After a little cajoling, bribery, kicking, screaming and general "DUUUUUUDE!!!!"-ing, we lassoed tickets to Young Hov's Reasonable Doubt dress rehearsal at Nokia Theater on Saturday night. ?uestlove was behind the kit wearing his proverbial musical director hat (your man shines in that role). Just Blaze was on both the ones and the twos. And there was a many, many piece orchestra beefing up the beats ("Who is that woman conducting? WHO is that first violinist?" "Union bro. ALL UNION.").
Although Jay was apparently saving most of the guest appearances for Sunday night's REAL DEAL, we did get a little Bleek (duh), and someone dug Pain In Da Ass out for a hilarious intro beckoning Hov to the stage and the "Okay! I'm reloaded!" break before "Dead Presidents." B was also looking on from the stage's wings, but she was saving herself for Sunday (white dress like WHOA).
There has been much ballyhoo on the internets already over "44 Fours" (motherfuckers to Jay: "Yes holmie, you are nice"). But our favorite moment was "Feelin It," just cause that song makes us feel really good. All of this is, of course, exactly the kind of retirement we expected from Jay - him popping up here and there on some exxxtra-exclusive shit just to remind us that he is, in fact, Jay-Z. That way we can also remind him that we do, in fact, love Jay-Z. A lot. Beyond all reasonable doubt, and - his oft-proven niceness aside - a little beyond reason, too.