Rappers Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, 50 Cent and more helped ignite Eminem and Jay-Z‘s first Yankee Stadium concert last night with surprise performances.
Much like their Detroit show, Em was backed by non-billed performers like Dr. Dre and D12.
Eminem took the stage first as a video intro reiterated his return from drug addiction and five years off the stage. Tellingly, he opened with a number (“Won’t Back Down”) from his latest smash CD, “Recovery.” The disk unveils a more mature Eminem, although he didn’t skimp on material from his snotnosed days. He proved he could still make his murderous alter ego Slim Shady both steely and witty. Most songs arrived in more terse versions than on CD and with a rock scale that felt downright grand. Guests peppered the event, from D12 to 50 Cent to Dr. Dre. Throughout, Eminem showed his bracing talent for balancing a fleet flow with rhymes that land like a punch to the gut. (New York Daily News)
For Jay’s set, surprise guests included West, Minaj, Drake and Swizz Beatz.
During “Run This Town,” Jay asked, “Where you at, boy?” And out came 2010 VMA closer Kanye West in a red suit. The roar was thunderous for the Louis Vuitton Don, who also rocked a huge gold link chain. They followed up with the first live performance of the “Power” remix — where all 50,000-plus people did the soulful “power clap” — and “Monster.” There was no Rick Ross on the latter, but ‘Ye and Hov brought out Nicki Minaj, who was showered with love from her hometown. Jay’s next guest was Bronx native Swizz Beatz, who was also celebrating his birthday. What a present! (MTV)
The rapper’s wife Beyonce Knowles was also at the concert.
But befitting a Yankees culture where it never hurts to err on the side of excess, the night became far more than a celebration of the current kings of Detroit and Gotham rap. They trotted out the controversial Kanye West for a few tunes. Jay-Z’s better half, Beyonce Knowles, made an appearance. There were shout-outs to the dearly departed from both the baseball and rap worlds — yes, George Steinbrenner‘s name was evoked with those of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. (USA Today)
Following his performance, 50 Cent hit up Twitter to share his post-show reactions.
“yankee stadium. I just walked pass these scary a** n*ggas. they searched us extra hard but we still got em in doe. I wish a n*gga would lol”
“I just left yankee stadium I feel good. Em said when I came out the energy was crazy. I’m not sure if ima be there tmw depends on how I feel” (50 Cent’s Twitter)
Minaj also tweeted about her time on-stage alongside West and Jay.
“Best nite of my life. Performed “Monster” @ yankee stadium with JAY-Z and KANYE WEST. #blessedANDhighlyFavoredThank u New York!!!!” (Nicki Minaj’s Twitter)
Check out footage from the concert down below: