Parvenu Weekly

  • Bilal's Back

    So this happened last night...

     The new single from one of my favorite voices on the planet, Mr.Bilal Oliver titled Satellites.

    Now, I don't want to analuze the song, I'd just like to listen to it repeatedly with my eyes closed and end up mumbling the melody to myself unconsciously tomorrow afternoon while doing grocery shopping because it's stuck in my head now.

    Be prepared for the singer's next effort In Another Life, expected June 30. 2015 on Purpose Music Group/eOne Music.

  • Spotlight: Matthew Writes

    Are you too yearning to hear more male vocalist on your radio stations? We know you have CB, Trey Songz and August Alsina to sing along to but they’re kind of the same person in retrospect and… well, personally I'm a little bored. So God heard my call and in my inbox floats an email about a rising talent Mr. Matthew Writes, nice right?

    Here’s a little background on the singer, he hails from North Carolina, has been generating buzz amongst his peers and colleagues with his fusion of Hip-Hop, Pop and R&B. Following the release of his debut EP "+1: A Songwriter's EP" back in 2013, he began working with several new artists including Jason Woods, a background singer who recently performed with Beyoncé and Tiffany Stevenson, a noted background vocalist who has performed with everyone from Faith Evans to Mack Wilds! “Be Me” is said to be a prelude to a series of records he plans to release throughout the year!

    Take a listen to his Be Me below and keep up with him here.

  • Vivian Green: Get Right Back To My Baby

    Vivian Green is offering no breaks for her fans. Fresh off the fading fumes of her last album The Green Room in late 2012, Green is gearing up to release new project entitled Vivid due in the Fall of 2015. Key words here is "her fans", Viv hasn’t had the biggest success for any of her albums following her breakout effort A Love Story in 2002 but we have those artists who are in it for the love and not always the profit, they keep on pushing. Vivian Green is one of those artists who never let a setback compromise her artistry or lacks in delivery. The music is always good but a lot of us are just sleeping.  

    While her last The Green Room offered the R&B/Soul sounds and love songs we expect from the songstress, a little song called “I’m Not Prepared” venture into the Dance/Pop genre and it seems that she may be headed in that direction again with the first single from Vivid called “Get Right Back to My Baby”. Check out the visuals below shot by Celebrity photo Derek Blanks (who’s getting better at this video thing). 


  • Kendrick is The Power That Be


    You watch the video, listen to the song? How can you not sing along?

    I would have hated this 10 years ago. Now all I can think is “Kendrick Lamar may have saved Hip Hop”! Ok I’m being dramatic, but hear me out. Of course his latest album To Pimp a Butterfly has been the bop for a couple of weeks now; is an absolute gem, just so musically and lyrically good. I don’t want to explain it, I hope you’ve listened.

    But I am a notorious over thinker; I overanalyze everything even if it’s not voiced it’s happening in my head, so of course appreciating new music comes along with a thought or five. These particular thoughts involved the appreciation I have for Rap fans today. Isn’t it funny that Rap & Hip-Hop for the longest time was relatively coast based? I know you remember the East coast VS West coast beef with The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac but another factor not commonly discussed was also the music preference of said coasts and us just not liking their flow or styles. Most people who would listen to New York based rappers Like Jay Z and Nas would most likely not be the same who listened to West coast MC’s like Cypress Hill and Too $hort… that’s until recently. Not as recent as 3 years ago but sometime within the last decade something happened. Remember when the industry was bum rushed with the addition of southern rappers being appreciated outside of their quarters but more widespread? “down south rap” is what we coined it; artists such as Ludacris, T.I. and Nelly are prime examples of this. Nelly has been rapping since the early 90’s but didn’t take off until a decade later because we weren’t ready to let them in and by them I mean artists with his style and sound or accent for that matter.

    Granted there is much more that attributed to this growth outside of the fact that we were once close-minded consumers but reflecting on it presented an opportunity to appreciate how far we’ve come and the forever growing blurred lines of genres, artists and sound today. Give it a listen if you've not click Here to get To Pimp a Butterfly


    *sings* the yam is the power that be...



