Jay-Z’s Hangar Tour Hits Hova’s Hometown

Jay-Z’s Hangar Tour Hits Hova’s Hometown

The ambition of a hustler knows no boundaries, so it should be no surprise that hip-hop's biggest move maker, Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, has his mind set on thumbing his nose at exhaustion, logistics and good old fashioned normalcy.

What artist would fly to seven cities in 23 hours, performing concerts at all sites? No one. It's never been done. But Jay-Z — whose latest record, Kingdom Come (due Tuesday), finds him likening himself to the comics' Man of Steel — loves to be the first to do things.

Atlanta, Philadelphia, D.C, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and finally Las Vegas — Superman is hitting all those cities Saturday (November 18) as part of his Hangar Tour. MTV News is right by his side from the G5 jet to the limo to the stage.

First Stop: Atlanta

1:30 a.m.
Fans are lined up outside of Atlanta's Center Stage, waiting to see Jay-Z. Some of them have lawn chairs and blankets. They'd better bundle up; it's going to be a long wait.

The ambition of a hustler knows no boundaries, so it should be no surprise that hip-hop's biggest move maker, Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, has his mind set on thumbing his nose at exhaustion, logistics and good old fashioned normalcy.

What artist would fly to seven cities in 23 hours, performing concerts at all sites? No one. It's never been done. But Jay-Z — whose latest record, Kingdom Come (due Tuesday), finds him likening himself to the comics' Man of Steel — loves to be the first to do things.

Atlanta, Philadelphia, D.C, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and finally Las Vegas — Superman is hitting all those cities Saturday (November 18) as part of his Hangar Tour. MTV News is right by his side from the G5 jet to the limo to the stage.

First Stop: Atlanta

1:30 a.m.
Fans are lined up outside of Atlanta's Center Stage, waiting to see Jay-Z. Some of them have lawn chairs and blankets. They'd better bundle up; it's going to be a long wait.

5:22 a.m.
Jay-Z's staff is in the lobby waiting for the Jiggaman. He's supposed to be onstage performing in a little over 30 minutes, but he's nowhere to be found yet. Memphis Bleek makes his way down to the lobby, obviously a little tired — Hov and company didn't make it to town till 2:30 a.m. — but as he tells short stories from the recent Jay-Z Global Express Tour, which touched down in Africa, among other places, he seems to get revived. And if fond memories don't do it for you, Hotlanta's chill will.

"It's mad brick out here," Bleek says as he stands outside the Ritz Carlton hotel, waiting as the van marked "#3" is being loaded with luggage. Jay's DJ, the Evil Genius Green Lantern, comes down, as well as longtime Roc-A-Fella A&R man Lenny Santiago.

5:58 a.m.
Jay, wearing a white hoodie and jeans, comes off the elevator and simply says, "History in the making, part 18" before driving off into the early-morning darkness in a jet-black Benz. It's time to rock.

6:07 a.m.
We arrive at the venue. There's a line outside like the fans are waiting to buy PS3s. And that's just the people who are not getting in.

6:10 a.m. – Backstage at Center Stage
"They got some people outside, huh," Jay says. "I can't wait to see what 2:30 in Vegas is going to be like."

6:19 a.m.
After a short warm-up by DJ Green Lantern, Bleek and Hov hit the stage to the sounds of "Kingdom Come." "I don't know what H-I-P-H-O-P would be without H-O-V."

Hov goes into "PSA," followed by "U Don't Know," which ends with everyone throwing up the Roc signs and bouncing.

Jay tells all the kids his album is dropping on Tuesday. Regardless of the leak, he says to cop it.

"This is a moment in time," he says from the stage. "It's more than history."

The concert continues with "30 Something," "Jigga My N—a" "Hola' Hovito" and "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)."

"I got a lot of records; I'm trying to run through 'em," he says. "F— it, let's keep it bouncin'." Then he begins "Big Pimpin'."

"How y'all doing this sh–?" he asks the crowd. The energy has been overflowing from the outset. You would think it was normal concert hours. "Oh, y'all ain't gone home [yet]. Y'all came straight from the club."

The concert continues with "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)."

