Tag Archives: jay-z

Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch The Throne in Montreal

Over the last few years, I’ve definitely seen my fair share of shows in every music genre there is. From Muse to Eminem, from The Sounds to Stratovarius, and also the countless international artists that came to Festival d’Été in Quebec City like Metallica, Black Eyed Peas, Iron Maiden, Arcade Fire, Linkin Park, and the list goes on…

Still, after attending all these shows, there is still no one in my mind who can match the stage presence that Jay-Z has. Prior to last Tuesday’s show, I had seen Jay-Z twice; once in Montreal for the Blueprint 3 tour in 2009, and once in Detroit, in 2010, for one of the two Home and Home shows that he was giving with Eminem. Both times, I had been completely hypnotized by his charisma and his ability to crank the stadiums’ ambiance to the next level.

With the Watch The Throne tour stopping in Montreal on November 22nd, my expectations were sky high to see how the addition of Kanye West would up the ante of a Jay-Z show.

Opting for a minimalist stage design overall, the two hip-hop juggernauts started the show each on their respective hydraulic platforms, performing their collaborative single H*A*M with just two follow-spots lighting them. They went on with other songs from their latest album: Who Gon Stop Me, Otis and Gotta Have It. The visual effects became more and more elaborated as the show was progressing. The two hydraulic platforms rose from the ground, revealing LED screens displaying images of sharks and dobermans. An insane amount of laser beams started filling the Bell Centre, and eventually, two screens at the back of the arena started projecting live images of the two rappers performing, as well as some related footage to the songs being played.

Jay-Z and Kanye eventually split and performed some solo singles from their vast repertoire of classics. Can’t Tell Me Nothing, Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Power, 99 Problems, All Falls Down, Hard Knock Life, Jesus Walks and Big Pimpin’ were just a few of the titles that could be heard throughout their 35-plus-songs setlist (see the complete list here). As expected, Jay-Z’s performances were superior to Kanye, but the 34-year-old still did pretty good besides the 42-year-old veteran king of hip-hop.

Once again, I was amazed by the energy that the song U Don’t Know brought to the arena, just like the two previous times I heard Jay-Z perform it. It felt like if the Bell Centre was going to crumble under the loud screams of the crowd.

Hova was not interacting with the crowd as much as the previous times I’d seen him, but the chemistry between Jay-Z, probably the coolest person on the planet, and the mysterious and intense Kanye West, more than made up for it. When the screens showed KW as he looked at the crowd without smiling, his look was terrifying (in a good way of course).

Kanye brought a 10-minute-long emotional phase to the show, rising solo on one of the two lifting stages, dressed in all-red leather clothes, matching the lighting, and started playing the auto-tuned Runaway and Heartless.

The Throne teamed up again for the end of the show, and performed their new hit song N*iggas in Paris not once, not twice, but 5 times in a row, and finished this crazy evening with Jay-Z’s very-appropriate 2003 hit, Encore.

Jay-Z and Kanye proved that their not only watching, but holding the throne.

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Jay-Z & Kanye West: Watch The Throne review

Where to begin ? This album has been on everyone’s lips for so long, and it looks like it was one hell of a journey for Jay-Z and Kanye West to release their first collabo album, Watch The Throne. With an initial release date scheduled for last January, to a delayed tour accompanying the album’s launch supposedly due to a feud between the two artists, to reaching a milestone as being the first hip-hop album to not be leaked on the Internet before its release in several years, there’s no need to say that Watch The Throne has become 2011’s most anticipated album. Well, this morning, at 12:00am precisely, the album released exclusively on the iTunes Store (it actually leaked on ThePirateBay.org 40 minutes before its iTunes launch, but still…).

At midnight, I pressed the “Buy” button on iTunes and started listening to this album that I’ve awaited for so long, since Jay-Z and Kanye West are two of my favorite artists of all-time. At first, Watch The Throne is no different than Kanye’s latest work, in the sense that you don’t know exactly what to think about what you just heard. I was anxious to write this review, but I decided to use what little amount of patience I have to listen to the album several times before publishing this.

We think we now know what to expect from Kanye since the creativity/insanity on my My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Forget it. You don’t know what to expect from WTT. Mr. West produced the majority of the album, and you can easily tell, since it sounds a lot more like his latest musicality than Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, even though there are shades of Shawn Carter’s influence throughout. One thing is sure, both rappers will make you go through a variety of different emotions that you will not feel on many other albums in the entire music industry, ever.