  • Ms. Lauryn Hill Performed For Yall

    Ok, how do I begin? So we went to see Ms. Lauryn Hill at the Keswick Theater right outside of Philadelphia on March 28th. I’m not writing a review about this Lauryn Hill concert. I’ll just give you my honest take on things. Ms. Lauryn Hill is an incredible talent but you already knew that. You know the history also; she’s an awesome musician, singer and rapper, released one solo album in 1998 that’s still receiving accolades and breaking records in this very year of 2015. However, Ms. Hill has totally missed the mark on the artist and fans relationship and here’s why. 

    Lauryn Hill of course comes to every show late; we expect this by now because she’s notorious for it. She wasn’t four hours late this time but just shy of two. And as the lights dim and she takes her seat and begins to strums a guitar along with her band a melody begins that you want to be familiar with, you’re so excited at this point! Is it Everything Is Everything?” is it Doo Wop? no… it’s not. You don’t know this song, you’ve never heard it. Now you think to yourself maybe its new, maybe it’s a cover because a few folks are singing along, they must be mega-fans and you’ve not reached that level so you relax and enjoy the opening number and wait for the next song to begin. Ten whole songs later you still have no clue what the hell this woman is singing; did you buy the wrong album? Was there a deluxe version you missed out on? NO. Ms. Lauryn Hill does what she damn well pleases and doesn’t perform anything you are familiar with and now you along with many others are up out your seat but not dancing, back at the bar because you aint’ missing nothing but another drink at this point.

    This is the night summed up… I think it’s a huge mistake for an artist to do an entire set of unpopular or not widely known music, especially when you only have one album out… also doesn’t help when it’s over 15 years since its release. Granted The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is old, it is a masterpiece and fans want THAT. Instead we got “The Narcissism of Lauryn Hill” which doesn’t feel like an “artists decision" to change the show but more of an IDGAF and this is what I want to do. Now, I will say this, the show was far from bad. Musically excellent, the band was phenomenal, but you have to please the supporters who are putting money in your pockets. When the first song the audience responds to collectively, more than half way into the show is "All Falls Down" That's absolutely terrible. This was never released as a single and her cut never made Kanye West’s final version, it’s a clear that the audience was desperate for familiarity at this point.

    I'll give you this to take away; a music lover or musician would absolutely love the set. But an average fan who just wanted to hear a familiar tune, dissect the lyrics or see the woman who actually sang the song you’ve been belting into your hair brush in front of the mirror for the past decade perform it live, you'd probably leave upset and unfulfilled. A show that has no opening acts and starts at "9" but actually quarter to 11, with a body of music you aren't familiar with, unidentifiable covers of known singles or "classics" feels like a letdown. 

    Now I'll chew on some of my words if this would at all discourage you from actually going to see Ms. Lauryn Hill live because that is not my intent or mission with this. The woman is indeed a musical genius. I don’t know if it's the decision to not conform to what the masses want and remain true to her artistic truth or just rebel but the show put on two hours late is well worth the wait, it’s just not fan friendly. Ms. Lauryn Hill might as well have been a new artist showcasing new music, but go and have an open Mind or be disappointed. I was confused.  

    photo by Wei Shi

  • Rihanna Season Approaching

    Frida Kahlo, I mean Rihanna is gearing up for her moment in world domination once again so get familiar with the Hashtag #R8 because soon and very soon it. will. be. everywhere. It's a nod to Rihanna's eighth studio album due sometime this year and the buzz has begun. New music and promo pics are beginning to surface, slowly of course, it’s the PR way to go if you aren't Beyoncé. After the release of "FourFiveSeconds" early in the year and the performance of the song on the Grammy awards a couple weeks later, Hip-Hop Mogul Kanye West revealed that he would be executive producing the Pop Star's new album, which of course caused the anticipation to grow even more.

    So in the early morning hours of March 26th the “Talk That Talk” singer released snippets of her newest single “Bitch Better Have My Money”, which sounds like a good time if you ask me! We found a few but this is the fav "click here"  if you want to hear it; hopefully it’s still up by the time you read this. Rihanna’s been on an upward slope of success over the years but has always had the criticism of her work ethic and vocals following her along the way. It seems as if she's now aware or maybe cares enough now to actually shut the critics up, at least for this album anyway and I’ll take that!

