Surely this man needs no introduction whatsoever – aside from saying I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to dedicate a post to him.
A modern-day legend in the hip-hop/rap space and co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, his tunes are my first port of call whenever I need a power-play, a bit of confidence or some “you can do it” encouragement.
So why has this come up today of all days? I just got my copy of The Blueprint 3 in the post, and this happens to be my favourite track on the album.
I missed his Roundhouse gig last year but was jammy enough to be at Wembley Stadium when he was “supporting” (ahem!) Coldplay. One of the oddest shows I’ve been to – a bunch of Coldplay fans, many (but not all) of whom seemed unsure how to respond to the music, cheering politely but a little awkwardly through classics like Big Pimpin’, 99 Problems and Dirt Off Your Shoulder, until… Numb/Encore when the crowd went genuinely crazy, bouncing in unison like hip-hop is all they’ve ever known.
Little mini-shout out to Paul, who actually rubbed shoulders with Mr. -Z and his lovely wife at a Grizzly Bear concert in NYC last year.
Well… close enough.