The album starts off with the deep, powerful track No Church in the Wild, which is sure to give you shivers on the first listen. Not only are the melody and the Frank Ocean-sung chorus bewitching, the lyrics will hit you like a first-round punch from Mike Tyson. Jay-Z and Kanye warn you very early on that they will not hold back on anything, they will say whatever they want to say about religion, drugs, ethics, politics, lifestyles and the list goes on. “Coke on her black skin made a stripe like a zebra, I call that jungle fever” and “When we die, the money we can’t keep, but we prolly spend it all ’cause the pain ain’t cheap” are the opening and closing lines of Kanye’s first verse, leaving the door open for a lot more to come on the 12-track album (16-track if you buy the Deluxe Version).

And just when you think you get the idea of what the album is going to be, The Throne duo switch it up with tracks going from Electro Hip-Hop, to heavy club beats, to super-vintage notes, to melancholic melodies and so on. There was a slight deception for me on the second track, Lift Off featuring Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce. With these 3 artists on the same track, you expect to have one of the best songs of 2011, and Lift Off barely makes it to the “good song” status. But if you can get through that, the ride keeps getting better and better after.

One of the biggest surprises on the album is clearly the amount of Auto-Tune/Voice distortion that was used. After Jay-Z’s track “Death of Auto-Tune”, you would expect Watch The Throne to be very raw in the singing/rapping aspect of it, but it definitely isn’t. West plays with voices like Jackson Pollock plays with paint, and it really adds another dimension to the album’s production, even for a not-a-fan-of-autotune like me.

Speaking of singing/rapping, Kanye and Jay really mix it up through the album. Going from separate verses on some songs, to exchanging line after line on some other tracks, their lyrical prowesses are astonishing. Jay-Z is in very good shape throughout the album. If we leave aside a couple of fortune-claiming rhymes and crack-selling stories that are getting kind of old, Jay-Z’s flow is so impressive that it sometimes overshadows West’s performance. But Kanye quickly strikes back with raw, honest words and lines that seem more thought-through than Jay’s. Even if we tend to compare the two, the album does not feel like a competition at all, but really more like a symbiosis. KW and Jay-Z complete each other as well, even if not better than Run-DMC or Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg back in the days.

It would be a shame to close this review without spending a few lines about the song New Day. This track, co-produced by the RZA, will go down in history as a classic, if there is still such a thing as a classic in the saturated music industry nowadays. The song is a tribute/message to both Kanye and Jay-Z’s unborn, unconceived sons. While Kanye explains what he will protect his son from, Jay apologizes in advance for the tough stardom-lifestyle that his son will have to live through because of him. The song is incredibly touching and the RZA-Kanye production has a feeling of nostalgia that completes the dialogue perfectly.

The expectations for Watch The Throne were sky-high. Did Jay-Z and Kanye West meet them ? I think this question will never be answered, because a 2007 Kanye West fan or a 2001 Jay-Z fan will definitely not like the album as much as more recent listeners will, but one thing is sure, it is meant to cause discussions, questioning and controversy, and that are usually factors of great music. With the creativity he once again brought to the table with this album, Kanye West just bought a one-way ticket into the contemporary music Hall-of-Fame, while Jay-Z’s already top-name status has just been solidified and confirmed. Hip-hop fan or not, this record is one to listen to again and again and put besides some of the greatest of modern music history.

Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel Review

Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Detroit rappers Eminem and Royce da 5’9 collaborated on many tracks, including Scary Movies and the original version of Jay-Z’s Renegade, creating the duo Bad Meets Evil.

After embarking on different journeys, Royce staying as the king of underground hip-hop in Detroit, and Eminem becoming the best-selling rap artist of the decade, the two MCs decided to reunite again, over 10 years later, releasing their new EP, Hell: The Sequel.

Being labeled as an EP, and not an album targeted at reaching multi-platinum status, you have to be in a certain state of mind to listen to this 9-track extended play, something I forgot to remind myself before listening to it the first time. If you’re looking for a summer album to listen to while cruising in your convertible car on Highway One, look somewhere else. If you’re an occasional Eminem listener and the only tracks you know are Without Me, Shake that Ass and Love the Way you Lie, chances are this album is not fit for you either.

