Jay-Z raps for Seoul with Beyonce in towIn terms of flashy departures, Jay-Z is like the Michael Jordan of hip hop. When he was on top of the hip hop scene, in 2003, Jay-Z declared his retirement from performing, just as Jordan did from basketball in 1993. Jordan chose baseball as his next career but Jay-Z went corporate. He became the chief executive of Def Jam Recordings, a hip hop recording company, in 2004. However, unsurprisingly, Jay-Z recently began to come out of retirement in what looked like carefully planned phases. First he was featured in his girlfriend Beyonce’s new album “B’ Day,” released last month. Now his new album, “Kingdom Come,” is expected to be released soon ― “Show Me What You Got,” a single from the album, was illegally leaked last week and Def Jam said the FBI may investigate the case.
In September Jay-z started a world tour in Poland and has been to several nations in Europe and Africa since. Later this month the 36-year-old rap mogul is coming to Seoul with Memphis Bleek and Green Latern, for his first ever concert here. According to Private Curve, the concert organizer, Beyonce recently received a visa to enter Korea for the event, but the company said it’s still unknown if she’s going to be on the stage with Jay-Z.
Jay-Z debuted in 1996 with “Reasonable Doubt” selling a million copies. On “In My Lifetime,” his next CD, he displayed a shift from gangster rap to pop rap in a couple of tracks such as “Sunshine” and “The City Is Mine.” Pop rap is a well constructed mix of hip-hop beats and raps with strong melodic hooks of the sort found in commercial pop music of all kinds; before his death Tupac Shakur disparaged the genre, saying it was “like a gangster dressed in a pink dress.” Not that Jay-Z could care about that; he furthered his creative shift in “Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life,” his third album, released in 1998. It won him his first Grammy Award, for Best Rap Album. He then won three more Grammys, two in 2003 for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best R&B Song.
by Park Sung-ha
The concert starts at 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Olympic Gymnastic Stadium. The nearest subway station is Olympic Park, line No. 5, exit 3. Ticket prices range from 55,000 won ($57) to 111,000 won. For more information, call (02) 563-0595, or visit http://ticket.interpark.com.