Memphis Bleek Shares Rare Footage Of His First Performance With Jay-Z

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VIBE Vixen VIP Dinner - August 10, 2005
Memphis Bleek and Jay-Z during VIBE Vixen VIP Dinner - August 10, 2005 at Maritime Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Memphis Bleek shares rare footage of the first time he performed "Coming Of Age" with Jay-Z.

Memphis Bleek might not have ever reached mainstream success like his Roc-A-Fella boss, Jay-Z, but he remained by his side throughout the years. He’s often regarded as Hov’s hypeman, which he’s done successfully throughout Jay-Z’s years on the road. However, his story and relationship with Jay-Z are much deeper than rap. Memphis Bleek previously revealed how Jay-Z helped get him out of the streets and become a legitimate rapper. 

During an interview on the Justin Credible podcast last year, Bleek explained how Jay-Z pulled up to him in a luxury vehicle to offer him $2000 to stop hustling. Bleek said that he tried to show off his street money to Jay after he pulled up on him but Hov ultimately threw it away and gave him an ultimatum. “He gave me two grand and was like, ‘Yo, man, I see bigger things for you,’” Bleek responded, which ultimately turned his life around.

Memphis Bleek Shares Throwback Footage With Jay-Z

This morning, Bleek reflected on their relationship on Instagram. He shared rare footage of the two performing their collaboration, “Coming Of Age (Da Sequel)” off of Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life for the first time ever. The grainy footage shows Hov in a crewneck and flat brim cap delivering his verses, while a young Bleek held it down as his hypeman for the performance. While Bleek performed his verse, Jay’s heard hyping him up with ad-libs in the back. It’s a crazy piece of history that showcases just how far Jay’s come in his career and the many individuals he brought on his journey to the top. 

“1st Performance ever,” he wrote on Instagram with several fire emojis. “Straight off the Project Bench,” he added. “#ComingOfAge Big Homie let me Hold It Down!! #MusicSavedMyLife #Roc4Life.” Nearly 20 years later, Memphis Bleek evidently saw why Jay-Z gave him two grand to turn away from his life in the streets. Though Bleek hasn’t released much music in recent times, there’s no doubt that Jay-Z put him in a position to win for the long haul. Check the footage out above and sound off with your thoughts in the comments. 

About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.