Rap mogul Jay-Z recently talked about his persistence toward perfecting touring skills and how former Def Jam labelmate DMX helped him bring out his A-game.
In addition to X, Hov said he was inspired by non-rap acts.
“In hip-hop, there’s not many great performers,” Jay said in an interview. “I look outside the genre, measuring myself against others. I look at Madonna‘s production and envy that. Daft Punk‘s set…ll my early years? Forget it. I was a horrible performer. DMX tore me to pieces. I remember being stunned. [DMX] had me really working. But I had to figure this out. If you want to be a headliner, you better put on a headline show.” (Los Angeles Times)
Earlier this year, Jay said he has continued to perfect his on-stage presence.
“I’ve been working on my live show for 10 years now, just trying to get it better and better. I used to come out with just a DJ, now I got a band. The production’s gotten bigger and the lighting guy takes off his shoes and he plays to the beat,” he laughs. “The whole thing is being upgraded every single year.” (Rap-Up)
Jay’s skills have also inspired Roc Nation’s J. Cole.
“As the tour went on, I got way more comfortable, I learned a lot about doing shows and why Jay-Z is able to do shows,” Cole told radio personality DJ Whoo Kid. “I learned pretty much from him that confidence is everything. If you feel like you deserve to be up there, which of course he does, he feels like that, it shows and all the minor stuff you used to worry about like what kind of hand movements am I supposed to do, all that goes out the window when you got the confidence like ‘Yo, I deserve to be up there, people came to see me.’ So it’s really treating it like that. I used to worry about performing like, ‘Ah man, I’m trying to please every side of the crowd,’ like make sure they gettin’ love, they gettin’ love, Jay just plays wherever he wants. If he wants to play the center for the whole verse, he’ll do that. And all that comes from confidence, when you feel you deserve to be up there.” (Shade 45)
This summer, Jay will be headlining the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee.
Headliners will include Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews Band and Kings of Leon, in what is currently the Grammy-winning band’s only scheduled U.S. show of the year. Bands already announced this afternoon include Ingrid Michaelson, The xx, Regina Spektor, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, Wale, Mayer Hawthorne & The County, Phoenix and more. (Billboard)
Check out recent Jay-Z concert footage below: