Kanye West versus Jay-Z: who has the crazier, more expensive tour rider?

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This is actually one of my favorite subjects ever: tour riders, or appearance riders. “Riders” are what celebrities, artists and performers demand for simply showing up. Some bands just want the comforts of home, like some couches, some video games, some good food. Some people, like Jennifer Lopez, have insane demands like… the dressing room must be decorated in all-white, there must be a certain kind of fresh flowers, arranged just so, etc. TMZ did a compare-and-contrast with Jay-Z and Kanye West’s tour riders and their demands are very interesting.

Kanye and Jay Z are arguably two of the most talented rappers in the game … but they’re also the neediest — at least, according to the laundry list of their hotel concert demands.

THE SUITE:
Jay Z insists on 71 degree temp. Hotel staff must provide 3 $80 Mayan tuberose-scented candles. Jay has two no-no’s for staff: 1) No vacuuming near his room 2) Don’t ask for concert tickets if you want to “avoid embarrassment.”

Kanye has specific geometric preferences. Vases must be cylindrical. He also requires staff to hunt down a Genelecs 1031a speaker … which was discontinued a decade ago. He likes his floss minty, his cereal Kashi Go Lean and his towels black.

THE BOOZE:
Kanye has a grocery list … 13 bottles totaling around $3,200, including 3 bottles of Paradis Hennessy.

Jay Z is more chill in the liquor dept. … just Ace of Spades champagne. But here’s the rub … the contract says he cannot be charged, since he owns the company.

THE KID CLAUSE:
Kanye has no provides for Nori. But Jay has lots of Blue Ivy demands. For starters, the entire suite must be childproofed with all corners, sharp edges, and electrical outlets all covered, and statues, lamps, and breakable objects removed. Oh, Blue only drinks organic whole milk.

[From TMZ]

Kim Kardashian has said that Kanye is actually a pretty healthy guy, which I believe. I believe he eats healthy stuff and he probably doesn’t even drink that much these days (although he’s famously been hammered for some public appearances in the past). Mostly, the alcohol demands seem more for Kanye and Jay’s entourages more than the artists themselves. I also think it’s sweet that Jay wants his suites completely baby-proofed. It shows that Blue Ivy really is touring with her folks.

The biggest shock to me is that Kanye’s demands aren’t crazier than this. I mean, I rolled my eyes at “vases must be cylindrical,” but I’m shocked that there’s no “must have a gold toilet tower” or “the ceiling must be covered in grey alligator leather” on the list.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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85 Responses to “Kanye West versus Jay-Z: who has the crazier, more expensive tour rider?”

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  1. jeanpierre says:

    Cute.

  2. Nancy says:

    Crazy anything winner is: Kanye Kardashian West. Take that to the bank….

  3. Franca says:

    Apart from the kid’s stuff, all of these seem crazy to me. What happens to people when they become famous that they act so entitled?

    Also, I don’t think these two are the most talented rappers around,

    • SydneySnider says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Franca – on all counts.

    • Leah says:

      Jay Z is very talented but its been awhile since his best work. Kanye isn’t much of a rapper, never was. Hes a good producer though. These days both of them are too rich and too hollywood to create anything exciting.

    • Granger says:

      It baffles me. Nobody is allowed to vacuum near Jay-Z’s room?

    • ekaterina says:

      Entitled! That’s the word. No one is that entitled.
      Its not a right but luck that got u here when there thousands more talented artists out there. Be normal, its just ridiculous. And who pays for all this crap?

  4. Lindy79 says:

    Does Blue Ivy not drink water?

  5. Swack says:

    Totally agree.

  6. stellar says:

    Some things make sense. I think we all would like to feel some sense of consistency and stability. Imagine travelling all year around, wouldnt you want some conformity? But id suggest Jay z get his assistant to carry around all those candles from place to place.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I sort of get it. The baby proofing – definitely. And the temperature and towel color. I don’t like any towel color but white. The speaker thing is silly, to me, and like you said, can’t their assistants just bring some of this stuff place to place? But I think touring would be hard, and I can understand wanting some consistency in your life.

      • SydneySnider says:

        The speaker thing is just another way for him to show off and throw his weight around. Since it’s no longer being made, and hasn’t been for some time, I would think it good sense for him to already own at least two or three, which he brings on tour, if he regards them that highly. I know some of these hotel celebrity gophers are quite genius in what they get their hands on – and how, but every muso I’ve known sources, carts around and looks after any specialist gear he/she needs to reform. Beh, he’s just a brattytwat.

      • Amy says:

        Also, keep in mind that, in my experience, hotels aren’t billing the guest back for these items. They’re just what’s expected when you book an uber VIP. Also, you might think that the hotel would recoup what is essentially a loss with the PR of someone like Jay-Z or Kayne staying with you…but, you have to be very, very careful what you put out there, if anything, publicity wise. I work at a hotel (where Kayne stayed in his earlier, pre-Kim days) and we can have team members spend an entire day trying to track specific items down. And nothing nearly as over the top as a speaker that has been discontinued for 10 years or $80 candles.

    • TotallyBiased says:

      Trust me, the HOTEL or VENUE aren’t paying for those 80 buck candles. That would be the promoter, with whom the talent actually has the contract. And as a hotel employee, if I’m sent out to fetch those candles, they will show up on the bill that goes to the promoter at a considerably higher charge.
      Craziest things I ever had to obtain?
      A tiger (only for a few hours)
      YSL cat carriers (bet you didn’t know they even MADE those, didja?!)
      Lladro figurines from a shop in NY (we were several thousand miles away) for Maria Shriver to decorate the room–that was a requirement of Arnold’s, though, not a demand from her.