    So I said all of this to say, wait on it... This album has potential to be one of her biggest moments to date and we're biting our fingernails. 

    UPDATE: Listen to the full track below

    New Music: Rihanna – “Bitch Better Have My Money” (prod. by Deputy) (Explicit)

    Full explicit via Xclusives Zone





  • The Roots Picnic 2015

    It’s that time again...  The 8th annual Roots Picnic will be Saturday May 30th at Philadelphia’s Festival Pier. Of course the lineup is packed with awesomeness but we're really looking forward to the incomparable E.Badu and A$AP Rocky. #JustBeingHonest 

    Check the lineup below

    image: okayplayer

  • The Return of The Hummingbird

    This past weekend some the crew here at Parvenu decided to attend a show put on by the amazingly beautiful and extremely talented singer Tweet. Tweet has faded in the background of the music scene for the past couple of years; I chose my words wisely in saying faded because she hasn’t totally disappeared as some may think. Having released an EP "Simply Tweet" in 2013 and lending her vocals to other musicians and singers in the industry doing features, she'd taken a back seat and was only seen if you were looking for her. 

    If you’ve ever taken a listen to Tweets music it’s easy to identify her soul. The music is a representation of truth and emotion from the perspective of a vulnerably honest woman experiencing love and life. We’re used to her being an open book so when The Southern Hummingbird took a break for years with no explanation it left her fans confused and she’s been missed terribly, however... The return is in the making and one of the first steps taken was to gather a clan of fans in an intimate setting at the Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia and put on a show, remind us why we fell in love with her the first time.

    And if you’re like us and want to know what led to the break and where her head is this time around- we spoke with her the night before the gig and got all the deets! Stay tuned for that in Parvenu's upcoming third issue but take a look at the singer’s playful rendition of “Turn Da Lights Off” below. 

     Khalif M

  • Black Messiah

    After a 14 year album gap D'Angelo's Black Messiah was released at Mdnight (12/14/14).

    Stream it here. Get it here! Rejoice in this for a while.

    Black Messiah track list:
    1. Ain't That Easy
    2. 1000 Deaths
    3. The Charade
    4. Sugah Daddy
    5. Really Love
    6. Back in the Future (Part I)
    7. Till It's Done (Tutu)
    8. Prayer
    9. Betray My Heart
    10. The Door
    11. Back in the Future (Part II)
    12. Another Life

  • Spotlight: Good Girl

    Aren’t you in the mood for another good R&B group? A new “Girl group” at that? Well we got you covered… meet Megan Nicolle, Morgan (JL), Bobbie (Courtney) and Arielle; they make up Good Girl.  

    It’s been a while since we’ve seen an all female group that’s captured our attention. I recently had the pleasure of meeting these young ladies while attending an event for songstress Syleena Johnson in Philly, their hometown. These girls hit the stage and were nothing less than amazing. All, not some but ALL of them can sing. So any question of what is it that might set these four girls apart from the rest could be their individual vocal abilities; exhibited when they went into an En Vogue cover, which gave the different members a chance to be heard individually. Proving that they all have talent [there are no filler vocals here]. The harmonies were nice and mellow, choreography on point and their set was structured perfectly.   

     So after witnessing them perform there is no question as to why they’re booked! Good Girl has been extremely busy from tree lighting ceremonies to shows in N.Y; word is spreading fast about Philly’s newest sensation. So if you want to get more familiar or a good listen to Good Girl for yourself… or Download their mixtape 90's Kinda Girl here!

    And just in time for the Holidays Listen to Perfect Christmas by the girls below.

     Tameka Nash


  • Spotlight: Amber Sauer

    Sometimes we feature newcomers that our readers are somewhat familiar with which is a good thing, but sometimes we find those hidden gems that we need to introduce you to! Miss Amber Sauer is the latest addition to that list.

