Twitter was briefly set aflame late Friday and early Saturday morning when word quickly spread that Jay-Z would be performing a surprise show in Brooklyn, potentially with appearances from Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. As perfect and magical as that sounds, it was probably all fake.
According to a since-deleted tweet from Sean "Diddy" Combs' music station RevoltTV, the show was supposed to happen on Saturday at a location in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood. Here is the offending tweet, captured by XXL:
The idea of a surprise Jay-Z show in Brooklyn this weekend isn't completely far-fetched. The MTV Video Music Awards are tomorrow night, and excitement is swirling through Hov's home borough. A surprise performance before the show with Timberlake and Beyonce would be a huge, headline-stealing event. And don't forget that Jay-Z's performance art piece was a carefully executed surprise, too. The rumor of a show was passed around by other outlets besides Revolt, like Questlove's OkayPlayer, but they seem to be taking the brunt of the press.
But Revolt eventually retracted their statement in another tweet a few hours later:
Please disregard our previous statement about the Jay Z show. We will keep you updated with further details. Apologies to all waiting in BK.— #FYFFEST X #APFEST13 (@RevoltTV) August 24, 2013
Of course, this announcement came way, way too late for the hundreds of people who showed up to the site of the alleged surprise performance and were left with nothing to show for it but a wasted Saturday afternoon:
Gothamist has a good roundup of crowd photos and people compaining sourced from social media. People seem peeved that this show didn't happen, even though it was announced through some unusual channels.
Usually Jay-Z's viral marketing is very carefully contained to a few sources. The most obvious place to watch for super secret, viral-worthy Jay-Z news is his publicist Jana Fleishman's Twitter account. She was the one responsible for the long, drawn out reveal of the lyrics and track list for Magna Carta, Holy Grail. This is how Fleishman issued her low-key response to the news on Saturday:
Please... stop.. emailing me.... it's Saturday and I # soul cycled .. http://t.co/WjQsO4ELtS— jjmonster (@jjmonster) August 24, 2013
So, yeah, when the head of Jay's team is spending her afternoon at the gym it's a safe bet there was never any secret show happening today. Don't trust everything you read on the Internet, kids.
How the rumor got started and spread so fast is still unclear. Whether or not there's any shred of truth to the rumor, and a show will end up happening tomorrow instead? That's still a mystery.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.