A historic tour rolls into town this Wednesday, as Jay-Z and Mary J Blige bring their Heart of the City co-venture to the ACC. Since 1996, Jigga has released ten studio albums, two collaborations with R. Kelly, a mash-up album with Linkin Park, and an MTV Unplugged with The Roots. He also managed to squeeze in a three-year retirement, during which he served as Def Jam president. When no major labels would sign him, he gained his indie cred by starting Roc-A-Fella Records. Part owner of the New Jersey Nets, dubbed the CEO of Hip-Hop, dating the hottest chick in the game, and tied with Elvis as the artist with the second most Number One albums in music history, it’s safe to say that Jay-Z is the man. From a critical and commercial perspective, the only other music artist in his league in terms of consistency and impact is Radiohead. He’ll be joined by the Queen of R&B and Hip-Hop, Mary J Blige. In addition to doing solo sets, the two will do a shared set. If it’s half as good as their Unplugged performance, this show will be a classic.
Speaking of The Roots, the Philadelphia band will be playing at the Koolhaus on Sunday. The perennially critically acclaimed group will be releasing their tenth album, Rising Down, in April. Its first single, “Birthday Girl,” features Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump on the hook, and is undeniably poppy. Perhaps to downplay any sell-out talk, the group has also released a video for “Get Busy” which is much harder. Regardless of how you feel about the new tracks, The Roots have cemented their reputation as a guaranteed great show.
One of the biggest local successes in recent years has been Crystal Castles. The duo with the eight-bit beats have been called “the most exciting and original band in the world right now.” Their self-titled debut was released a couple of weeks ago. They’ll be headlining Randomland at CiRCA on Friday. Judging from this performance at the Rough Trade store, the show will be ferocious.
Full listings below.
Thursday, March 27
Tainted Love @ Andy Poolhall with rotating DJs: DJ Ritz, Corey Dawkins, DJ X, and DJ Fase. No cover.
Mr Scruff @ Wrongbar. $15.
Unwind Thursdays @ Jolly! with Paranoid Jack, Alicia Hush, and NuEra. No cover.
Lupe Fiasco @ CiRCA with Matthew Santos. $22.50 adv.
Friday, March 28
Exposed @ Mod Club with MV, Addy, and Nick Forucci.
Randomland @ CiRCA with Crystal Castles, Health and more. $15.
Fascination @ Andy Poolhall with TNA Sound System, and Abacus & Lupo of Hi-life!. $5.
Rehab @ Footwork with Deko-ze, Vinyl Junkies, and Jay Force. $5 with guestlist.
Soho Fridays @ This is London with