Even before the stage lights came on at American Airlines Center on Saturday night, the stage set-up was noticeably sparse, with minimalist scaffolding that looked downright reserved compared to other arena acts such as Kanye West's elaborate, Las Vegas-style Yeezus mountain.
The audience immediately stood as Shawn Corey Carter walked out onto the stage for the Dallas stop on the Magna Carter World Tour. There wasn't an opening act for Carter, who for 20 years has performed under the stage name Jay Z. Instead, before the show, the crowd bounced along as a DJ played tracks ranging from N.W.A.'s Boyz-n-the-Hood" to Migos' "Versace."
When Carter finally took the stage for his nearly two-hour set, he was dressed in all black from his sneakers to a black leather Brooklyn Nets ball cap. Well, all black except for a few thick gold chains around his neck and the white cross on the back of his T-shirt.
Earlier this month, the 44-year-old rapper's latest full-length effort was nominated for nine Grammy Awards - more than anyone else this year. And starting with "F.U.T.W." (Fuck Up the world) and all the way through his set to "Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit," it was clear in Dallas that Jay Z still has "it."