Who’s excited to see hip-hop icon Jay-Z grace the stage at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE today? Nobody? Don't tell me Hov flaked on his Midwest fans, again…
This time, at least he cancelled the concert before a disaster happened. Jay-Z’s anticipated 4:44 Tour has ground to a screeching halt due to technical difficulties; apparently, the huge display screens that were supposed to hang from the ceiling of the auditorium couldn’t be assembled in time for the show. A similar fiasco caused him to cancel his Fresno, CA concert in early November, but Hov didn’t give a reason for that cancellation. Maybe he decided to speak up now because his short history at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln isn’t very good.
Back in 2013 I ventured from Omaha to Lincoln to see Jay-z in concert. My mother thought it wasn’t worth it; the tickets were overpriced, and the concert venue was an hour drive away. She could see that kind of effort put towards a show by Prince or Michael Jackson, but not Jay-Z.
Her criticism fell on deaf ears. Jay-Z is one of my favorite rappers of all time…a $100 ticket was nothing compared to the experience of seeing The Black Album performed in person. With my sister in tow, we listened to a mix of Hov’s greatest hits all the way to the capital city in anticipation of a great show.
That night I was dressed in all black everything, just like Jay-Z in the video for Run This Town. Once we arrived at the arena I was impressed by the elaborate set before us; humongous speakers hung from the ceilings, while two huge screens hovered above the scene. On stage, translucent crates were stacked in a formation that encompassed a drum set and a DJ booth. The clear crates were emblazoned with white light, but when the music started to play the crates began to pulsate with different colors along with the beat.
Hov and his special-guest Timbaland came out to a spectacular stage-show…after an hour-late start. Though the wait was long, I must admit that Jay-Z came out prepared for an epic set. With Timbaland on the ones-and-twos he performed hit after hit; rocking the arena with songs like NI@@AS IN PARIS and U DON’T KNOW. JIGGA MY NI@@A took full advantage of the gigantic speakers hanging overhead, and I stood on my feet for infectious hits like DIRT OFF MY SHOULDERS and ROC BOYS.
The building was rocking, and the crowd was bouncing so hard that when the smell of burnt fuses filled the air and the lights went out, the entire arena let out a unified sigh of relief at the reprieve!
Those sighs would turn into frustrated huffs after more than thirty minutes of waiting. Apparently, the high-tech set was too much for the Pinnacle Bank Arena’s circuit board. Suddenly, cold-air rushed into the stadium as workers hustled backstage to get the show back up and running. The wait was agonizing, but I was still confident that Hov would make up for this setback.
I was sure that he would give us, his loyal fans what we deserved. At the very least, I was sure that he would extend the concert to pad the nearly two hours we had wasted sitting in the arena. Heck, one of my favorite songs is ENCORE, and I was sure he’d give us an encore performance….
Nope. Despite the setbacks, Jay-Z performed the last song on his set-list and promptly ended the show after maybe ninety minutes of performance time. I imagine that he sped off towards the nearest airport in a souped-up Bentley, smoking a cigar and never thinking twice about the lackluster experience he had just provided.
I haven’t lost all of my love for Hov since that disappointing experience, but I am hesitant to attend one of his concerts. Heck, 4:44 isn't even that great of an album. I may be jaded, but I am now confident that Jay-Z doesn't put forth the effort needed for a great show outside of a major city.
To even think of my levels of anger and disappointment had I been the victim of two disappointing outings by one of my favorite rap artists is scary. I may have jumped back on board with 2Pac and Nas and screamed F*CK JAY-Z!
Has anyone else noticed the sullied reputation of older-white men lately? Pedophilia and rape consenting, out-of-touch and racist; the portrayal of Caucasian gentlemen over the age of fifty has taken a steep decline over the last few years.
My biggest disappointment of the lot would have to be Kevin Spacey. He was always portrayed as such a gentleman; a respected thespian representing some of the most captivating characters in cinema such as John Doe in SEVEN, or Verbal Kint/Keyser Soze in THE USUAL SUSPECTS. Now, at 58 his awesome career will be eclipsed by his sexual assault of an underage boy? Come on, Kevin!
Now Kevin Spacey can be lumped in with deviants like Donald Trump. Spacey is lucky that he doesn’t have the douche-baggery written all over his face like the Donald, though the recounts of his assaults portray him as a lewd pervert that took advantage of star -struck, young boys. Not quite the definition of white privilege, but he definitely used his status to further his unwanted sexual advances which is a card you know President Trump would play.
Ah, the Donald; one of the biggest blemishes on the image of older, white males this decade. His finest accomplishment has to be his presidential bid and eventual victory. Donald ‘Freaking’ Trump, the picture of capitalism and ruthless business practices courts the working-class, blue collar, white males, yet he was literally given one-million dollars as a start-up fund from his father! How can they relate, aside from his bigotry and nationalism? If Trump had the opportunity to hire a skilled working class American, or a cheaper Chinese laborer; who’s the Donald going to pick? (A: CHINA)
The thing is, white guys have always been associated with ruthless, or 'savvy' business practices… just ask the Native-Americans, Africans, Japanese, Mexicans, etc. The corporate world is filled with stuffy suits and neckties thanks to the influence of European white males, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing in regards to uniformity. This whole commonplace practice of sexual assaults and payouts is a new age fire-storm, though, and it will taint the image of older white-guys for years to come.
From the aforementioned Kevin Spacey, to Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin, Jeremy Piven, Andy Dick, James Toback…it seems like casual sexual assault is the thing to do amongst 50+ white guys in a position of power. Let’s throw Donald Trump in with that list, since his habit of grabbing women by the pussy’ has got him in hot water as well. His reckless behavior didn’t affect his bid for the white house, but not every older white-guy can come out so clean on the other side of a scandal.
Jerry Sandusky’s 52 counts of sexual abuse against young boys from 1994 to 2009 got him a prison sentence of 60 years, and also destroyed the legacy of Penn State’s once vaunted football coach, Joe Paterno. Sandusky’s conviction in 2012 may have influenced other victims of sexual abuse by powerful men to be brave and expose their abusers over the next few years. I wonder how closely Rose McGowan, or the countless sharers of the popular #METOO movement followed the Sandusky case…
Older white-guys are like the guards in that movie SLEEPERS; when Kevin Bacon leads his co-workers on a romp of sexual abuse at a boy’s reform school. Those boys eventually grew up to be men with vengeance in their hearts, killing Bacon while he was having a lonely-man's dinner at a shabby bar. They went on to ruin the lives of the remaining guards that took part in their abuse, and the guards are so loathsome that the movie makes you want to root for the killers, and the lawyers that conspire to sabotage the trial so that they can walk free.
I would like to think that the majority of older white-males would be the guards we don’t see in the movie. They are the ones that made the right decision to not participate in their co-worker’s sodomy and rape. But, this doesn’t mean that they weren’t aware of what was going on.
It would be sad to see an entire generation of older, salt and pepper haired, silver foxes be labeled as child abusing rapists, who dabble in pedophilia and sexual assault. No respectable human could have remorse or respect for that type of scum-bucket. Older white-males need to start holding each other accountable for the good of their entire ilk, before they are generalized like the criminal African-Americans, or the illegal Mexican-Americans, or the terrorist Middle Eastern-Americans, or the number crunching Asian-Americans, or the drunken Native Americans, etc.