The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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“Tidal” takes over NYC for charity concert

Last Tuesday, about 10 miles from campus, Jay Z hosted the first Tidal X event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The concert was announced less than a month ago when Tidal officially reached one million subscribers. Proceeds from ticket sales went to Jay Z’s charity, the “New World Foundation,” which benefits local communities.

For those of you who do not know what Tidal is, it’s Jay Z’s independently owned music streaming service. Though not nearly as popular as Spotify or Pandora, Tidal offers exclusive songs and music videos from A-list artists.

Why did rap genius Jay Z start this venture? He wanted to “improve the landscape” of artists’ music, by “showcasing their true sound” while also paying the artists properly, “unlike other services.”

The concert featured 25 artists, many being “Tidal Rising” singers who opened up the show. (Well, they sort of opened up the show, the first act came out nearly at 9 o’clock.) Each artist performed one to three songs, even the headliners, like Beyoncé, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. Other big names who showed up were Usher, T.I., Rick Ross, Nick Jonas and Meek Mill.

Though it might have been too quick for fans who paid a pretty penny for their tickets, when the artists were on stage for their 10-minute (orso) performances, the Barclays Center was ecstatic.

Some top moments of the night included when Usher was joined on stage by Nas during his performance of “Chains.”  This song, newly released on Tidal, addresses police brutality and racial injustice.  Also, Meek Mill, French Montana, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled were packed on the center stage, performing their hit songs and firing up the crowd.

Though these rappers lit the place on fire, there was hesitation in the air; the crowd wanted to see the true headliners of the concert. Finally, it happened.

Jay Z came out and sang a few songs from his newest album, “Magna Carta…Holy Grail,” with special guests Rick Ross and Rick Ross’ belly.

Then the lights went out, the first few notes of “Truffle Butter” played and Nicki Minaj appeared center stage.

Following this, for the first time live, Minaj started singing “Feeling Myself.” The audience grew louder because they knew Queen Bey would be coming on any second, and she did.

A silhouette of the music legend herself, in her iconic stance and high ponytail, appeared on stage. While the duo continued their performance, they paused from their singing to have a dance battle, which set the crowd into a frenzy.

Nearing the end of the show, the power couple, ‘Jayoncé,’ came out to sing “Holy Grail.” The performance was filled with emotion, laughter and affection, ending with the King and Queen giving each other a heartwarming hug and kiss.

Just as the song ended, Beyoncé left the stage and Jay Z started his classic New York anthem: “Empire State of Mind.”

The performance brought me chills.  At one point, Jay stopped singing and let the sold out Barclays Center crowd do the verse.

Then, he said, “Goodnight y’all, and God bless,” and the lights came on.

As the fans left, I overheard many annoyed fans. I, too, was a bit underwhelmed at the headliners’ song ratio, but there was no way I could be negative after such a great concert.

Jay Z said, between songs, that this will be an annual event.

If you couldn’t make the concert, the full performance is available for streaming on tidal.com.

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