By Billy Johnson, Jr.
Jay-Z’s one-man set Monday night at the Amex Sync Show Presenting Jay-Z, which was live streamed from the South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival in Austin, was met with mixed reviews.
The hip hop king fresh off of the spectacular Watch The Throne stadium tour with pal Kanye West and black-tie set at Carnegie Hall, reportedly took the stage at Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater more than 30 minutes late and was not at his best.
“The concert’s first half gave the impression of a man performing for a corporate-sponsored promo event. This was not the rapper’s finest 90 minutes,” wrote a The Guardian reporter, who watched the show online.
It was also noted that the mogul stumbled on a few of his lyrics. The Huffington Post called attention to vocal fumbles in two songs, “Jigga What, Jigga Who” and his Grammy award winning “Empire State Of Mind.” The mishap during his tribute to his home state prompted him to start the song over.
The Huffington Post said the problems detracted from the overall show. “The mixups, when paired with the crowd’s surprisingly tepid respond to such an intimate performance from one of music’s biggest stars made for somewhat disappointing set,” The Post critic wrote.
Jay-Z, who appeared to be having a great time on stage, acknowledged the technical difficulties. “I don’t f—k around with the words to my songs, y’all. You came to see a live show right?” he said, according to MTV’s Rap Fix.
The highlight of the night was reportedly Jay-Z’s performance of “Glory,” his most recent song. The track celebrates the birth of Blue Ivy, his first child with wife Beyoncé.
Jay-Z’s demeanor changed when he began performing this song, according to The Guardian. “While neither Beyoncé nor Blue Ivy made an appearance, something changed in Jay-Z as he sang about his child, his family, his wife’s past miscarriage,” The Guardian reported. “Instead of crowd-baiting histrionics, call and response, he was rapping about something he cared about, here and now — and it showed.”