After the evolution and maturity of Eminem that could be heard on Recovery, one could only expect that Em would pursue this path in this Bad Meets Evil project. Well, Eminem decided totally otherwise, digging out his old rhyming style attributed to his early work, reminiscent of The Slim Shady LP. Marshall Mathers looks like he decided to give something back to his die-hard fans after Recovery was labeled as a more commercial album.

The EP is a 45-minute display of lyrical mastery, both from Royce da 5’9 and Eminem, sometimes even pushing it too far, as if the MCs focused on technical skills and left aside the musical aspect of rap. Nonetheless, for any fan of battle rap, this is incredibly impressive. Listeners will pause, rewind and loop a lot of tracks to catch all the details in the lyrics.

Overall, the EP is very dark, and as I said earlier, is not one to be listened to on a bright sunny day while having lunch on your patio. It also feels very uneven. Fastlane has shades of Scary Movies, while The Reunion sounds like a track that could have been on the Relapse album, and then you have Lighters, featuring Bruno Mars, that, in my opinion, has no place on an EP like that, and feels like a track that was pushed in by the record label to ensure some radio play.

Having two rappers exchanging verses on every track feels refreshing though, getting out of the mold of 90% of hip-hop tracks that are rapped by one artist and have a sung-chorus by an invited artist. But, having two rappers sort of battling it out on an entire EP, you can’t help but start to compare them at some point. Honestly, I never thought I’d say that, but I think that overall, Royce da 5’9 overshadows Eminem on the EP. Eminem sounds too agressive and out of control, while Royce has an incredible flow that doesn’t feel forced. Em also brings back his multiple disses towards celebrities, which start to feel a bit old after the wisdom shown (not on every track of course) on Recovery. He even brings back another diss to the late David Carradine, which is pushing it too far in my opinion…

After pointing out its flaws, I now have to raise my hat to the highlight of this EP, which is Take From Me. This melancholic song about internet-leaking and lack of confidence towards their entourage is to me, musically, one of the best tracks Eminem has ever been featured on. Both rappers show vulnerability and honesty accompanied by an incredible melody by Mr. Porter, making it a memorable song, even if it feels like an orphan on an EP focused on battle rap.

Hell: The Sequel, fulfills what it was meant to be: an album for hardcore hip-hop fans looking for lyrical prowess and a dark, agressive sound. Royce da 5’9 and Eminem prove to the world once again that they’re 2 of the greatest rap artists ever, even if sometimes the quality of the musicality suffers from the technical display.

Kanye West’s Monster

Yep, it was the WWDC yesterday, where Apple announced a bunch of cool stuff, including iOS5 and iCloud, but I know a lot less about it than the thousands of geeker-than-me people that have followed every second of this event, so no, I’m not going to talk about it, and you can go here to know everything that was announced: http://live.gizmodo.com/

After having it leaked earlier this year, Kanye West finally released the final version of the Monster video. After a disappointing, seizure-heavy video by Hype Williams for All of the Lights, Mr. West got veteran director Jake Nava to direct this controversial short for the very hard-hitting single that is Monster.

Of course, we couldn’t expect Kanye to release a bright, shiny, easy-to-watch video for a song like this one, and of course, he didn’t. Dark, morbid images hit the screen one after the other for 6 straight minutes, leaving you with this now almost usual “what the hell was that” feeling you have after looking at anything Kanye has done in the past 3 years. That aside, the video is very original, especially in its editing, where very long shots compose the editing process, something almost inexistant in today’s music videos.

While different in its content, the Monster video is visually very similar to the half-hour-long Runaway short film that Kanye launched a couple of weeks before the realease of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Vivid colors and vintage sets and costumes are the main elements of the art direction. Where Monster differs, it’s on the message side. While I haven’t truly figured it out yet, the visual from Monster shows Mr. West and fellow rappers surrounded by either in-distress or dead women lying around. While it may sound disgusting, it has a signature Kanye aesthetic that just can’t be over-looked. Kanye’s style, Jay-Z’s class, Rick Ross’s “ballin” and Nicki Minaj’s S&M sexiness/craziness come together beautifully to score yet another piece of art that will cause discussions, controversy and boycotts.

