Trackmasters Tell All: The Stories Behind Their Classic Records (Part 2)

The Best of Both Worlds Tour and The Infamous Madison Square Garden Incident

Tone: “[The relationship between Jay-Z and R. Kelly] fell apart on tour. But it fell apart before [the infamous mase incident at MSG], that’s just when everyone got wind of it. It was doomed from opening night in Chicago.

"In fact, it was doomed before opening night when Jay would go to rehearsals and R. Kelly wouldn’t be there. They didn’t rehearse together at all for the tour. The very first time they stepped on stage side by side and looked at each other was opening night. It was the stupidest shit ever.

 

This is when I was like this is over: R. Kelly and Jay both come down and R. Kelly [puts out his hand] to Jay to give him a pound and Jay just gives him this look [and walks past him]. And R. Kelly was like….he didn’t say another word to him. That was it it was over. - Tone

 

“Me and John Manilli were like, ‘This is gonna be a disaster.’ They had these two busses that came on stage, but they had never stepped foot on the bus. They didn’t know how the trick was gonna work. It was like, ‘So what do I do? I step on the bus then what?’ They didn’t know how to get off the bus. It was just a clusterfuck. The whole first part of the tour was them rehearsing.

“The first night of the tour, R. Kelly shows up one hour and a half late for opening night. Opening night! There's not enough time in the arena, the guys are like, ‘You’re not gonna get the show off.’

“The people are going crazy and Jay is in his dressing room. He’s getting dressed in his all white outfit. He calls me into his dressing room [while looking in his mirror and adjusting his hat] and he goes, ‘I don’t know why I let you talk me into this shit.’ I just left I walked out. He was so mad.

“The defining moment of the tour was when Jay got the call that R. Kelly was there. R. Kelly is coming off his bus—he didn’t even go to the dressing room—and he's coming down the stairs that lead to the stage. Jay-Z is [on the other side] coming out of his dressing room that leads to the stage. So they were coming together at the same time.

 

There was a night when they were in Detroit and the sound was messed up. R. Kelly jumps off the stage, runs to the sound booth, and punches the guy in the face. During the show! It was f***ed up. There was nothing I could do but watch. - Tone

 

“This is when I was like this is over: R. Kelly and Jay both come down and R. Kelly [puts out his hand] to Jay to give him a pound and Jay just gives him this look [and walks past him]. And R. Kelly was like….he didn’t say another word to him. That was it it was over.

“The show was fucked up in Chicago because Jay ripped it. R. Kelly felt like the show was sabotaged, he felt like the lighting guy kept him in the dark and all the light was on Jay. It was this whole thing so Jay was like, ‘Okay, let’s just change all the people. Who do you want to work with?’ R. Kelly changed the entire crew to his people.

“Two nights after that, R. Kelly is complaining again. Jay is like, ‘What are you complaining about now? You hired him!’ It was just like that type of thing, they didn’t get along the entire tour. The only time R. Kelly was in good spirits was when they got to the Midwest and Jay-Z’s shit was just not hot over there and R. Kelly was.

“There was a night when they were in Detroit and the sound was fucked up. R. Kelly jumps off the stage, runs to the sound booth, and punches the guy in the face. During the show! It was fucked up. There was nothing I could do but watch.

“The entire [MSG incident] was premeditated by R. Kelly to sabotage the New York City show. The Chicago show was [was in R. Kelly’s hometown] and it was fucked up for R. Kelly. So I think R. Kelly just stayed on the tour until it got to [Jay-Z’s hometown] New York.

 

R. Kelly had plans [ruining the MSG show] all along. [I don’t know it for a fact] but I know it in my heart. He was just going along with the tour to mess it up in NYC. The snubbing and the fact that the show in Chicago wasn’t a good show. It was R. Kelly being embarrassed in his hometown so I think that he planned it all along. - Tone

 

“Nothing happened [at the MSG show]. Zero happened there. I did Jay’s sound for the show, I did his music so I was the que guy. They come out, they do their thing, and Jay comes on and destroys NYC the way he's gonna destroy NYC.

“We’d been doing this so long that there's a que. R. Kelly wasn’t where he was supposed to be. I told everybody backstage, ‘It’s over, it’s over!’ I didn’t even think he was coming on stage because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be.

“The stage was dark and the lights came on, that’s when he came on stage and was like, ‘Somebody in the audience brandished a gun. I fear for my life. I can’t continue this show. I'm sorry.’ And that was the end of it. But no one brandished a gun. Nothing went wrong.

“He had plans on doing that all along. [I don’t know it for a fact] but I know it in my heart. He was just going along with the tour to fuck it up in NYC. The snubbing and the fact that the show in Chicago was just fucked up, it wasn’t a good show. It was R. Kelly being embarrassed in his hometown so I think that he planned it all along.”

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