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Detroit Rocked by Eminem, Jay-Z and Friends

Marissa Frobes | Monday, September 6, 2010

“Tonight is going down in rap history,” Eminem declared Thursday at Comerica Park in Detroit. He was not exaggerating.

Eminem paired up with rap mogul Jay-Z for a “Home And Home” tour that is comprised of two shows in Eminem’s abode, Detroit, which took place Thursday and Friday night, and two shows in Yankee Stadium in New York City, Jay-Z’s home, on Sept. 13 and 14.

The two rap legends announced their tour appropriately at a Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees game in May and there was an incredible response from fans, causing the duo to increase the number of shows from two to four.

It was a smart move on their part — over 42,000 fans filled up Comerica Park Thursday to see what the two had planned. Rumors had been stirring in Detroit about who would show up in addition to Eminem and Jay-Z — many of which turned out to be true.

Most people were still shuffling in as opener B.o.B. performed, but the stadium was full by the time Jay-Z took the floor. The crowd was roaring as he rose up from beneath the stage with his “Dynasty” intro. Madness ensued when he continued with “Run This Town.”

As the opener for Eminem, a role that will be reversed when the pair head to New York, Jay-Z performed for well over an hour. He played everything the crowd wanted to hear: “99 Problems,” “Big Pimpin'” and even “Empire State of Mind.” Detroit welcomed the homage to New York as Jay-Z assured the crowd “he knew where he was.”

A few of the cameos began during his set. Young Jeezy and Memphis Bleek joined Jay-Z, but the real surprises came during Eminem’s part of the show.

After a 30-minute intermission, a video chronicling Eminem’s journey towards “Recovery” started to roll. The Detroit native came onstage to thunderous applause, sporting a plain T-shirt and a hooded Detroit sweatshirt.

Eminem began with, “Won’t Back Down,” from his latest album, “Recovery.” That got him riled up for his 100-minute set. He proceeded with “3 A.M.,” a lesser-known single from “Relapse,” a shock to the audience because he is blatantly critical of his last album.

B.o.B. returned to sing “Airplanes Pt. II” with Eminem, and Trick Trick came on stage to help Eminem rap “Welcome 2 Detroit.” Jay-Z came back out to perform “Renegade” with Eminem.

But there were also some newcomers. Drake made an appearance to help Eminem with “Forever,” and 50 Cent came out with Lloyd Banks for his own mini concert. Eminem even left the stage as he rapped hits “In Da Club” and “Patiently Waiting.”

All of D12 showed up to play “Purple Pills” and “My Band,” during which Eminem had the crowd rap the verse that originally belonged to his best friend, Proof, who was killed in Detroit in 2006.

One of the most exciting cameos occurred as Eminem rapped, “Dr. Dre said…” and the man himself walked out. The concert was too good to be true. Detroit received performances by about eight huge stars, when they would have been overjoyed seeing only the two they paid for.

That’s not to say Eminem didn’t hold his own when he performed alone. Every audience member screamed along to cult hits like “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” and “The Way I Am.” And Eminem “took it back” to rap “My Name Is,” with the legendary music video playing on the screens in the background.

He wrapped up the show with an emotional “Not Afraid,” but appeased the audience and came out for an encore of “Lose Yourself” as they chanted for more.

As everyone who took part in the show came back on stage to say farewell to the first crowd in Detroit, all acknowledged that it was an epic evening for hip-hop.  The two artists head to New York next week— it’s safe to say they have a lot in store for the Big Apple.