What I’m not sure about is the disclaimer at the beginning which reads: “The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative towards any group of people. It is an art piece and it shall be taken as such.” It’s as if Kanye was scared by the people’s opinion, something he’s clearly not known for. Let’s hope this was the record label’s request…

I couldn’t find any Youtube or Vimeo version that didn’t get deleted in 5 minutes or less, so I can’t embed it in this post. There is a Twitvid version on Mashable that should highly quench your Kanye thirst for now: Mashable.com

Sam Brown for the Audi A1

Sam Brown, the mastermind behind Jay-Z’s incredible On To The Next One video, comes back with a similar visual signature for Audi’s new A1 car.

The rhythm of the ad is spectacular, leaving your eyes stuck to the screen during this 45-second commercial that you wished lasted for an hour. Brown once again makes use of abstract black & white cinematography, something we rarely see nowadays in car commercials. The total absence of voice-over and hard electronic music is also something that car companies don’t tend to go for with their soundtracks.

From what I’ve read on the Audi website, the imagery perfectly illustrates the concept of the A1: a performant compact car that has character, while having the advantage of being light on fuel consumption.

But clearly, what impressed me the most throughout this ad is the scale effect. Every environment in which the footage is shot looks absolutely huge, which probably also transcends information about the car’s interior space.

Audi does it again.

Top 5 everything of 2010

Once again, as hard as it is to believe, another year has almost already passed by and it seems like yesterday I was having dinner with the family at my uncle’s house for New Year’s day for this new decade. The more time passes by, the more it seems to fly away at the speed of light, and I’m again left wondering if this year will be the one where I’ll have time to do everything I’ve planned for the coming 365 days. Of course, it will not happen, but, before this year ends, I did manage to find some time to look back on 2010 and realize how good a year this has been. And, since the only things I’ve seen on social networks in the past days are Top 10s and Recaps, I decided I’d make my own Top 5. Ok, I’ve cheated on some categories, some are top 5 with honorable mentions, others may contain only 3 winners, but, you get the point.

This is of course my own personal opinion. No stats, no results, no expert analysis, just my own totally subjective, sometimes biased opinion. Let’s start it off.

BEST ALBUMS

1. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I said it recently, and I stand with my first impression, this is the album of the year, and critics (aka Rolling Stone Magazine) seem to agree. The creativity, the originality and the “I don’t care what you think of me” attitude that emanates from this album make it impossible to ignore. Mr. West has taken his music one step further and created a sound of his own, and for that, you get my gold medal Kanye.

2. Eminem – Recovery
Wouldn’t it have been for Kanye, first place would have gone to Mr. Mathers. Recovery is the return of the king, the road to redemption fulfilled for Eminem. It is his most mature album yet, and I think I’ll dare to say it also is his best album. It may not contain as many classics as The Eminem Show or The Marshall Mathers LP, but the overall ride on which Eminem takes you with his latest album is definitely something no Em fan has ever witnessed before. A must for any fan of hip-hop.

3. The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
The Montreal band proved to the world that they are a force to be reckoned with this album. Their sound is unique, the lyrics are profound, and the overall experience that you go through while listening to The Suburbs is definitely something special that not many bands can match. For me, this is an instant classic, something that my iTunes play-count can start to fear.

4. Jònsi – Go
The Sigur Ros vocalist/guitarist released a solo album back in April, and I did not listen to it until earlier this month. To be honest, I’ve lonely listened to it twice, so I don’t feel like I know this album too well, but I couldn’t leave it off this list. This is musical ecstasy. Whether they make you joyful or nostalgic, Jonsi’s exotic melodies are sure to spark a lot of emotions inside you. It is hard to describe, so the best thing I can say is, buy it and let yourself be immersed by the sound of it, you will not regret it.

5. B.o.B. – The Adventures of Bobby Ray
Probably the hardest position to fill, because the list of contenders was endless, but B.o.B. had to have his place in my 2010 year. I listened to this album countless times during my trip to Costa Rica, and it just has a special feel every time I listen to it. Even if this is his first LP, B.o.B. shows an incredible maturity as an artist, mixing super catchy commercial pop songs with more dramatic, serious tracks on which the lyrics are certain to make some hip-hop veterans jealous. The artists collaborations are original (Hayley Williams, Rivers Cuomo…) and it is just a good, easy to listen album. Plus, Airplanes has to be one of the greatest hip-hop songs released in the past 5 years, so for all that, I raise my hat to B.o.B. who fills in the last position of my top 5 for albums.

