Jeopardy’s Five Best Music Moments

Sure, selling almost 180 million records worldwide is pretty special. As is winning 17 Grammy Awards. But last week, Beyoncé’s legacy was bestowed with arguably the highest of all honors: She got her own category on Jeopardy. Personally, our favorite part was Alex Trebek’s delivery of the phrase “Jay-Z is featured on this Beyoncé song that mentions ‘that liquor get into me.’ ”

In case you missed this glorious moment, you can see it here:

See also: An Illustrated Guide to Beyoncé’s Insight and Empowerment

Jeopardy, of course, has a long and rich history of taking stuff that’s cool and sexy and For The Kids and making it sound extraordinarily awkward and sanitized and, rather ironically, really damn stupid. Here are some of our favorite musical moments from the show’s history.

1. We’re guessing a student intern was responsible for this.
In 2012, Jeopardy reduced much-lauded emotive indie quintet Fleet Foxes to “folk-rockin’ dudes” with this clue. To celebrate, Sub Pop Records tweeted a link to the incident and hashtagged “Trebek!” for good measure.

2. ‘The 1990s Rap Song’
In a particularly delightful episode of Jeopardy: The Battle of the Decades, there was, rather magically, a category titled “The 1990s Rap Song.” The questions — er, answers — included clues relating to Notorious B.I.G., Shock G, and MC Hammer, but it was Trebek’s enthusiastic renditions of Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain” and Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” that truly made this a special moment in TV game show history. This is possibly the most animated we’ve ever heard him.

3. Who Is Buddy Holly?
Sometimes, under pressure, contestants do crazy things on Jeopardy. One time, a guy actually ended up face-down, passed out, during Final Jeopardy, and another lady got laughed at super-hard by the audience for giving “Chris Farley” as a response to a Johnny Cash clue. However, it’s difficult to imagine how one woman, in response to the clue “His widow Maria Elena and actor Gary Busey were on hand when his star was dedicated outside Capitol Records in 2011,” came up with this:

We hope that when someone finally makes a movie about Ice-T, Gary Busey is allowed to at least audition. We would pay to see that.

4. Most Bizarre Clue Ever
We’re pretty sure you could put this in front of every single member of Mötley Crüe and even they wouldn’t answer it correctly. Who the hell came up with this?

5. ‘It’s a Rap’
Plucky contestant Mary holds her shit together really, really well until the very last moment of tackling the “It’s a Rap” category. What sends her over the edge? Trebek doing Public Enemy, that’s what. “I don’t know why that’s making you laugh so much!” the host declares. We think you do, Trebek. We think you do…



Jay-Z – Barclays Center – 9/29/2012 (Day 2)

See Photos From Night One: Hello Brooklyn: Jay-Z’s First Night at the Barclays Center

Barclays Center

Better Than: Seeing Jay-Z on the third night at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn has quickly become New York City’s most popular borough, amassing a cult-like following (and real estate exodus) from celebrities, out-of-town transplants and the twentysomething set. Natives might balk at the concept of a borough du jour, but it’s undeniably cooler to live in Brooklyn versus even comparable neighborhoods elsewhere in the city. At a cursory level, the cache is essentially just a marketing ploy that in many regards can be traced back to Jay-Z; the borough’s most famous brand ambassador has steadily name-checked his hood in every pop culture permutation possible since the inception of his career.

See Also:

Hello Brooklyn: Jay-Z’s First Night At Barclays Center
Jay-Z After Party with Talib Kweli and Young Guru
Meek Mill – 40/40 Club – 9/26/2012


This borough revivalism reached its apex on Saturday night when Jay-Z performed the second of eight sold-out shows at the newly opened Barclays Center. Jay, the consummate walking billboard, came suited in full Brooklyn Nets regalia including a custom “Carter #4” basketball jersey and baseball cap. Interestingly, the rapper only owns some one-fifteenth of 1% of the team. With a thumping live band behind him, featuring longtime DJ/engineer Young Guru at the helm, Jay-Z jumped into the gritty, autobiographical “Where I’m From” (“Brooklyn” was remixed into the hook, “Cough up a lung/ Where I’m from/ Brooklyn, son”) followed by the fittingly titled, “Brooklyn We Go Hard.”

He then paused and paid homage to Brooklyn’s other famous son, the late Notorious B.I.G., by adding “One More Chance remix” and the classic “Juicy” to the set. Since B.I.G.’s untimely murder in 1997, fans have oft speculated how the two former friends from ’round the way would have coexisted had Biggie lived and as thousands–many too young to physically remember B.I.G.–chanted along the first verse of “Juicy” acapella with Jay, it was clear that they would have shared this historic moment.

Longtime crony Memphis Bleek served as the night’s only special guest, performing “Do My” and “You, Me, Him and Her.” Jay-Z had touted the string of Barclays shows as solo feats, but following the rap legend Big Daddy Kane’s cameo on opening night, many expected a bigger name the second time around. “I came to do these eight shows by myself!” Jay announced, maybe sensing the audience’s disappointment. Such is the paradox of a great Jay-Z concert: Even amid back-to-back crowd pleasers like “Public Service Announcement,” “Hard Knock Life,” and “Big Pimpin’,” fans always ponder who else from the rapper’s famous Rolodex might show up.

“Let’s not act like this is no regular shit tonight,” Jay-Z defiantly announced at one point. He was right. This was not a run-of-the-mill Jay-Z concert, but rather, an inspirational homecoming. The concert wasn’t meant to be about how many famous faces could be paraded through Barclays Center so much as it was the one-man celebration about a local boy done good. Jay-Z prefaced several songs like “99 Problems” and “On To the Next One” with uplifting jargon about following ones dreams; the master of words, “Motivational Speaker” would not be a career stretch. “Anybody out that that has a dream, don’t let nobody hold you back. You follow your dream,” Jay-Z preached towards the end after the resplendent closer, “Encore.” “Today is a beautiful day and a dream realized…I’m living proof that dreams come true.”

Critical Bias: Jay-Z is the greatest rapper alive.
Overheard: “Memphis Bleek; THAT’S who we get?” – Complaint about the special guest
Random Notebook Dump: It took two (delayed) subways and one very begrudging cab driver to get to the venue. Can Jay-Z take over the MTA?