed a one-man show that featured no guest appearances and literally no other person on the stage, not even the instrumentalists. The story of West traveling across the universe only to have his space ship crash on a foreign planet was simply amazing. Never have I ever seen a concert that was literally a story told with songs throughout West’s stellar catalog. The tour features thousands of lights being shined throughout the nighttime sky and had West decked out in his huge shades and glow in the dark jackets. This concert would literally take your breath away, and West should be putting out a DVD about the amazing concert alongside a book later this year. And while Kanye was amazing, one most not forget the terrific opening acts that featured Lupe Fiasco, N.E.R.D, and Rihanna. So while the Heart of the City tour had the best collaboration, The Glow in the Dark tour was literally out of this world!

Rock the Bells Festival ’08The Rock the Bells tour is quickly becoming a summer tradition and one of the hottest Hip-Hop tours each and every year. This annual tour that was christened in California in 2004 has now spread to a full blown global tour. Rock the Bells has the bragging rights to have reunited the entire Wu-Tang Clan, Rage Against the Machine, and A Tribe Called Quest. In 2008 A Tribe Called Quest led by Q-Tip dominated the tour. Q-Tip probably performed the most hyped performance of any Hip-Hop act I’ve ever seen and after jumping off the stage into the crowd a staggering three times, I was determined that he was possessed with some type of Hip-Hop demon. When the Tribe wasn’t dominated the stage, Nas, Mos Def, Dead Prez, Rakim, Raekwon, Ghostface, and many others were commanding the stage in this all day Festival that lasts over 10 hours.