6:45 a.m.
"Show Me What You Got" comes on.

"What the f— you want me to do? I'm not sorry I'm back!" Jay says during the record's intro with horns blaring.
The show doesn't end with his current single ("We running a little over," he says from the stage. "We're supposed to be in the air now.") Jay does a freestyle.

"Think you in my class, substitute n—a, gonna feel my wrath …"

6:51 a.m.
The last number, "Encore," starts.

6:53 a.m.
Jay comes off the stage and says, "One down, six more to go." A police escort is waiting to take Hov and his cavalcade to the airport.

7:11 a.m.
The sun rises.

7:18 a.m.
Jay gets on his jet. It actually has his picture on it and reads "Kingdom Come" over one of the engines.

Next Stop: Philadelphia

7:35 a.m.
Superman is in the air. The jet has taken off, and Hov is on the way to Philly. Jay's laid back, sitting in his chair at the front of the plane.

"I'm crazy," Jay says when asked why he's trying to complete such an ambitious effort. "I'm trying to bring some excitement back to the game."

Jay explains his coming out of retirement as Jordan coming back — not with the Washington Wizards but with the Chicago Bulls. Like MJ, Hov says he's due for some more championships. Although he knows people will be extra critical of him, he's not feeling the pressure.

The conversation shifts from why he can't physically go see a movie in the theater (hasn't been in four years) to hip-hop concerts and MCing to his recollections of being on "Yo! MTV Raps" with Jaz-O — it was his first time on MTV, period. "I was the second guy."

9:11 a.m.
Wheels down. Superman is in New Jersey. The flight has been relatively quiet. Jay's manager, John Meneilly, wanted him to catch an hour of sleep, but Jay is up. He's ready. He's kickin' it.

9:27 a.m.
Jay steps on Philly soil. "Second show, baby," he says before stepping into another black Benz.

9:35 a.m.
Arrive at Electric Factory. It's packed.

9:38 a.m.
Jay walks up to the stage holding a cup of coffee as Green Lantern plays warm-up songs. When "Kingdom Come" comes on, Jay puts his drink down and casually strolls onstage, hitting his mark for the beginning of the first verse.

"You gotta have a real Jay-Z album. You gotta get on your grown-man sh–," he says to the crowd minutes into the show, giving them provocation to buy the official version of Kingdom Come versus copping the bootleg.

"I thought I'd come down and drop a couple of songs, say what's up," he says later. "But I tried to tell them, it's f—in' Philly — I can't get off that easy. So we might have to shorten someone else's set."

The crowd performs Jay's first verse from "Big Pimpin' " right down to "Get your ass in here and let's ri-i-i-i-i-ide."

"I told y'all, this is Philly, they crazy."

Jay continues to play with the crowd — "We really gotta go. We only have 17 hours. Y'all don't give a f—, right?" — and goes into his next record, "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)."

10:07 a.m.
Peedi Peedi comes backstage.

10:12 a.m.
The concert is done. Jay leaves the stage sprinting. "Two down, five to go. Let's go baby, next spot," he says.

"Hov! Hov! I f—in' love you!" a girl screams at the top of her lungs.

"I f—in' love you" Jay yells back. He gets into his car.

"He doesn't know I'm his number-one fan. Hovvvvv! I'm your number-one fan."

Cars pull out and two women in heels chase the caravan. They decide to give up after a few steps.

10:30 a.m.
Everyone arrives back at the airport and begins boarding the plane. It's off to D.C.!

Next Stop: D.C.

11:25 a.m.
No sleep till Brooklyn? Jay hasn't taken a nap yet, and he's looking like he could go a whole 24 hours without sleep. It's approximately a 25-minute flight (in actual airtime) from Philly to D.C., and a few radio-contest winners get to chill with Jay-Z on his jet. They're stuntin' right now. A couple are calling their girlfriends and asking Jay to talk on the cell.

Hov, very much the gracious host, fulfills the request. He's in a great mood.

There are three private jets filled with team Jay-Z members, and the plane carrying Memphis Bleek and Green Lantern is way more calm. The convo ranges from Jay's recent Global Express Tour stops in Africa to the state of beef in hip-hop. The ride is long enough for M Extra Money (that's Bleek's nickname) to sip tea with honey for his throat and catch a catnap.

