Jay-Z collaborates with “DJ Hero” and talks about onstage tips he learned from Bono - Rolling Stone
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Jay-Z Reveals “DJ Hero” Habits, Onstage Tips Learned From Bono

“My nephews ain’t beat me their whole entire life — until now,” said Jay-Z, clad in his trademark Yankee cap and shades yesterday, demonstrating for a small press roundtable that he could be just as competitive with gaming as he is with MCing. “I would never let them win because that meant they controlled the household, so I would just beat them mercilessly. Suck it up, kid!”

The rapper and longtime gamer is throwing his name behind the deluxe “Renegade Edition” of DJ Hero, the long-awaited DJ simulation rhythm game coming in the wake of the ultra-successful Guitar Hero franchise. Beyond the Jay-Z co-sign and some consulting work, the Renegade Edition comes with a 2-CD set featuring a smattering of his greatest hits on one disc and some of Eminem’s on the other (as well as a stand and carrying case). Jay-Z seemed appropriately amped about the in-game blend of Em’s “My Name Is” and his own “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” which he described as clever and his favorite in the soundtrack. When asked about his favorite song that wasn’t his own, he joked, “Does such a song exist?”

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Like many of the musicians who appeared on Guitar Hero, Jay-Z sees DJ Hero as a great gateway for kids to begin performing music for real. In fact, Jay-Z seems to be already taking some musical inspiration from the game himself. “I think after a year with DJ Hero, I’m gonna start DJing parties like Q-Tip and all them,” he said. “I’m gonna work on this for a year, then I’m gonna get me a new Serrato set… Then I’m gonna find out who makes the most as a DJ. I’m gonna charge double. I’m gonna tour bar mitzvahs, weddings…”

To get lots of practice, Jay-Z promises to have DJ Hero set up in his dressing room at every stop of his upcoming tour with N.E.R.D., Wale and J. Cole. He promises the tour will be a culmination of everything he’s learned over the years as a performer. “I’m the shit,” he said. “I used to be a horrible performer because I’m not really an animated guy. I don’t really move around, so I had to figure out a way how to talk to people in compact movements, all the while being entertaining. Bono doesn’t move around but he’s a powerful performer, he knows how to exaggerate his movements. I don’t know if he moves anywhere, but he’s a dynamic performer.”

As a bonus, Jay shared some of his favorite games from when he was a kid. Here’s his rundown:
“Maybe Space Invaders or Kaboom or Ms. Pac-Man or Stargate. Asteroids too, you hit the little rocks, that was cool. I remember maybe Kaboom was one of the ones I would play endlessly on Atari. The home system. In the arcade it was Stargate, that was the first game I really… Not Defender. Defender was all right, but Stargate when you had to go through that little box? You pick the people up and take ’em in the box? That was special.”

Related Stories:
New Eminem Track, Jay-Z’s Biggest Hits Coming to “DJ Hero Renegade Edition” Albums
Full “DJ Hero” Track List, All-Star Blends Announced
Inside “DJ Hero”: Grandmaster Flash on Game’s Big Names, Ideas

In This Article: Bono, DJ Hero, Jay-Z, Video Game


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