On the first chilly fall evening New York has seen this year, SNL’s 43rd season kicked off with an episode rife with commentary on the precarious state of American affairs. Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression and Ryan Gosling’s hosting gig also included a pair of live performances from JAY-Z, the musical guest of choice for the season opener.
Everyone expected Hov to offer some sort of Trump-adjacent protest, and for his first performance, the commentary came out. With the stage decked out in camo print, JAY-Z donned a custom black Nike Colin Kaepernick jersey (“COLIN K” on the back nameplate) to perform “Bam,” off his well-received 2017 LP 4:44. Damian Marley, featured artist on the album version, was on hand as well, going toe to toe on the mic with JAY-Z in a fiery performance.
For his second song towards the end of the episode, JAY-Z removed the jersey and came out in a plain white tee to deliver 4:44’s somber title track, his musical apology letter for doing Beyoncé wrong. For this one, he was the only man onstage.
SNL is back next Saturday (Oct. 7) with Gal Gadot hosting and Sam Smith performing.
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) October 1, 2017
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