The news rap and hip hop fans have been waiting for finally arrived on the morning of Sept. 6 when Kanye West officially released 2013 tour dates. Since his sixth solo album, “Yeezus,” dropped on June 18, fans have anxiously been anticipating a supporting tour, especially after high-profile appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and at the 2013 VMAs.
More than 20 cities are currently tagged for the venture, which kicks off Oct. 19 at Seattle’s Key Arena. Over the course of the tour, Kanye will visit most major cities, including Los Angeles (Oct. 26, 28), his hometown of Chicago (Nov. 7, 9), Toronto (Nov. 12-13), New York (Nov. 23-24), and Atlanta (Dec. 1), before the final concert on Dec. 7 at Houston’s Toyota Center. All cities—excluding Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, New York, and Tampa—will also feature special guest Kendrick Lamar. For the five cities where Lamar will not appear, another guest is slated to perform, but the artists have not yet been confirmed.
“Yeezus” is West’s sixth straight record—including the 2011 Jay Z collaboration, “Watch the Throne”—to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Featuring a new, more industrial tone for the rapper, “Yeezus” has received almost universally favorable reviews across the board from music critics at Rolling Stone, Spin, and The New York Times. The Yeezus Tour will be Kanye’s first solo circuit in five years, as he never toured in support of 2010’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” but instead joined forces with Jay Z for the Watch the Throne Tour a year later.
In an interesting twist, collaborator Jay Z made headlines of his own just a short time after Kanye’s news, announcing solo dates for the North American leg of his Magna Carter World Tour. Slated to start just after Thanksgiving, Jay Z’s tour, which is his first solo venture since 2009, will be more comprehensive, extending through the end of January and stopping in over 30 cities. The Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., will host the first concert on Nov. 30, while the final scheduled performance will take place in State College, Pa., on Jan. 31. In between, stops are scheduled in Denver (Dec. 2), Las Vegas (Dec. 13), Dallas (Dec. 21), Detroit (Jan. 10), and Boston (Jan. 18), among others.
The Rocawear mogul also will return to his hometown from Jan. 12-13, spending both nights in his native Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. Last year, Jay Z helped to christen the new arena with eight nights of sold-out shows.
The upcoming tour takes its name from the rapper’s 12th studio album, “Magna Carta…Holy Grail.” Released on July 4, the album immediately was certified Platinum by the RIAA, thanks to the one million digital downloads distributed by phone manufacturer Samsung. Aside from these downloads, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of over 500,000 copies in the first week. “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” was Jay Z’s 13th straight album to top the weekly chart.