Jay-Z and Me: A Fast-talking Memoir
Impressive mastery of Hova's verses fails to disguise empty plot at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
60-year-old New Yorker Brenda Cullerton is a massive Jay-Z fan. Forced to attend his concerts alone (her husband isn’t a hip hop fan; her children are too embarrassed), she stands in awe of the man whose love of words equals her own, and whose self-aggrandising persona challenges her own stick-to-the-shadows career as a ghostwriter. It’s a lovely little story but, aside from a few essential plot points best learned at the show, there isn’t a whole lot more to it than that.
Cullerton pads out her central Jay-Z anecdote with autobiographical details intended to add depth to her own character: her disastrous driving lessons; her proud non-ownership of a phone; her dislike of New York’s hipsterish Williamsburg borough. Thing is, these stories are only marginally interesting on their own merits; when told alongside the Jay-Z story, they’re just plain irrelevant.
Cullerton seems like a nice enough lady – aside from being a bit smug about the phone thing, she pumps a lot of energy into her storytelling, and her mastery of Hova’s verses is impressive. However, once you’ve got over an old white lady spitting rap verses, there’s very little here to keep you engaged.
Sweet Grassmarket, 243 3596, until 17 Aug (not 11), 4.40pm, £8 (£7).