roc for life

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“I dreamed you’d come back for me…”

“It was like I was in a dream too. I forgot everything. But even though I didn’t remember you—I felt your presence… and I knew that I would never be complete unless those shadows were brought into the light.”

Jay-Z, DJ Clue?, DMX, Method Man and Redman, photographed showing off their Gold and Platinum plaques backstage during the “Hard Knock Life Tour” by Barry Roden in 1999. 

The star-studded 54-date tour grossed $18 million and suffered no cancellations (in fact, it added 17 extra dates during its cross-country trek to meet the high demand), no artist drop-offs, or any incidents of violence—completely silencing the mainstream critics who believed a purely rap tour of its magnitude couldn’t be done. 

Jay and X would donate their proceeds from the Denver stop of the tour to help the families of the victims of the Columbine tragedy. “We decided to donate the proceeds from this show as soon as we saw the date on the schedule. We’ve known first hand how pointless and senseless violence always is, and we wanted to show our support in a real way” Jay said of the decision. 

In an interview with MTV in October 1999 Hov said he wouldn’t be against recreating the tour at the top of 2000 to support the artists new projects: “Well, the same people are [releasing new albums] at the same time. DMX comes out, myself comes out, Method Man, Redman, we all come out. So hopefully we be as hot and we try and do it all over again.” “But,” he added, “you can only make history once.”

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Favorite Artists Discography (in no particular order) [4/50]:

Jay-Z (1996-2013)

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So I was thinking about this moment in “Ides of March” when Gabrielle was talking to Xena all about how She saved her:

“Xena, you’ve brought out the best in me… Before I met you, no one saw me for who I was. I felt… Invisible. But you saw all the things I could be. You saved me Xena.”

Now, let’s all look back at who Gabrielle was in episode 1 when we first met her. She seemed so optimistic, this doe-eyed young woman who was excited to go on this adventure with Xena; “teach me everything you know!” She seemed so innocently positive about the world, naive even.

Yet, in Ides of March, Gabrielle describes her life back then as empty, hollow… She felt completely invisible. No one even knew who she really was on the inside.

As someone who suffers with depression and anxiety, God do I relate to this. Feeling completely awful on the inside but having this veneer of fake happiness around me so that people wouldn’t be able to tell that I was dying inside. I can’t possibly trust anyone to actually see the person I am… What if they think I’m weak? Or that I’m not worth their time? With a bubbly facade, I can be well liked right?

“That’s what we all dream about isn’t it? Someone that looks so deeply into our soul that they’d find something worth dying for.”

Gabrielle, a soul in turmoil, crying out for a hero… Someone to see her for who she was, and accept everything about her, the darkness and light. The good and the bad.

Maybe someday, we will all find that too.

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