Honorable mentions
Bonobo – Black Sands
Misteur Valaire – Golden Bombay
Travie McCoy – Lazarus

BEST MOVIES
Important notice: I have been a total failure as a 2010 movie-watcher. I’ve watched countless “classics” on my To-See list, but I’ve just not been into the new movies this year. I haven’t seen Social Network, Black Swan, Toy Story 3… So, this is of course my own best of, where I’m sure some of the movies I’ve just named would have had their place had I seen them.

1. Inception
How can this not be the best movie of the year ? It is a cinematic masterpiece, incredibly intelligent, well shot and brilliantly acted. Christopher Nolan raised the bar to another level with a very original story, brought to life by shining performances from DiCaprio and company. An instant classic in every genre, a movie that will be talked about for years.

2. The Killer Inside Me
Western movies are more and more noticeable nowadays since they are becoming more of a rare thing, but this one really slipt under my radar. I watched it just a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. Casey Affleck is incredible, to the point he should easily be nominated for an Oscar. The mood of the movie is scary, tense, and the story really sucks you in. It is brutal, violent, sometimes disturbing, but always intriguing. A must-see, at least only to witness Affleck’s brilliance.

3. The Book of Eli
This movie did not get very good reviews, as do all of Denzel Washington’s films for the last 5 years. But I think critics were a bit harsh and have failed to see the strong points that this movie has to offer. It is visually flawless, every image is sure to make you wow at your screen. It might not be Denzel’s best performance, but you can’t say so for Gary Oldman’s. He just shines in his role as the bad guy and shows he’s one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood nowadays. Plus, the fight scenes, and especially the gun-fights are masterfully directed and now have a place in my personal best combat scenes in cinema history. Plus the ending is just incredibly surprising.

4. Ghost Writer
Roman Polanski’s latest film has a sort of Woody Allen feel, with endless dialogues and a fairly old style of editing, which make it stand out. The intrigue is good and the always entertaining Ewan McGregor is very good in the leading role. Not your typical Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s really worth a watch.

5. The Town
I rented this movie 4 hours before writing this blog post, as it was, surprisingly, on most 2010 best-of lists. You should have seen my level of skepticism before watching this film. I’m really not a Ben Affleck fan, but I decided to give it a chance. Surprise of the year for me. This is a very entertaining thriller, in which Affleck shows talent as both director and actor. The acting award in the film will definitely go to Jeremy Renner though, who is so believable in his role that you could think the producers found a guy from the projects to play in their movie. You won’t fall in love with the other characters, but they show some kind of depth, enough to make you enjoy this film, along with its good heist scenes.

MUSIC VIDEOS

1. Jay-Z – On to the Next One
One might wonder why this is taking the pole position, and it is for only one reason: It’s a music video. Hurricane and Runaway are closer to short films than music vids. Jay-Z’s video, directed by Sam Brown, portrays a funeral through multiple black and white, highly aesthetic images. It was the first music video released in 2010, and in my opinion, it is still the best. It is a shame it didn’t win any awards at the VMA, but let’s be honest, the VMAs are pretty much meaningless. Jay-Z proved once again his immense artistic talent by releasing a video of this caliber, and the 41-year-old rapper also proved he’s here to stay.

2. Kanye West – Runaway (extended edition)
Here it is, the video that will be at the top position of everybody’s list in 2010, and it deserves it. While to me this is a short film, it redefined what music videos are. It is artistic, different, colorful. It delivers powerful messages, and it is accompanied by one of the best soundtracks ever. As I said in my previous blog post, this is sure to make history with the likes of Thriller.

3. 30 Seconds to Mars – Hurricane
Another video that should be considered a short film, Hurricane will probably have its place in history also. While less visually appealing than Runaway, Hurricane is controversial, sexually offending, twisted, and beautiful. A video that the American public is not ready to see at all (and it got banned for that), and because of that, Jared Leto’s band deserves a lot of recognition. They dared, and succeeded in creating commotion.

