JAY-Z and Stevie Wonder close out TIDAL X with messages of praise and encouragement
“We sent five planes to Puerto Rico, all because of ya’ll.”
JAY-Z and his company Tidal put on a virtual three-day festival in one night on Tuesday (Oct. 17). Held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Tidal X was star-studded on steroids with acts including Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, Mack Wilds, Daddy Yankee, Fat Joe and Remy Ma, T.I., Swizz Beatz, Cardi B, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Rapsody, Vic Mensa, Willow Smith, Iggy Azealia, Lin-Manuel Miranda and more taking the stage from 8PM till well past midnight.
The overall theme of the night was unity, as proceeds from the concert will go towards relief to Puerto Rico residents recovering from the disaster of Hurricane Maria.
JAY-Z came out in all black serenading his city. “Are you ready tonight?” he asked the crowd in his home borough, as he began with “Empire State of Mind.”
“Y’all wanna go higher tonight?” Hov asked when the song was done and a sample of Beyoncé’s voice from “Family Feud” played. “That ain’t enough for me!” he added, responding to the audience’s energy. “One hand in the air.” Lights then shone down on the stage, surrounding Jay like he was in a WWE steel cage. The cagey vet then went back-to-back with “U Don’t Know.”
“We sent five planes to Puerto Rico, all because of y’all,” JAY noted about the over two million pounds of food and other provisions he, his Roc Nation Team, and Fat Joe were able to send to the island recently.
After a tease of ’03 Bonnie and Clyde,” Jigga told his DJ Young Guru to cut it off. “Nah, cause people getting weird,” Hov explained. “They think Bey coming out. Ain’t none of that shit happening tonight.”
Instead, JAY continued to go it alone with “Bam” and “P.S.A.”
“I’ma [sic] say some real shit tonight,” he warned as the latter started, before thinking the wiser and collecting himself. “Matter fact, I’m gonna leave it alone. Anybody in here, if somebody tries to hold you back, this song is for you.” What played next was “The Story of O.J.”
After his 20-minute set was done, JAY introduced probably the only person in the world that he would let close out Barclays Center after him.
“A legend I grew up on. The eighth wonder of the world, Mr. Stevie Wonder. Make some noise,” Hov said, introducing the generation-transcending legend.
“I took two knees,” Wonder said while sitting at the piano, referring to his recent concert at Central Park where he and his son Kwame knelt onstage.
“One was for the unity of this nation. Tonight, I celebrate this night of giving,” he said before his gospel flooded Brooklyn in harmony with “Love’s in Need of Love Today”: “Here’s your friendly announcer / I have serious news to pass on to everybody / What I’m about to say / Could mean the world’s disaster / Could change your joy and laughter to tears and pain.”
As the record came to an end, he put extra emphasis on “Hate’s going ’round” and urged “We’ve gotta stop it people.”
Wonder later exhorted the crowd to sing with him as he had a message all the world’s leaders: “If all lives matter, do what’s right / Lead us right do what’s right / So this nation can unite.”
Soulful and energetic renditions of two of his most beloved standards, “Higher Ground” and “Superstition,” ended his set.
“JAY-Z, if ever you need me, I’ll always be there,” he said before leaving. “I told you that. If any of you need me, I’ll be here. All the artists, if you ever need me, I’m here.”