Labor Day has passed, but the summer of dueling hip hop giants—which saw massively anticipated releases by Kanye West and Jay Z and a fire-starting verse by newcomer Kendrick Lamar—hurdles on with abandon. All three characters are involved in the morning's big rap game news.
As Pitchfork notes, it will be West's first solo tour in five years, an eternity in the rapper's decade or so as a recording solo artist. (He declined to tour behind 2010's monstrously big My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, claiming he was too "radioactive" a celebrity for corporate sponsorship.) The itinerary will find West trekking from arena to arena across the U.S. and Canada, including stops at Brooklyn's newfangled Barclays Center and Los Angeles's Staples Center.
But he will have a guest: massively hyped Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar. That Lamar was pegged indicates two things: that the rising star has West's blessing to play in the big leagues (not that the rapper needed anyone's permission), and that the pressure will be on even more to follow up his debut, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. It also suggests there's room for young blood in what Grantland's Steven Hyden has termed hip hop's "post-youth period."
Oh, and that this tour will generate bazillions of dollars. West's tweet has already generated 23,000 retweets and counting, and the news has sparked a bit of a frenzy in hip hop communities. People are excited.
Except, perhaps, for Jay Z. Having followed closely on West's heels with his album release, Jay Z announced his own stadium tour within minutes of West's tweet. Coincidence? The two rappers toured together behind their Watch the Throne collaboration in 2011, and it's not surprising that Hov would be a bit jealous—his album has drawn far more muddled reviews than Yeezus, which has been hailed as a masterpiece. On Twitter, Pitchfork's Brandon Stosuy wondered if we're seeing a bit of a copycat effect:
My guess is if Kanye jumped off a bridge, Jay-Z would then jump off a bridge twice.— Brandon Stosuy (@brandonstosuy) September 6, 2013
Fittingly, tickets for Jay Z's tour go on sale on September 12—one day before the Yeezus tour. Choose wisely.