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I am no stranger to concerts. As a matter of fact, my work on this blog has afforded me the opportunity to attend many shows, for the low cost of a few words of review on this site. I’ve seen many artists live, but last night was quite the experience…a great one.

I’m a fan of music, and I’m a fan of performance. For that reason, rap shows have always been hit or miss for me. I know that every young MC doesn’t have the budget for a live band, but…I still expect more than a guy standing stationary on stage, reciting rhymes from a track and checking his BlackBerry. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with Jay-Z and Kanye West. Last night, in front of a packed house at Houston’s Toyota Center (which included Bun B, Kirko Bangz, Trae Tha Truth, producer Rico Love, and… BEYONCE,) the duo known as The Throne proved why they are the best in the game.

Though the show started 2 hours after the time printed on our tickets, I was NEVER disappointed. Splitting their time between two stages (the main stage in the front of the house, and a smaller one towards the back) Jay and Kanye worked through a long set-list of individual and collaborative hits: from Reasonable Doubt, to College Dropout, and all the way through the pair’s most recent album Watch The Throne. One of the most special moments came when Jay performed his hit “Big Pimpin” which of course featured verses from Port Arthur, Texas’ own UGK. Jay ran through both of his verses on the song, and then began to spit the first few bars of the late Pimp C‘s verse, until the crowd took over acapella. With Bun B beaming from a luxury box, it was definitely a bittersweet moment, as the anniversary of Pimp C’s death (and coincidentally Jay-Z’s birthday) was the day before (December 4th)

The big brother/little brother relationship with Jay & Ye was on full display. There were several times throughout the evening where they took time out to consult each other on their next moves. Probably the coolest thing about the show was seeing the contrast between their styles. Kanye’s high strung passion and showmanship perfectly compliments Jay’s cool and effortless swag. From the fashion choices (namely Kanye’s leather kilt, fitted leather pant, Air Yeezy, and Givenchy tall tee ensemble) the lights, the pyro, and music made for an amazing night. They closed the show with the Hit Boy produced smash Ni**as Black Guys In Paris”, performing it a total of five times.

I hope that every young artist and creative mind in the building was inspired just as I was. You could tell that these guys really put a lot of thought into how the show looked, sounded, and felt to the fans that were in attendance. Check out a few pics below.

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