    After coming across her single That’s OK (Self Talk), we’re officially on the lookout. Having a background in gospel music, singing on different choirs and also background vocals for Kelly Price has shaped her personal style and delivery into something special. The song is a breath of fresh air, its relatable and fun. We feel like Music today has been looking for something reminiscent of the days where your mother and grandmother didn’t side-eye one another when a song came on the radio. Like soul music, Soul music has always been a genre driven by emotion, sounds of joy, pain, love or anything passionate and true. No matter what’s driving it, it has to be greatly executed and believable to the audience and Amber, we believe you girl!

     That’s Ok definitely does the job in filling that void for something new but familiar to bop to. The beat is funky, vocals are flawless and production great, thanks to the one and only B-Slade (Tonex). We hope to be hearing more from Miss Sauer in the future.

     Check out the video below & get That’s OK (Self Talk) on iTunes now!

    Tameka Nash/ Photo: Amber Sauer Facebook

  • Spotlight: Mary J's London Sessions

    Mary J. Blige has always been an artist to stay on my radar for her artistry. Her albums are like period pieces in a way. I can recall the hairstyles she sported, fashions and the energy each project produced. It’s like when you think about Mike Jack’s Thriller Era and instantly recall the studded leather jacket. It’s an unspoken commitment artists make to the movement of their project, a part of the image they want us to receive.

    Mary J. does that well. Her product is well thought out... for the most part- sans the Burger King incident. So when I heard that she decided to move to London for some time to record a new project I got a little excited to see what would become. The mission was to experiment with a new sound she'd taken a liking to and play in a new genre with the help of some of the top artists and producers who are currently running that show. And while the crossover is always a big risk for artists, what does she have to lose?

    After reigning in the music biz for 20+ years now, Mary has earned a spot that she cannot be moved from. Critical evidence shows a decline in her popularity, we would be lying to say she’s not remained relevant through the many changes the music industry has encountered during her tenure and has even conformed to some. And while The Queen of R&B has hopped the pond and landed her feet in the Pop genre, it doesn’t read conformity but pretty authentic actually.

    After listening to The London Sessions signs that this may have been a project unconsciously in the making for years now appear with sounds peaking in and out of Mary’s last few efforts. Album fillers like Fade Away, What Love Is and Smoke from 2008’s The Growing Pains could easily come across as tracks left on the cutting room floor from The London Sessions with their absence of heavy bass and R&B style production that the other tracks on that project possess. Minimal instrumentation or simple arrangements move from that album and onto others like My Life II, which produced a sound similar sound with power ballads like Empty Prayers and Need Someone.

    The London Sessions is a solid effort and a testament to the importance of growth in artistry. If anything that’s what’s sold us all on Mary over the years. With the ever growing popularity of British artists and their sound taking over the airwaves, these “Sessions in London” prove to be some of the best she’s had in a long time.

     The London Sessions is available in the U.S. on Dec 2nd.

  • Remembering Oscar de la Renta

    Legendary Dominican American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died at the well-lived age of 82. A name that’s traveled from the white house to the red carpets around the world for decades and has had an impact for half a century of fashion is not a fashion house that would nearly fade but should live forever in the history books.

    Best known to the current generation for his red carpet gowns and eveningwear, de la Renta has done and is so much more than that. Those who are newer to Fashion culture probably wouldn’t know his history, even with some of their favorite labels like Lanvin and Balmain. Labels he’s worked for many years ago and that have recently jumped ship from their couture roots to being best known, again in this current generation as everyday wear.

    Cause of death leads towards de la Renta’s history with cancer, which he spoke about being “totally free” at The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) a year after his diagnosis.

    “Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.”

    We suggest aspiring fashion minds take this opportunity to reflect and research the history that is Mr. Oscar de la Renta. We can only know where we’re going if we know where we’ve come from, right?

    May Oscar de la Renta Rest Peacefully.


