Rather than just do the standard one song for each live performance portion of Saturday Night Live, Jay-Z and his live band did a medley of tracks for nearly eight minutes. He primarily stuck to more recent material, such as The Black Album‘s “99 Problems”* and “Public Service Announcement (Interlude).” And he ended it all with his first number one single, “Empire State of Mind,” with Roc Nation/touring vocalist Bridget Kelly on the hook in place of Alicia Keys. Jigga also ran through The Blueprint 3‘s gaudy closing track, “Young Forever,” with the help of Mr. Hudson. I have to admit this cut is much better live than on the album, but it still sounds forced. Maybe I’m just bitter that Jay only teased “On to the Next One,” which is easily the best track on The Blueprint 3.
*I can’t help but share the fact that as Jay was performing “99 Problems” on SNL, I was doing a drunken karaoke version of the track at some bar in Newport, R.I. Foolishness.