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The Cult of Jay-Z

February 19, 2014

I will admit that I have been to 8 Jay Z concerts, which is a lot to some but almost nothing to others. To put slight Jay Z concert addiction into perspective, I have been to 8 concerts in 15 years, which I think is not that many.  I have been to everything from the group shows to the more fancy show at Carnegie Hall to the large stadiums (and a lot of which I did not pay for). I have come across a lot of different types of fans from these experiences but one thing that they have in common is their devotion.
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The last concert I went to was at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ (which is an entire other story of how a New York City girl ended up there) and it was filled with people who were so happy to be there. Not the usual concert excitement that one can encounter but sheer genuine bliss. I was told that Jay Z never plays there, and that was why people might have been so excited. But as far as I could tell the elated feelings of the crowd were infectious.
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Towards the end of the concert I saw something that I have never seen Jay Z do, which was spend 20 minutes thanking different people throughout the entire stadium for coming. From the upper levels to the VIP section in front of the stage, Jay Z pointed out people and specifically interacted with them.
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For a short period in time the viewing public could see the Shawn Carter of Jay Z. It wasn’t the persona of the street thug that dealt drugs and hooked up with pretty girls twenty years ago that he mostly raps about. It was the father who watches children’s movies, the husband that knows about fashion and colors like fuchsia and mauve, the friend that you used to know, and finally the self-made business man who now likes to smoke cigars, drink fine wine, listen to opera, and go truffle hunting in Italy. It was one of the most authentic moments I have ever experienced at a concert.
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