  • Spotlight: Lydia Rene


    Originally from Philadelphia PA , now residing in Los Angeles CA. Lydia Rene has been plowing the ground as an independent artist for some time now.  This soulful singer just released her single Last Night on May 30, 2014 and Her EP "Vintage Heart" is set to be released Fall 2014.  Lydia René is a classically trained pianist and accomplished musician whose sound is best described as smooth out-of-the box soul. Lydia has had the opportunity to work with acclaimed producers and musicians like Burn N Bush (Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin), BAM (Lil Mama), Damon “Mr. Dizzy Fingers” Bennett (Jay-Z, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake), and Stan Davis (Kindred The Family Soul, Kelly Rowland, Teena Marie). She has also had the opportunity to write songs for other artists including Toni Braxton, Melanie Fiona, and Lil Mo. 

    Some may say she's has caught their attention from her awesome arrangements and covers of songs like XO from Beyonce and Wonderwall from English Rock Band Oasis.  Her covers show range and her original works show creativity and charisma from the levels of variety. With a resume like this Lydia Rene will be writing herself into the history books!

    You can check out her covers and original music on Soundcloud.


    -Tameka Nash

  • The Talented Little Miss Smith

    Not too long after whipping her hair back and forth, child singer Willow Smith shaved it all off and left the persona we thought we knew on the floor along with her long locks.

    When Willow arrived on our screens as a new artist (circa 2010) everyone thought they knew exactly what she had to bring to the table. Another child singer, who may have just been able to get some studio time because of who her parents were. She came across as a breed of R&B, Rock and Dance-pop. Had a bright smile and bubbly personality and we were hooked. She followed up the success of Whip My Hair with 21st Century Girl and Fireball featuring Nicki Minaj.

    Well, that’s all over and Willow has our attention again. Not because of the 23 different personalities we’ve encountered from her over the past few years, (one which spoke in a British accent for a few months) it’s because the girl underneath it all is a really good “artist” and keep in mind she’s 13! Her sound has now shifted into a breed of neo-soul, R&B, indie and it works.

    We said all of this to say if you’re not checking for her, you might be sleeping on her. Check out the latest track to surface called Your Love below and as a bonus, the video of her performing Summer Fling last fall on The Queen Latifah Show.

     Summer Fling on The Queen Latifah Show


    Willow, we're paying attention.

    Photo: coutersy of Roc-Nation

  • Danity Kane's Music Lives On!

    Danity Kane may be dead, again... but the music is still alive. After their long awaited reunion that produced the hit single Lemonade and a national tour earlier this year the group crashed once again and have yet again split up. Sparing details we'll say it's just not in the cards for them to be together, however the girls were able to put their differences aside and show their fans they are indeed appreciated.


    The girls will still be releasing the album they were working on before the fall, expected October 27th 2014 and the music is still rolling out in promotion as if we are to expect performances and promo in anticipation. Is this not the strangest thing ever? Anyway, check it out below Tell Me, and you can also purchase the single on iTunes.


  • Spotlight: Chartel

    Meet Chartel, Philadelphia based singer/songwriter originally from the DMV, Chartel has shared the stage with some of your favorite artists. Performing as a background singer for BET Music Matters' artist Leah Smith, she has appeared on BET's 106th & Park, 2010 BET Honors Celebration, and numerous other stages along the East Coast. As a regular feature with jazz band, Vertical Current, Chartel has opened for Grammy Award winning Robert Glasper, and 2X Grammy Nominee Eric Roberson. In addition, she has had the honor of performing musical tributes to soul singer Carol Riddick and legendary producer James Poyser of The Roots.

    But Chartel is now ready to take center stage with the release of her debut single "Make Up Your Mind to Love"! With a sound and writing style described as 'pop-soul', it is also the charisma, charm, and vulnerability of Chartel's live performances that leaves listeners begging for more.

    I am excited to share my point of view as a songwriter with this single and music that is yet to come. I'm a very contemplative introspective person and I hope that listeners will hear that and connect with it." Of her debut single she says, "At its core, Make Up Your Mind to Love is an admittedly ambitious declaration of unwavering love for someone who hasn't quite shown the same in return...

    In 2013, she was nominated as Best New Artist in Philadelphia at the Philly Hip-Hop Awards hosted by Urban Celebrity Magazine. She is active in music education and has also graced the theatrical stage, starring in and supporting productions throughout the greater Philadelphia region. So keep an eye out and your ears open for this one! Take a listen to Make Up Your Mind to Love below and download it for later, you know, when you cant get it out of you head and want to hear it again.


