Just in case Jay-Z wasn't enough, hip-hop fans now have three more very good reasons to snatch up tickets for Hova's tour this fall: N.E.R.D, Wale, and J. Cole, who have just been announced as supporting acts for the 24-date jaunt, kicking off October 9 in State College, PA!
The opening artists are a no-brainer for Jay: N.E.R.D. are old pals and frequent collaborators of the Brooklyn-bred headliner. The Neptunes -- production duo and N.E.R.D. founders Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo -- even helped Hova record his latest album, Blueprint 3.
Wale has also become a favorite of Jay's. Last Christmas, Hova appeared at SPIN's holiday party, featuring a performance from the Washington, DC, rapper and his crack backing band. Wale, whose debut album Attention: Deficit drops November 3, is quickly coming one of the hottest hip-hop artists of 2009.
North Carolina native J. Cole also has a special place in Jay's crew. As the first signing to Hova's new Roc Nation label, Cole, 24, appears on "A Star Is Born," a track on Blueprint 3. The up-and-coming rapper recently told MTV about recording the song.
"It was the first time I was in the studio with Jay," Cole said. "And Beyoncé was there, to make it 10 times worse. Half my thoughts are trying to think of a verse, and then Jay-Z is there watching you write a verse. So, I'm soaking it up."
The tour -- which closes out in Austin, TX, just before Thanksgiving -- will cap an already HUGE year for Jay-Z. Jay previewed the new album on a summer tour of intimate venues -- he even invited NBA star LeBron James onstage in Vegas. Hova also made his U.S. festival debut at All Points West, treated lucky fans to a secret show in New York, and honored 9/11 victims and their families with a star-studded performance at Madison Square Garden. And now Blueprint 3 is proving to be music royalty. The album is Jay's 11th to hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart, topping the record of the King himself, Elvis Presley.
More ticket and tour information is available at LiveNation.com.
Jay-Z, N.E.R.D., Wale, J. Cole tour dates:
10/9, State College, PA (Penn State/Bryce Jordan Center)
10/10, Cincinnati, OH (N Kentucky U/Bank of Kentucky Center)
10/13, Edmonton, AB (Rexall Place)
10/14, Calgary, AB (Pengrowth Saddledome)
10/15, Kelowna, BC (Prospera Place)
10/16, Vancouver, BC (General Motors Place)
10/17, Seattle, WA (KeyArena)
10/21, Ypsilanti, MI (Eastern Michigan U/Convocation Center)
10/23, Philadelphia, PA (Wachovia Center/Powerhouse)
10/24, Providence, RI (Dunkin Donuts Center)
10/25, Amherst, MA (U of Mass/Mullins Center)
10/27, Baltimore, MD (1st Mariner Arena)
10/28, Columbus, OH (Ohio State/Value City Arena the Schottenstein Center)
10/29, London, ON (John Labatt Centre)
10/30, Montreal, QC (Bell Centre)
10/31, Toronto, ON (Air Canada Centre)
11/1, Ottawa, ON (Scotiabank Place)
11/7, Fresno, CA (Fresno State/Save Mart Center)
11/12, Champaign, IL (University of Illinois/Assembly Hall)
11/19, Albuquerque, NM (Tingley Coliseum)
11/20, El Paso, TX (U of Texas at El Paso/Don Haskins Ctr)
11/21, Lubbock, TX (United Spirit Arena)
11/22, Austin, TX (U of Texas at Austin/Frank Erwin Center)