During a concert Saturday night at New York’s Terminal 5, JAY Z reminded fans, haters and nay-sayers that he’s not “a businessman, [he’s] a business, man.”
The Hip Hop mogul, in efforts to push TIDAL, his recently acquired music streaming service, performed B-Sides from his albums in front of a screaming crowd. He brought out such guests as Jay Electronica, Young Jeezy, Memphis Bleek, Just Blaze and, much to the crowd’s delight, his State Property comrades, including Freeway and Beanie Sigel.
Highlights of the night were a tribute to legendary Blues man, B.B. King, who died on May 14th at the age of 89, and a monster freestyle where he took shots at YouTube and called out fair-weather fans who have no problem supporting White millionaires (here’s looking at you Steve Jobs and Phil Knight), but are critical of Black ones.
He also name-checked Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin while noting that the country is still “Politics as Usual.”
We transcribed it below because, fire.
And I don’t need no middle man to talk to my ni**as
I understand if you don’t understand, I figure I’m Jigga
That’s where we differ
I take what’s mine, you accept what they give ya, I get ya
I don’t take no checks, I take my respect
Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet
Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net
Google dangled around a crazy check
I feel like YouTube is the biggest cul-pu-rit
Them ni**as pay you a tenth of what you sposed to get
You know ni**as died for equal pay, right?
You know when I work I ain’t ya slave, right?
You know I ain’t shucking and jiving, and hi-fiving
You know this ain’t back in the days, right?
Well, I can’t tell by the way they killed Freddie Gray, right?
Shot down Mike Brown, how they did Tray, right?
Let ’em continue choking ni**as
I ain’t ya token ni**a
You know I came in this game independent, right?
Tidal, my own label, same difference
Oh, ni**as is skeptical when it’s they own shit
You bought nine iPhones and Steve Job is rich
Phil Knight worth trillions, you still bought those kicks
Spotify’s 9 million, they ain’t say shit
((Lucy…got some splainin’ to do))
The only one they hatin’ on look the same as you
That’s cool, I know they tryin’ to bamboozle you
Spending millions on media trying to confuse you
I had to talk to myself, ‘Hov, you used to it’
It’s politics as usual
Check out the clip above and the entire set list below. The second B-Side concert is live-streaming on TIDAL Sunday night.
Young, Gifted and Black
Pump It Up Freestyle
Streets is Watching
Friend or Foe
Where I’m From
Politics as Usual
Guess Who’s Back
Show You How
Jigga My Nigga
U Don’t Know
A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More)
This Can’t Be Life
Grammy Family Freestyle
You, Me, Him and Her (w/ Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Young Chris, and Neef)
What We Do (Freeway Cover)
We Made It (w/ Jay Electronica)
Exhibit C (Jay Electronica and Just Blaze solo)
Go Crazy (w/ Young Jeezy)
Who Dat (Young Jeezy)
Can I Live
In My Lifetime (Remix)
It’s Like That
Blueprint (Momma Loves Me) (a capella version)
B.B. King Tribute
Star Spangled Banner (Jimi Hendrix tribute performed by Roc Boys)
Public Service Announcement