  • Spotlight: Dante Kennedy

    Howard Dante K. Kennedy, born September 24th, 1987 began playing the drums at the age of 3 on pots and pans to classic Disney movies and under the tutelage of his father, a well know musician in the gospel genre. Becoming quite well known in the Philadelphia area as just a drummer he knew that he needed to break out on his own as an overall performer.

    Dante started his own Production Company "V4texx Music Group", and began to find his sound as an artist. With his unique vision, in 2007 he released an album entitled The Marriage of Rhythm and Rhymes, a project with a compilation of different artist. With hopes to expand his audience Dante began to build relationships by spreading his music locally and around the globe.

    After sharing his music with different labels and experiencing the politics of artistry Dante continuously pushed and attracted Travie McCoy's attention while on tour as a drum tech. McCoy, intrigued by his hustle then had him record in Miami at the Hit Factory and Dante joined McCoy's label "Batsquad". It was summer 2013 when Travie released Love Hate, a track with some of the members of Batsquad, Dante, AX, Siya (Sisterhood of Hip Hop) and McCoy.  This afforded him great opportunities and more motivation to continue on his path. Dante has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Queen Latifah show playing drums for McCoy but hopes to come back as an artist. 

    Currently working on a project Dante released his new single, "You Don't Belong" feat. Corey Lee, and in 24 hours, & it went Global catching attention of fans everywhere. His fan base includes Taiwan, Germany, Australia, Denmark, South America, the U.S, and more. 

    Listen to You Don’t Belong below and which is available on iTunes, Amazon, and many other online music stores.

    Story: Tameka Nash

    Photo: Khalif Moore

  • NEW GoGo Morrow "Replay"

    If you guys have been rocking with Parvenu since January of this year you may remember when we featured a songstress uniquely named GoGo Morrow. Soaking in pride after pulling off the sold out show she put on in her hometown just months after being the opening act for Pop icon Brandy in the same venue.

    You may also remember GoGo stating that she didn’t really have plans to release a mixtape like EP or anything rushed and wanted to take her time and give fans something she’s proud of. And when you’re a fan of someone that’s the last thing you want to hear because it usually seems the music is never coming but GoGo doesn’t disappoint and hasn’t taken any breaks since the last time you heard from her. Fresh off the #NoFilter tour, traveling the states with Danity Kane, GoGo has a new single [to continue] to hold you guys over. Replay! Check it out below and get it on iTunes here.

     If you've not read our article on GoGo see it here

  • The Revolt TV Music Conference 2014


    Revolt TV Music Conference will be in Miami Beach, FL this year. This year the three-day series of events solely constructed for networking will be one of the most important events to newbies in the business! Word on the official site states The REVOLT Music Conference provides an environment where technology meets influencers, music executives, entrepreneurs, songwriters, designers, producers, bloggers, students, brand managers, marketing executives, publicists, music artists and more.

    Keynote speakers include Revolt Founder/CEO P.Diddy, Def Jam Co-founder/Hip-Hop legend Russell Simmons, Epic Records Chairman/CEO L.A. Reid, Clear Channel Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman and many more. The one-of-a-kind forum designed to help guests do one thing... understand and navigate the evolution of the music business.

    So if you are interested, Join Revolt TV on October 16-19.

    Registration info is HERE.

  • Unlocking The Truth

    While most eighth graders are dealing with their parents singing trip slips, the pre-teens who make up the Metal Trio Unlocking The Truth are singing record contracts! Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, Jarad Dawkins, 12, and Alec Atkins, 13 are the most talked about “new artists” in the past few weeks. Three young boys straight out of Brooklyn who have been seen many times playing around the streets of NY have left the curbside and are officially headed to the stage!

    Just this past week they’ve signed a multi album record deal with Sony and they’re touring the states on the Vans Warped Tour this summer. Tabatha Dawkins [mother of Jarad] told the New York Daily News. “What started out as play dates went to Times Square and now this. It’s been one great thing after another.”

