DMX Sparks Jay-Z’s On-Stage Evolution


Jay-Z was the first rap artist to headline Britain’s Glastonbury Festival in 2008 and he will make history once again next Friday when he becomes the first solo hip-hop act to top the bill at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. But Jay wasn’t always able to command a stage. He opens up about the rapper who indirectly encouraged him to become a better performer and the artists who’ve influenced his on-stage evolution.

“In hip-hop, there’s not many great performers,” Jay-Z told the Los Angeles Times. “I look outside the genre, measuring myself against others. I look at Madonna’s production and envy that. Daft Punk’s set, I’m like, what the… And I look at the way U2 can command an audience. Bono’s a performer pretty much like I am. He’s not a dancer; he’s not jumping around. He’s having a conversation. He’s using his stillness as movement.”

The hip-hop heavyweight was modest when talking about his early stage presence. “All my early years? Forget it. I was a horrible performer,” he admitted, realizing that he needed to up his game when touring with DMX in 1999. “DMX tore me to pieces. I remember being stunned.”

It was then Jay knew that he had to raise the bar. “[DMX] had me really working. But I had to figure this out,” he explained. “If you want to be a headliner, you better put on a headline show.”

Now well adjusted to playing sold-out arenas, Mr. Carter is looking forward to his next headlining gig at Coachella in Indio, Calif. “There’s nothing like seeing 100,000 diamonds.”

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  1. Key

    You right jay,hiphop dying and artists can perform on stage,espcially new names they shit,thanks we still have big names as you to makes us love the music and performance and not only topping the chart with technology help


  2. Key

    You right jay,hiphop dying and artists can perform on stage,espcially new names they shit,thanks we still have big names as you to makes us love the music and performance and not only topping the charts with technology help


  3. Sasan

    Jay you said it, you better go tell rihanna that, if you want to be a headliner, you better put a headline show on


  4. Ghetto Fab

    Jay ain’t lying. No RAPPER gave a show like DMX did in the 90′s. That dude had so much energy it was incredible. I’m sure many of you remember the Ruff Ryders movement. The rappers today are shit at best. Most of them are relying off cheezy gimmicks like slogans or “dances of the week” to boost their performances. They need to sit it down and take a look back at the greats.


  5. Rude Boy #1 since 5 weeks

    #SUSAN Rihanna is one of the best live performers right now. Rihanna >>>>>> Beycopycat. (if thats why you wanna tell us)

    Jay got so much class. DMX dissed jay a while back and jay still gives this dude props.


  6. UltraKid

    Right now U2, Jay-Z, Kanye, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Daft Punk have the best concerts.


  7. LAD



  8. d.A.N



  9. Mike

    I saw his show in Boston and was amazed. It was seriously one of the best nights of my life, the energy in the arena was overwhelming,


  10. ...

    the more I see jay z itw the more i’m disapointed.When will he ever understand that he is not god?
    Why does he feel to say “In hip-hop, there’s not many great performers” just to stress on the fact he is a good performer.
    What aboy healthy competition.
    Jay is so disapointing by now.Not sure i’m down for his new album


  11. ..!

    dont u think jay z is over rated? out of all rappers he is the most over rated rapper out there. He is good but not GREAT. You got underground people that i give more props to like common, talib and mos def. They still have that same vibe where hip hop was brought up. Jay Z is old school too but his new stuff aint even that great. You got many rap artists out there they dont even get much props but instead jay z gets looked up as a king of hip hop? Nas ripped Jay z to shreds. His rhymes and flow is more tight. .. But i guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion right? ..


  12. missingBeyonce

    Beyonce has Been always Better than rihanna live and gaga also offtopic But i hope venus vs mars will Be the next single and you cant talk aBout copying since rihanna copy mia in rude Boy so dont hate on Be


  13. MEAKO

    The Sneaker Hotel


  14. Baron

    @UltraKid – Beyonce puts on an incredible show as well. It’s a good mix of choreography, lights, and powerhouse vocals. I loved it, can’t wait for the arena DVD (if she ever decides to release it).


  15. Jay-Z Stepped His Live Performance Up After Seeing DMX « Brain Dead Group

    [...] Source: Rap-Up [...]

  16. missingBeyonce

    she will relese a dvd of the arena cuse she shot some of them in london with kanye and jay


  17. rick



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    [...] DMX Sparks Jay-Z’s On-Stage Evolution Apr 11, 2010 By kynyus Share (via Rap-Up) [...]

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