Thursday, October 22, 2009

What to Do Tonight: Jay-Z

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 8:26 AM

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Invulnerability is the pot of gold at the end of hip-hop’s proverbial rainbow, the brass ring every rising MC aspires to seize. Jay-Z has had it for the better part of the decade: consistent album sales, unimpeachable crossover appeal, a decent-if-unspectacular run as president of Def Jam, marriage to modern R&B’s flyest multimedia diva, and fashion bona fides by way of Rocawear and signature Nikes. Since 2002’s The Blueprint 2, dispatches from Hovito’s penthouse have scanned as victory-lap variations, affirmations of Shawn Carter’s cultural and financial dominance, the monied musings of a rap don intent on keeping his legend alive and vital in a marketplace flooded by mixtape-slinging whippersnappers and biters. Throughout his latest album, The Blueprint 3, Jay sounds relaxed, revitalized, even hungry; wide-ranging, forward-thinking beats from his usual stable of top-shelf producers amplify all the frankly reiterative fun he’s having. N.E.R.D., Wale and J. Cole open at 7:30 p.m. at the Wolstein Center (2000 Prospect Ave., 216.241.5555, ticketmaster.com). Tickets: $32-$72. — Ray Cummings

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