    We’ve all witnessed really young talent take off, its nothing new but we haven’t seen this happen in this genre. Is the world ready for pubescent metal rock stars? We’ll have to wait to see… but until then check out one of their street performances below!

     img source

  • The Global Citizen Festival: Performers Announced

    Photo: Robin Harper

    Major names in music like Jay Z, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood and The Roots are set to perform at this years Global Citizen Festival scheduled for September 27th, 2014.

    Global Citizen is an organization with the mission to bring an end to extreme poverty through the .

    Visit their website for additional information and for your chance to win free tickets!

  • On The Run Tour review

    High praises and endearing terms are synonymous with the mention of Beyoncé and Jay Z, words that aren’t just from mouths of adoring fans and supporters but from their peers, their idols and from critics also. Yup, they’ll tell you their music “just isn’t their cup of tea” but if they were honest with themselves they would clear up any put down of their talents or influence in the next breath. The critical acclaim isn’t hype or superficial but proven and displayed in many forms but particularly when they’re on stage and it’s no different this time around as they headline their joint On The Run Tour.

    The married duo teamed up this summer to give fans what has been a growing craving since rumors began to swirl in the early 2000’s of a romance after the groups 1st song together, [03 Bonnie and Clyde] a glimpse into their personal lives or better yet their relationship. Over the years they’ve opened up more and more about their long-time love through dozens of collaborations, videos and interviews but still remained very reserved in display of public affection until now. The On the Run tour can only be identified as that filling bite in finally satisfying our appetites.

    After such a great time experiencing the show in Philadelphia I’m actually going to spare you in giving the concert a play by play in review. I don’t think it’s fair to you. You have to see it on your own. You don’t want me spoiling the entire set list, the order of the songs; what lyrics they switched up or wardrobe changes (if you’ve not already taken to their websites or YouTube videos for this already). What I will say is the live experiences these two give are only getting bigger and better with each new effort. Being a supporter of both J & B for years now I’ve been to countless shows put on by the two. I’ve seen Jay solo, with Kanye and Justin Timberlake last summer during the Legends of The Summer tour. Seen Bey multiple times, hell I ended up at the Mrs. Carter Show tour three times last year alone. And we all know it’s nothing like partying with friends and listening to your favorite songs! On The Run felt exactly like that. You’re in a crowd with your new friends [for the evening anyway] and you’re singing along, while the Carter’s perform over forty songs in almost three hours. Moving through clever transitions whether it be a play on words like when Beyoncé belts the lyrics “Why Don’t You Love me” from her song with the same title into “Why I love you so much”, lyrics originally sang by Timberlake from Jay’s “Holy Grail”. Or mixing the beat from one song into another so seamlessly you barely realize it until the voice through the speakers change.

    And while it’s popular opinion that the two have mastered perfecting their shows in the past, what sets this one apart in particular is their chemistry. To borrow Jay’s lyrics from 03 Bonnie and Clyde, “whatever she lacks, I’m right over her shoulder/ When I'm off track, mami is keeping me focused...” is displayed in various moments, like when Jay Z came into his verse on Bonnie and Clyde too soon and Beyoncé gave him eye contact signaling just that and it instantly reminds him where they are in the song. The playful banter and flirting displayed during their latest hit from Beyoncé's self titled album, “Drunk In Love” that results in a rosy-cheeked Beyoncé smiling uncontrollably.

    And the montage of personal family footage that includes a few clear views of daughter Blue Ivy, the couple seemingly forgets we're there for a moment and gawks at the huge screens alongside us as if they’ve never seen the footage before themselves. The stadium tour is giving fans exactly what they want. A reenactment of the PDA insinuated in the couples lyrics for the past decade, blends of the their latest hits and blasts from the past while incorporating new styles of performing their songs mixed with the classic styles we’ve seen before, its familiar but still very new. And while I was pretty surprised that songs like Déjà Vu and the catchy tune Hollywood, the couple both have versions of weren’t performed, its easy to overlook those factors when there is so many other highlights to recall. You simply wont rest well if you have a want to see this show, and you don’t. I’m going again next week.

    Photo Credit: Mason Poole/Robin Harper