Yes, the on-again, off-again, Jay-Z-fronted Best of Both Worlds tour is still chugging along. Now dubbed the Jay-Z and Friends Tour (sans R. Kelly, who recently filed a $75 million lawsuit against Jay-Z for breach of contract), the show rolls into the D this week. Who knows, if found responsible, Jay-Z may need to come out of retirement, à la Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams.
What once seemed like a good idea for a tour has since turned ugly, as Kelly claims members from Jay-Z’s camp threatened him with violence and intimidation, and even had Kelly pepper sprayed in the face moments before walking on stage to perform at Madison Square Garden. After being treated at Manhattan’s St. Vincent’s Hospital, Kelly promptly canceled the rest of his dates and filed suit. Not fazed, Jay-Z issued a statement the following day, saying that Kelly was unprofessional and no longer welcome to finish the tour. Can you say drama?
In typical hustler fashion, Jay-Z has worked furiously to assemble all-star lineups to perform in Kelly’s place. The Detroit show will feature P. Diddy & The Bad Boy family, Mary J. Blige, Ja Rule and various special guests performing alongside Jay-Z. One has to wonder if Ja Rule will be a bit nervous performing in Detroit with such a heated beef brewing with members of D-12? Rule has been known to throw lyrical jabs at Proof, the ex-5ELA cohort and D-12 mainstay. Lyrics aside, Proof has been known to throw real jabs at just about everybody, so it should make for an interesting night.
You can almost feel a brilliant Dave Chappelle skit just waiting to be written about this show.
At Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Dr., Detroit; 313-471-6606. Best of Both Worlds Tour tickets will be honored; doors at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. Jonathan Cunningham is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]