When he wakes up, Green teases him, incorporating one of Bleek's own songs to do so: "Memph Bleek is … tired. Memph Bleek is … exhausted!"

Bleek laughs and picks up the cell phone that fell out of his hand when he was asleep. "This is the lifestyle I chose," he says with a wide grin before stepping off the aircraft. It's time to go back to work.

11:43 a.m.
The wheels on Jay's jet just touched down. The caravan heads to Howard University.

12:39 p.m.
Jay's onstage at Howard University. The crowd is going crazy. Maybe it's because Jay is performing outside, maybe it's because it's a little later in the day, but the outpouring of love for Hov in D.C. is right on par with the other two cities he's already visited today.

During a break in the action, a T-shirt is thrown onstage. "I absolutely had to choose D.C. as one of the cities on my tour," Jay proclaims.

One of the great moments of the first two shows is repeated in D.C., as everyone in the crowd throws up their Rocs at the end of "U Don't Know." Jay then tells the crowd to buy his album on Tuesday because listening to the downloaded version is like "wearing fake jewelry — it's not cool."

Somebody throws another black T onto the stage, and Jay catches it with his left hand. "See, I'm a ball player," he says before tossing the shirt back into the crowd, behind his back.

Hov puts his personal touch on "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)" by talking directly to a girl in the audience, "Black and white coat, take that off." The girl screams back, "I love you!"

The set has to end by 1 p.m. because Howard's football team has a game, so Jay is forced to leave D.C. without performing his hater-addressing freestyle or "Encore."

Running offstage again, Jay stops to give Lil' Mo, who is standing behind the stage, a hug and poses for photos with a few female fans posted outside the SUV that'll take him back to the airport.

"What's that, three?" he asks about how many shows he's performed.

1:23 p.m.
Jay's approximately halfway from Howard to the airport, getting ready to head up to New York.

Next Stop: New York

3:00 p.m. – Teterboro, NJ
Hovie's home, baby. The Jiggaman's three jets just touched down within a couple of minutes of each other. The flight from D.C. was filled with stories of shady show promoters from Hov's past on the hip-hop chitlin' circuit, and Jay had a quick opportunity to grab a bite to eat.

While spreading a little mayo on his sandwich, Hov drops the bread on his pants, and it falls to his sneakers. "Oh, that's tragic," he says calmly — about as calmly as you can when using the word "tragic" in a sentence. "Can I get another piece of bread, please?" he asks the flight attendant. " 'Cause it's really the bread that's more pressing," he adds, stressing that his mini meal is more important than the minor stains on his attire. It's not like he doesn't have a lot more clothes with him.

3:30 p.m.
Sure enough, Jay later emerges from his jet in a new pair of jeans and a white hoodie with pictures of safety pins all over it.

When the wheels touched down, another cavalcade of cars were waiting for Jay, but this time his blue Maybach was there to carry him to the show. Off to Pier 54 on New York's Hudson River.

As we pull up to the backstage area, it literally feels like some sheik is rolling up. A couple of dozen guys are on the left side holding red flags with Jay's picture and the words "Kingdom Come" printed on them. There's also a large crew of young men holding up posters of Jay's recent XXL magazine cover.

"We in New York f—in' city, it's gotta be the liveliest," he tells the crowd during his set. After he makes his way through is set and finishes up "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," Jay says, "This is the part I leave you and get back on the plane!"

The crowd starts yelling "No, no!" and "Hova, Hova!"

Sorry, NYC, Jay may be yours, but you have to share him today.

4:15 p.m.
"What's this, five?" Jay asks while getting offstage. "No, four? Five? Four! I'm starting to lose track."

Check back regularly for continuing reports from each stop.

Check out Jay-Z: The Video Vault Experience for video from the Hangar Tour — and throughout Jay's entire career.

Relive Jay-Z's Water for Life Tour, as he travels the world and addresses the global water crisis. And don't miss "Diary of Jay-Z in Africa: Water for Life," premiering Sunday at 2 p.m.

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