A Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake Tour Could Change Music Forever

February 13th, 2013

(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

By Gee King

With Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake appearing inseparable since the release of their new single “Suit & Tie,” whispers are turning to screams as fans anticipate the possibility of a tour that joins the musical giants. Justin all but confirmed suspicions on the Grammy red carpet Sunday, telling The New York Post, “We’re definitely going to go on tour… I don’t know how much I should say… It’s going to be a lot of fun, I know that.” Rolling Stone then stoked the flames with a recent report that the two are planning about a dozen stadium dates. With Justin’s comeback album, The 20/20 Experience, set to be released March 19 and Jay still very focused on expanding his cultural reach and influence, the question is no longer if this mega-tour will happen, it’s what kind of impact a Justin and Jay tour will have on mainstream music when it finally does go down.

Jay’s recent habit of teaming with young geniuses that contrast and complement his masterful emceeing could be labeled brilliant, lazy or both. But given the amazing outcome of his work with Kanye West on Watch the Throne, we can safely trust that Hov knows what he’s doing. The same can be said for Justin, now equipped with 20/20 vision and apparently over Hollywood’s spell. The former TRL king always got love from the 106 & Park crowd as well, and not even the most hardcore hip hop head (See 50 Cent) can deny his raw talent. What may be harder for people to accept is the fact that JT’s returning to modern music as the closest thing to a universal male star since Michael Jackson.

So what more can these two supernovas ask for? Apparently, crossover success on levels previously unseen in their respective genres is their first goal. Can you imagine the power both will wield once the world sees Justin’s pop music worshipers bouncing right beside Jay’s loyal hip hop followers? Scuffed Uggz boots and Timberlands will never look better together and the uniting power of music will be pushed to levels the world has never seen. This is not a festival or charity benefit that showcases a diverse range of artists from across the musical universe. This is a full-on marriage of two genres that have had more in common than many would care to admit for decades.

Since 2002’s The Blueprint 2, Jay has been outwardly dedicated to smashing musical boundaries. Hip hop’s desire to maintain its essence forced him to slow his role on many occasions, but he’s slowly but surely bridged the divides that separated him from fellow musical gods like U2’s Bono and Coldplay’s Chris Martin. From his 2008 performance at Glastonbury, which challenged critics and peers who still saw hip hop as a lower art form than rock ‘n’ roll, to combining his talents with Kanye’s ability to have the whole world dancing to the idea of “N—– in Paris,” Jay’s quest through and around the cultural barriers that our culture was born in have been nothing short of heroic. Just wait until the world truly grasps the idea of him and the Mickey Mouse Club member-turned-boy-band-idol-turned-Hollywood-darling rocking stadiums together. That moment of clarity will give fans of all genres a new appreciation for the man hip hop has long known as Hova.

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