"Sounds so soulful, don't you agree?"
It's true -- I have a cool job. Not to brag or anything, but as Associate Editor of this here blog, I get to do some cool stuff from time to time. Like this weekend: just off the heels of meeting "Toddlers & Tiaras" SUPERSTAR Eden Wood, I headed to Atlantic City, NJ, to catch Kanye West's and Jay-Z's "Watch The Throne" tour in style. I'm talking like, celeb treatment, guys. And I took photos along the way (with a little help from Instagram like the millennial I am).
Atlantic City, NJ
My friend and I had a totally sweet spot in The Water Club at the Borgata with a view overlooking the strip. Word on the street was Mr. West himself was holed up in there somewhere, but we didn't see him. We did, however, run in to Michael Phelps. To everyone's disappointment, he was not wearing a Speedo.
+ Read more about the "Watch The Throne" tour in Atlantic City after the jump.
Homemade marshmallows, y'all. Get into it.
Oh, just a little snack plate waiting for us in our room. Homemade marshmallows, salted caramels, chocolates, kumquats, and other things available only at Williams-Sonoma and the Barefoot Contessa's house. Do you guys know I've never seen a kumquat in real life? I didn't even know how to eat it.
This is how we arrived to AC's Boardwalk Hall. If you guys have never arrived at a show at the back entrance on a red carpet, I suggest you try it.
Confirmed: Jay-Z is the coolest man alive.
Finally, the throne! Kanye West and Jay-Z are the indisputable kings of hip-hop right now, and the "Watch The Throne" tour is all about not only recognizing that as fact, but bowing down in the presence of their greatness. The stage set-up is large and grand, part futuristic/part organic -- artfully placed lazers, sporadic flames, and stark images of wild animals.
Ye and Jay spend a good portion of the show on two separate stages, volleying back and forth between Jay's hits, Kanye's No. 1s, and of course, their Throne jams. All of the crowd-pleasers were covered: Jay-Z's "On To The Next One," "99 Problems," "Jigga What, Jigga Who"; Kanye's "Good Life," "Gold Digger," and "All Of The Lights."
But it wasn't all Benzes and braggadocio. Jay and Ye went back and forth from flows about Maybachs and diamonds to verses about poverty and racism. Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" played over the speakers as screens flashed images of children in Ku Klux Klan regalia, America's homeless population, and the still very tangible remnants of Hurricane Katrina's damage six years after it hit. The Frank Ocean-assisted "No Church In The Wild" sounds sexy and energized in your headphones, but live it takes on a much more somber note.
Kanye West and Jay-Z literally watching their throne.
When Jay-Z comes out on stage, he's in a t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap. His ego is loud, but comfortable, and he does not waver in his declaration of owning half of the hip-hop nation right now. The arena is his castle; the stage, his throne; the crowd, his loyal minions.
Kanye West, on the other hand, is still vying for approval. He wears a bold leather kilt over matching leather pants paired with his own concert t-shirt. During "Stronger" he's telling us we should be "honored by his lateness," but when he's laying down "Runaway" towering 20 feet above the audience is when you really feel his inner conflict -- he wants you to toast to him, the king, but he also wants you to pour some out for him, the douchebag.
But this isn't an indie film that's supposed to leave you questioning Kanye's existential crises or Jay-Z's untouchable likeability. This is "Watch The Throne," and the only way to end the show is with "N----- In Paris"... five times in a row. The previous record was four times in Miami, but Atlantic City was treated to five. And yes, that s--- was cray.
Is this guy the best or what?
As R. Kelly once said, "After the show it's the after party..." And when R. Kelly says something, it's true. My friend and I got our swerve on at the after party at mur.mur, where Samantha Ronson was spinning and we drank responsibly while making friends with locals, as you can see in this photo.
"Mmm... bacon," - Homer Simpson
Finally, we topped the weekend off with a humbling amount of bacon the next day at breakfast. I haven't decided yet if I'm embarrassed about almost finishing it, but I'll flaunt it anyway -- Yeezy taught me well.