I completely kicked ass and accomplished what I set out to do last week. I had to adjust my to do list because……….. HOW did I forget that I had tickets to see Jay-Z????!!
Last Friday night, we took the 2 train and hopped off at the renamed Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, exiting from the newly refurbished part of the station. On the street, a swarm of cops and dogs greeted us. (Really??) Nevertheless, it was an electric scene…. an overwhelming night of firsts, celebrating the opening of our own arena. A diverse crowd wearing Brooklyn gear, filled Flatbush Avenue, showing off our unique flavor, especially to the Manhattanites.
After security clearance, we walked around to get a general layout, then settled in our seats, absorbing the atmosphere. I wanted to bring the camera, but craved a few hours of no responsibilities, enabling me to fully enjoy the concert. I love the way music brings people together, always an amazing feeling. Thankfully, one of the few gatherings left where race, religion, and politics are irrelevant! (A much-needed break from the bullshit in this country.) Mr. Cee from Hot 97 warmed up the audience….. Show love, it’s the Brooklyn way….. starting out with a tribute to Notorious B.I.G.
About 9:30PM (21:30) the show began with a short informative pictorial history of Brooklyn projected on the stage. Then Jay-Z commenced with his own tribute to Biggie Smalls, including ten seconds of silence. I knew even before Sean Carter divulged that this was an emotional night for him. “I’ve been on many stages all around the world and nothing feels like tonight……,” he repeated several times throughout his solo performance. Engaging us all with his special finesse, Mr. Carter created a jovial party atmosphere, everyone bopping their heads to the beats. Big Daddy Kane was the surprise guest, a crowd pleaser…. Ain’t no half steppin’…..
Mr. Carter stopped several times to take it all in, enriching us with free flow introspection. He reiterated, “I don’t believe God gave only certain people genius level talent….. you just have to find out what you are a genius at….. apply yourself to whatever you’re genius at and you can do anything in the world…” And I know he speaks truth. One of the biggest hindrances in my life was sharing with the wrong people who constantly discouraged me. (Lucky are those who have ALWAYS had supporters, it SUCKS when you don’t!) Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. And if you are like me, heavily influenced, highly sensitive, and have a chronic over-the-top tendency towards people pleasing….. then just keep your mouth shut. That literally solved almost ALL of my problems. Now that I keep specifics to myself and pulled away from the damaging media, I know that anything is possible. Let the evidence show….. Shawn Carter, born and raised in the hood, a former drug dealer, now with a net worth of over $450 million, with a stake in the BROOKLYN Nets……. I look in the mirror, my only opponent…..