With the release of his hugely anticipated Blueprint 3 just ten days away, Jay-Z is attracting a whirlwind of press, and for good reason. Not only has the rapper professed his love for Brooklyn indie dudes Grizzly Bear, but he's also dealt with an early album leak and a flurry of rumours.
First, Grizzly Bear. The Internet practically exploded this weekend when Jay-Z was spotted with his lady Beyonce Knowles and her indie-loving sister Solange at Grizzly Bear's Williamsburg, NY waterfront performance on August 30. The trio seemed to have a blast, and Jay-Z later spoke out to MTV News regarding his love for the soothing indie rockers, calling them "an incredible band."
"The thing I want to say to everyone - I hope this happens because it will push rap, it will push hip-hop to go even further - what the indie rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring," Jay-Z said. "It felt like us in the beginning.
"These concerts, they're not on the radio, no one hears about them, and there's 12,000 people in attendance. And the music that they're making and the connection they're making to people is really inspiring. So I hope that they have a run where they push hip-hop back a little bit, so it will force hip-hop to fight to make better music. Because it can happen. Because that's what rap did to rock.
"When rock was the dominant force in music, rap came and said, 'Y'all got to sit down for a second, this is our time.' And we've had a stranglehold on music since then. So I hope indie rock pushes rap back a bit because it will force people to make great music for the sake of making great music."
Whether or not his Blueprint 3 tracks will showcase his love of indie rock will be seen when the record is released on September 11, or, for the more web-savvy, right now. As you may know, the entire album leaked to file-sharing networks late last night (August 31). And while the legality of downloading such tracks is questionable, Jay-Z doesn't seem to mind. In another interview with MTV News, he said, "It's a preview. I'm excited for people to hear the album. I'm very proud of the work I've done, so enjoy it."
Finally, the rumour mill suggests the possibility of Jay-Z performing a massive co-headlining tour with Eminem. Named for their track on his first Blueprint record, the possible tour is said to be called "The Renegade Tour."
The whole thing could just be a rumour but here are the details from AllHipHop's gossip column:
"After the initial release of BP3, Jay-Z is supposedly going to settle down a bit and tour. Eminem, on the other side, is going to be dropping Relapse 2 in November. These dudes are rumoured to be setting up "The Renegade Tour," where they go out together. Now, here is the cool part of the rumour. I am hearing that they will alternate nights as closer. How cool - no egos! So, every other venue one of them will close the show. They also said that they may play shows back to back, where they would alternate closing as well. Now, I heard that J. Cole and Wale are possible openers for this tour."