In an interview with the LA Times, Jay-Z credits DMX for inspiring him to step up his live performance game.
With Jay-Z set to headline one night of the three-day Coachella music festival in southern California, the legendary MC talks about how his live performance has changed over the years.
“All my early years? Forget it. I was a horrible performer,” Jay said, admitting he learned it the hard way from DMX during a co-headlining tour in 1998. “DMX tore me to pieces. I remember being stunned.”
“He had me really working. But I had to figure this out,” the rapper continued. “If you want to be a headliner, you better put on a headline show.”
Jay goes on to confirm what I’ve been saying to people for years — that hip-hop concerts are generally lame.
“In hip-hop, there’s not many great performers,” Jay-Z acknowledged. “I look outside the genre, measuring myself against others. I look at Madonna’s production and envy that. Daft Punk’s set, I’m like, what the. . . . And I look at the way U2 can command an audience. Bono’s a performer pretty much like I am. He’s not a dancer; he’s not jumping around. He’s having a conversation. He’s using his stillness as movement.”