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I Saw Jay-Z, Did You?
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Music of Thursday, 12 October 2006

Source: ghanamusic.com

I Saw Jay-Z, Did You?

A thriller of the well-hyped Jay-Z show finally hit Accra with the anticipated bang last Friday and the mass excitement that the event created, even without the presence of the much touted Beyonce, was absolutely remarkable.

With standard tickets going for one million cedis that night, long queues had started forming at the gates three whole hours before showtime.

The waiting itself had its excitement as young women showcased some of the craziest mini skirts immaginable, skimpy dresses and ?high rise? blouses.

Once inside the main auditorium of the Accra International Conference Centre, it was surprising to see that not all patrons were young women in mini skirts.

Indeed many were much older men and women who were too ready to scream when the American hip-hop idol made his entrance with his face shielded by a piece of cloth in the red, yellow and green colours of the Ghanaian flag.

The cheers, catcalls and whistles reached a crescendo when Jay-Z took off the flag and began jumping hilariously, much unlike his thirty-something years, all over the stage.

As Jay-Z began to rap, many patrons, especially the young women, seem to have gone into a frenzy. They yelled, danced and sang alongside the star, who appeared elated that the audience were familiar with his songs.

Jay-Z exhibited a dramatic blend of kinetic, visual and oral magic with a performance that was witty, magnetic and penetrating.

It was technically inventive and ferociously inviting. The audience had no choice but to sit back and allow the music to work its way into the innermost part of their souls and the bottom of their hearts.

Joined by his pal Memphis Bleek, the two stars engaged the crowd in a captivating duet revealing in the process Jay-Z?s reputation for hilarious performances.

In spite of the intense heat - either due to overcrowding or malfunctioning air conditioners (or both), the crowd continued to enjoy themselves.

While the crowd yearned for more, the total three-hour show was all over before midnight and the many night ?birds? in attendance had to seek pleasure elsewhere.

?The standard of his craftsmanship is really high - I am amazed by the number of people who are here. Jay-Z was equally astounded by the fact that Ghanaians know his music.

It simply reveals the power and influence of his music?, said Panji Anoff, C.E.O. of Pidgin Music, Managers of King Ayisoba.

?When I left London for Accra, I did not expect to see a Jay-Z performance. It is a great and memorable experience for me.

The atmosphere was lovely, appealing and charming?, said Heather Buchanan, a student volunteer from the United Kingdom.

Judging by their faces, it was obvious that the audience who were trooping out of the auditorium were feeling lovely too.

Especially for the young ones, it was an achievement to have successfully ?blackmailed? their parents to dispense with millions of cedis so that they could go to school and say, ?I saw Jay-Z. Did you??

Before Jay-Z, a number of Hiplife stars including Obrafour, Wutah, Batman, Jane, Irene and others entertained the crowd with a number of their compositions.

The concert was organised by Charter House, the foremost events management company in Ghana with the support of Mobistar.

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