Magna Carta World Tour lands in San Diego


Griffin Nordin

Jay-Z performs ” Holy Grail’ to an energetic crowd at his concert. The setlist not only included his new album but his greatest hits as well.

The stage was set and the newly-renamed Valley View Casino Center a.k.a. San Diego Sports Arena, filled to the brim with people of all ages. Despite past shows, Jay-Z and Timbaland decided to abandon the idea of having an opener but rather chose an unknown DJ to spin today’s latest hip hop hits for a half an hour while the lights were still on.

But as soon as the lights went down, the man himself, Jay-Z, entered the stage, wearing black on black on black on black. With his iconic leather Brooklyn Nets snapback hat and black designer t-shirt, he coolly walked on the stage with his notorious professional swagger.

True to his persona as an entertainer, Jay-Z effectively pumped up the crowd with “Higher Intro” straight into “U Don’t Know.” While he started off with high energy, it seemed as though performing for as many years as he has, can take a toll on one’s body. After eleven songs, Jay-Z took a temporary hiatus and left the stage. Then┬áTimbaland took the mic, well more like keyboard. The talented producer dropped classic beats and well as some new ones, keeping the crowd entertained in Jay-Z’s absence.

Jay-Z performed a great medley of old hits and new songs from MCHG. He brought the audience into the performance, whether it was holding the iconic Illuminati diamond, singing along or being pointed out on camera, the crowd was heavily involved in many aspects of the show, making for a memorable and worthy experience.

During the encore, Jay-Z introduced the audience to the tour band. Complete with a gas-mask-wearing guitarist, ski-masked drummer and a keyboardist straight out of a Woody Allen movie, this surprising group brought an element of edginess no one expected. Jay-Z ended strong with “Run This Town” and “Forever Young” both from Blueprint 3. And being the classy artist he is, Jay-Z dedicated “Forever Young” to Nelson Mandela after his passing the day before.

Jay-Z lives up to the hype proving his show a must see for hip hop and rap enthusiasts alike. For just turning 44 and after being in the game for 17 years, he impressively continued his career and put on an excellent concert, perhaps with just a little less energy.