4. Eminem – Love the way you lie
Eminem’s real comeback in the music video scene, because Not Afraid was definitely not it. This is also a controversial video that caused a heart stroke to America, because of its reference to domestic violence and dysfunctional relationships. Joseph Kahn used his enormous experience to direct a video that suits the song like few videos have been able to. The cinematography is amazing, Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan are good in their main roles and the Eminem/Rihanna duo just fills the screen with presence and intensity. One of the best videos of the year on all aspects.

5. Linkin Park – The Catalyst
Joe Hahn has slowly made the transition from turntablist to director for Linkin Park, and this change shows how much talent the guy has. He was a great DJ (he still is in fact) and is now one of my favorite director in the music video domain. His creativity is unmatched, and everything he does just fits the Linkin Park style beautifully. The Catalyst is no exception. The imagery is innovative, the editing is on-point and the Linkin Park guys really give one hell of a performance. Great use of slow motion throughout.

Honorable mentions
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
Linkin Park – Waiting for the End
B.o.B. – Airplanes

TV SHOWS

1. Breaking Bad – Season 3
Discovery of the year for me, TV-wise. A fresh, original concept with actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul playing two of the most fascinating characters to ever appear on TV. Be warned, this, like many other series, is highly addictive. Sometimes humorous, sometimes dramatic, and seldom highly violent, this show will get you through the whole set of emotions, and will also kill your social life, second warning here !

2. Entourage – Season 7
The second-to-last season of the series aired this summer, and deceived no fan. Vince, E, Drama, Turtle, and especially Ari were back in full force, with new relationships, new insults and new adventures. The dialogues were once again a work of genius, and Vince’s breakdown was amazingly put together. The Cameos were entertaining and the complicity between the characters was once again something so entertaining to watch that every episode made you wish you had their lives. If you haven’t started to watch Entourage at all, I also envy your life, because you’re in for 7 seasons of never -before-seen laughter and entertainment. Start now !

3. Sportscentre – Morning Show on TSN
Probably the most unexpected winner of my entire top 2010 list, but I couldn’t pass by it. Jay Onrait and Dan O’toole are the best start of my day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. They redefine sports news with their incredible sense of humour and amazing charisma. They don’t take themselves seriously at all, they’re spontaneous and it gives a whole other perspective to everyday sports news.

Honorable mentions
Mad Men

BEST ADVERTISEMENTS

1. Dulux – Let’s color
Adam Berg takes the prize two years in a row for me, with his masterpiece Carousel for Philips last year. The whole concept of this Dulux ad is so good that it goes beyond the final TV spot. The fact they used local people and gave them the chance to put some color back into their dull scenery is amazing, and the fact that they were able to render this live process into such a beautiful advertisement is just brilliant. This is advertisement at another level.

2. Nike – Write the Future
The biggest sports event in the world of course means, the best advertisements in the world, and W+K knew that they havd to give it their best shot, and they didn’t fail. This ad pictures the World Cup vibe with such epicness and bigger than nature reactions that it clearly makes it the best ad of the tournament. The overall idea is so clever and the production value is unbelievable.

3. Sussex Safer Roads – Embrace Life
A beautiful alternative to encourage people to always wear their seat belts, Embrace Life succeeded in doing what all the gory, violent ads about car accidents couldn’t. The ad created an enormous buzz on the web, and probably saved more lives today than any other commercial. The concept is so well-thought and the imagery is spectacular.

4. Gaz Metro – A Natural Evolution
It takes great patience and dedication to tackle a project like this one, but it takes incredible talent and vision to make a project like this one look as good as this. This entire ad, conceptualized by Sid Lee, was done in stop-motion over 4 nights and with more than 1500 pieces of chalk. The animation is unbelievably fluid considering it’s stop motion and the visual is spectacular. Another considerable piece by one of the most creative agencies in the world.

5. LG – Something Lurkingg
One of the toughest spot on which to deliberate, the final slot of my entire top 2010 goes to the very recent LG ad, created by Y&R and the masters of animation, Psyop. Read a couple of posts prior to this one to know how amazed I was by this ad.

Honorable mentions
Adidas – Cantina 2010
Sony – Eye Candy
Audi – The Art of Progress
BBC – Honk If You’re Human
AT&T – Rethink Possible

This is it ! Probably the most time I’ve ever invested in a blogpost. I hope, even if you don’t agree 100% with me, that this will make you discover some gems in the media domain and give you things to entertain you during this one-to-two-week holiday that is coming up. This will most likely be my last blogpost of 2010, so in advance, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year !

