Jay Z performed the first of two Tidal-exclusive “B-Sides” shows at New York’s Terminal 5 last night, bringing back classic songs and the Roc-A-Fella stalwarts that made them. Jay Electronica, Young Jeezy, and State Property all hit the stage, including Jay’s long-estranged protegé Beanie Sigel.
In between performing the songs that made him one of hip-hop’s most respected MCs, Jay took a moment to shout out…Tidal, and to dis his competitors. Thankfully for everyone, though, it wasn’t via Twitter lecture or ill-advised press conference—it was via freestyle. He showed the crowd that, just maybe, the ruler’s back…with some Spotify bars (hey, he’s probably exhausted his 550 State Street-related rhymes). He broached more political topics as well, shouting out Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Trayvon Martin.
There’s another show tonight, streaming exclusively on Tidal at 9 p.m. EST—in the meantime, check out the lyrics and setlist below:
Freestyle lyrics (via MTV):
“And I don’t need no middle man to talk to my n—as
I understand if you don’t understand, I figure I’m Jigga
That’s where we differ
I take what’s mine, you accept what they give ya, I get ya
I don’t take no checks, I take my respect
Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet
Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net
Google dangled around a crazy check
I feel like YouTube was the biggest cul-prit
Them n—as pay you a tenth of what you’re supposed to get
You n—as die for equal pay right?
You know what I’m worth? I ain’t ya slave right?
You know I ain’t shuckin’ and jivin’ and hi-fivin’
You know this ain’t back in the days, right?
Well I can’t tell the way they killed Freddie Gray, right?
Shot down Mike Brown, how they did Tray, right?
Let ’em continue choking n—as
We gonna turn style (turnstile), I ain’t ya token n—a
You know I came in this game independent right?
Tidal, my own label, same difference
Oh, n—as is skeptical when it’s their own sh-t
You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich
Phil Knight is worth millions, you still bought them kicks
Spotify is nine million, they ain’t say sh-t
Lucy you got some esplainin’ to do
The only one they hatin’ on looks the same as you
That’s cool, I know they tryin’ to bamboozle you
Spendin’ millions on me to tryin’ to confuse you
I had to talk to myself, Hov you should be used to it
It’s politics as usual”
Setlist (via Pitchfork):
Young, Gifted and Black
Pump It Up Freestyle
Streets is Watching
Friend or Foe
Where I’m From
Politics as Usual
Guess Who’s Back
Show You How
Jigga My Nigga
U Don’t Know
A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More)
This Can’t Be Life
Grammy Family Freestyle
You, Me, Him and Her (w/ Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Young Chris, and Neef)
What We Do (Freeway Cover)
We Made It (w/ Jay Electronica)
Exhibit C (Jay Electronica and Just Blaze solo)
Go Crazy (w/ Young Jeezy)
Who Dat (Young Jeezy)
Can I Live
In My Lifetime (Remix)
It’s Like That
Blueprint (Momma Loves Me) (a capella version)
B.B. King Tribute
Star Spangled Banner (Jimi Hendrix tribute performed by Roc Boys)
Public Service Announcement