Whenever a big name artist goes on a lengthy tour, chances are they have a backstage rider. From transportation and hotel accommodations to oddly specific dressing room and food demands (DMX requires a GALLON of Hennessy after every performance), the rider is the ultimate sign that you’ve arrived as a live touring musician. If Soulja Boy can demand first-class airline tickets to every destination he plays, then anyone can make it in this industry.
After some extensive digging through The Smoking Gun, we managed to find riders for Eminem and Jay-Z, unquestionably two of the biggest stars on the planet, from two different years each. Time’s changed a lot of things for both MCs, and their riders reflect this change in an almost aggressive way. Check ’em out below.
Jay-Z circa 1999
While out on his Hard Knock Life – Ryde Or Die tour with DMX in 1999, Jay doesn’t exactly have a lot of demands. His rider is mainly a breakdown of all the equipment he needs for the live show and a reminder that no one not personally invited by Jay *in writing* is allowed into any of the after parties following the show. That must be one hell of a party!
Jay-Z circa 2009
Conversely, Jay played a headlining gig at the University of Arizona back in 2009, and his severely upped status as a business tycoon meant that he had more pull to ask for lavish shit. For starters, Jay requires a fleet of cars for his entire team and equipment to travel in, including a Maybach 57 or 62 with tinted windows. Yes, he thought that a college would provide him with one of these $366,000 beauties:
U of Arizona also wasn’t allowed to provide cigarettes or booze to Jay, so they didn’t provide him with the 750 ml bottles of Belvedere Vodka and Patron, six-packs of Sapporo beer, two bottles of $300 champagne, martini shakers, glasses, and carton of Marlboro Lights that he wanted, either. At least he got all the food he wanted. Check out the list of food below:
Eminem circa 2003
Eminem hit the road with 50 Cent and D12 back in 2003, and during a stopover in Japan, Em’s backstage rider shows that his demands bordered on the insane. Not only does the crew expect a full breakfast and lunch for 50(!) and dinner for 90(!) people and post-show snack hookups in *each* dressing room (deli & sliced cheeses tray, candy bowl, tea/hot chocolate station, two gallons of fresh-brewed iced tea, half a case go Heineken, protein bars, turkey burgers without buns, etc), but they also ask for a game room with “an arcade type ambiance”, fully stocked with arcade cabinets, TV & Playstation, a masseur, and a portable basketball hoop so the guys can play pick-up games between sets.
Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Eminem circa 2010
Given the fact that Em released an album called Recovery around this time, it should come as no surprise that there’s a complete lack of booze on his 2010 tour rider. Pickles, shrimp, Dannon Light & Fit yogurt, and various other foodstuffs are still piled up in abundance here, but those don’t hold a candle to Em’s request for two 25 lb dumbbells to be waiting for him in his dressing room after every performance.
Also, it’s good to note that if you’re Em’s touring DJ or opening act, you’re extensively covered when it comes to the food/drink hookup.