"We've done things together," the
With the superstar duo set to stage a massive home-and-home series — a pair of
The biggest North American concerts this year, says one
There's historical significance too. The sold-out dates aren't just testament to the enduring power of Em and Jay-Z, two of the world's biggest music acts — they also mark a milestone for hip-hop itself.
"They're putting hip-hop on the same playing field as anything else," says L.A. hip-hop journalist
"Marshall and Jay had the idea," says Live Nation's
Plans were shepherded via Jay-Z's relationship with Live Nation — the pioneering "360 deal" that gives the company a stake in his tours, recordings and publishing.
First on the list: nailing down a window that fit the baseball schedule, while accommodating the show's unique needs as a one-off event rather than a full-length tour.
"The production is very, very complicated, a lot of moving parts, because it's only the four shows," says production director
Work began several weeks before the May
announcement. World-renowned lighting and scene designers were
enlisted, and at Live Nation's
Eminem and Jay-Z were hands-on through the entire process, says Parise.
"This is their vision," he says. "My job was to make it reality. But the concept, the idea, the messages they're trying to get across — it's all theirs."
Parise won't divulge many details. But like others involved with the show, he describes it as a massive set heavy on video elements and special effects. Parise, a 22-year industry veteran, says the two artists were "intent on creating something you don't see every day."
Fifty-plus semitrailers will haul the production from
"Put it this way," he says. "It would be difficult to tour this show, and I think that tells you everything."
Over six days at
About 40,000 people will fill the ballpark for each show, including fans from
"We probably could have done four dates (at
It's expected that Eminem will follow Jay-Z for the
"It's definitely bringing the energy of the album tracks up to a whole different place," says Resto. "I really think Marshall is enjoying it."
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