Eminem & Jay-Z Home and Home Tour

This could be the longest blog post I’ve ever done, because it was one of the most exciting nights of my life, but I’ll try to be as brief as possible. There are Youtube embeds at the bottom related to everything I say in this post.

Back in June, some friends and myself decided we would attend the Home & Home Tour, this 2-night exclusive event starring Jay-Z and Eminem in both their respective home towns. We tried to get tickets for NY, because it was way closer to us, but tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes, so we had to get tickets in Detroit.

We had tickets for Friday, September 3rd, which was the second night in Detroit. So, we left Quebec City on Thursday morning and drove 14 hours through Quebec and Ontario until we reached the customs in Detroit at 9 o’clock in the evening. We partied like crazy at Exodus nightclub on the rooftop terrace and spent the day trying to find something to do in Detroit the next day. We finally decided to go buy those custom made “RUN DET” t-shirts at Division Street Boutique and we then walked to the Comerica Park to enter the stadium for what promised to be one of the greatest shows ever.

How stoked was I when B.o.B. (who has to be one of my favorite artists of 2010) came on stage to open the show ! He played most of his album, and ended the show with a cover of MGMT’s Kids, which made the crowd go bananas. He didn’t play Airplanes, but any B.o.B. connoisseur knew what that meant…

I had seen Jay-Z previously in October at Bell Centre in Montreal, so I was expecting him to have a similar line-up. As expected he played most of the same songs, but added a few, including A Dream while paying a tribute to Biggie. But the best moment of his performance was definitely when he sang Death of Autotune and when he got to “this might need a verse from Jeezy”, Jeezy actually came on stage and did Put On for the crowd. Detroit went insane, that’s the least to say. Once again, I’ll have to say though that there is not a song in the world that will match U Don’t Know in terms of making a stadium reach its maximum level of craziness. People in Montreal exploded when he played that song with Memphis Bleek, and the people from Detroit really matched this atmosphere. Once again, Hova proved that he’s probably the most classy guy in the rap industry by spotting people in the crowd at the end of the show and saluting them.

Overall it was a great show, but I have to say that I preferred his show in Montreal. The audio sounded better, and his multimedia tower setup had something unique. His visuals on the Detroit stage looked really good though, especially on On To The Next One, which matched the visual from the music video.

And then, the main course came on stage. Eminem, who hadn’t performed for close to five years, came on the eyed-shaped stage. He opened up with Won’t Back Down and continued on with many other records, including 3am and Square Dance. Then, one of the heaviest song of the evening had to be Welcome to Detroit City with Trick Trick appearing on stage. The Comerica Park exploded in cheers. Other guests came on stage, like D12, with songs like Fight Music and Purple Pills.

Just when we thought this couldn’t get any better, the beat for Patiently Waiting started, and none other than 50 cent started singing along side Em for this song. Marshall then left the stage and introduced Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, who performed I Get Money and In Da Club before giving the stage back to its true owner.

Shady dropped many other singles, and then the lights went off, just to have the first piano notes of Airplanes part 2 resonate in the stadium. B.o.B. came back out and dropped his second first of the song, while Eminem joined him on stage to perform his verse. This was definitely one of the highlights of the show for me.

On Thursday, Drake made a surprise appearance and played Forever. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it to the Friday show, but Eminem still rhymed his verse from Forever, which has to be one of his best verses of all time.

But then, the most unexpected guest showed up. Em started playing My Name Is, and when he reached the line “and Dr. Dre said…”, the beat stopped, and Dr. Dre raised from the floor, played Still D.R.E., Nothing but a G Thang and left. The crowd was so loud that the beat was almost inaudible.

Of course, later on, Jay-Z came back and he and Eminem played Renegade, which was a crowd pleaser as well. And, to close things off, Eminem played his new single Not Afraid, and gave an encore performance with Lose Yourself, and ended all this with an insane fireworks show.

So that’s it, after playing over 30 songs, Em left us and we headed back to Quebec City, knowing that we had just witnessed hip-hop’s history.

Put On

Lose Yourself

Still Dre

In Da Club

Airplanes Part 2

Square Dance

No Love

Forever

Eminem’s Intro

Jay-Z’s Intro

Renegade

Welcome to Detroit City

Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Fight Music

Patiently Waiting

Till I Collapse