      • Jen says:

        Too funny! Lladro figurines? Just for (what I assume) was a hotel room? I once worked with a very C level celebrity and their pro athlete significant other and could not stop rolling my eyes over these requests. Diptyque candles? White cashmere throws? Three kinds of sparkling water? You’re essentially getting ready in this room, not moving in.

  7. aang says:

    I also hate square vases.

  8. erin says:

    I think it’s hilarious that Jay-z makes them buy his own brand champagne – then give it to him. That’s one way to keep up the bottom line.

  9. NewWester says:

    The candles sound lovely but at $80 dollars a piece, that is rather pricey. So what happens to the items that are not used? Do the celebrities take them or does the hotel return them?

    • Ellie says:

      Return them, as in to a store where they were bought from? Sorry, I just am not from the US and I really don’t get the whole returning thing, I mean that as a genuine question.

      My brother works as a staging tech director for a staging company, he’s taken home a lot of the stuff that bands/groups etc leave from venue riders, so I assume it’s the same for hotels.
      Food and alcohol seem to be the most frequent things he takes home that don’t get eaten/opened/used by the big time performers.

      • swack says:

        Yes,may return things back to the store that they come from if they haven’t been used/worn. Sometimes I buy clothes for may grandchildren thinking they will fit and they are either too big or too small (one size varies so much from manufacturer to manufacturer) and therefore return them and get a different size. It’s not out of the ordinary. My daughter worked in retail and people would try to return things that weren’t even bought at her store – she still had to take them back – really weird but people will do anything.

      • Ellie says:

        That’s fair enough, returning to exchange. We do that here too. I just see a lot of people (in the US) mention using things and then returning them, deciding they don’t want it anymore or makeup that really isn’t to their liking, wearing something and saying they don’t like the fabric and returning it or just returning because they over purchased – not for exchange I mean, but for money back after getting some use (and not a faulty item). That always confused me, because it seemed rather… ugh, but exchange I get, so thanks for your answer!

      • swack says:

        Ellie, I agree with you. After using and then returning it is just plain rude and disgusting.

      • KB says:

        @Ellie I used to work at a large shoe store chain here in the US and you would be amazed at the stuff customers got away with because we had to offer “great customer service.” I’m talking worn shoes, with soles coming off or sneakers that “stretched out” after being worn for years and we had to let them just go pick out brand new shoes. I’m talking extensive wear and tear, not defective. I dealt with these “extreme” sounding cases like every other day.

        They sell designer shoes and the store is known by its initials.

  10. Sara says:

    Ok guys what would be your tour rider? I think I would want delicious nachos readily available and a hot tub only I would ever have used in my suite.

    • Kaiser says:

      Fried chicken & peanut butter M&Ms

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      Ooh, this is fun. I would want some good guacamole and tortilla chips. Peonies, too.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Peonies! Can we have peonies? Why not? And a fluffy robe and slippers for me.

      • Livealot says:

        A Thai masseuse. Polyester velour robes and slippers. Bottles of ice cold watermelon/cucumber water or a dispenser that kept it flowing. Champagne. Certain room temp, flowers, lighting, and room smell. O and please have a bathtub. :) )

      • Kitten says:

        I love how all Kaiser cares about is food :)

        Antique blue hydrangeas and Jo Malone candles, silk sheets, several sixers of Heady Topper and several four packs of Nighshift Whirl Pool. Oh and nachos sound amazing but the nachos have to have all the meat/cheese/whatever layered properly, not just dumped on top.

      • K2 says:

        I thought you guys wanted ponies, at first glance.

        Peonies are beautiful.

    • Rhiley says:

      Room: absolutely no dust or hair, ample lighting, comfortable seating, fresh flowers, Cottonelle Ultra toilet paper and Viva paper towels; Drinks: Chamomile Tea and Yogi Bedtime Tea, Crystal Light regular flavored lemonade, diet coke, diet sprite, plenty of bottled water, powerade zero cherry flavor, organic skim milk; Food: baby carrots and plain hummus (sabra brand only), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (warm), grain bread and Jiff Peanut Butter, Cherry Garcia Ice Cream, Chicken Caeser Salad with freshly shaved Parm… it would be fun to have a rider.

    • swack says:

      Diet pepsi, chocolate and a personal hot tub. I would like any flowers other than roses.

      • Sara says:

        swack I like your style

      • Kitten says:

        YES! I hate red roses. So overrated.

      • swack says:

        @Kitten, I don’t like roses either. When my ex would get me flowers he never got roses. Also, my mom was a daisy person and told me when she died she wanted daisies from the fields on her casket. So I ordered her a spray with gerber daisies (red ones as that was her favorite color) and it was prettier than any rose spray I had seen. Roses are a waste of money, imo.

      • Kitten says:

        @swack-Gerber daisies are my fave! So so pretty. I get them at Whole Foods when they look good (sometimes they look a bit peaked).
        Your mom sounds awesome.

    • Amelia says:

      Lillies, a fruit platter and lots of pillows and blankets to make a fort with.

    • Wren says:

      Fresh sushi, potted jasmine (NOT cut), jacuzzi tub, lots of chilled seltzer water and citrus wedges. Ice made from filtered water, not tap. All fabrics must be 100% cotton, no air freshener or synthetic scents allowed, and all artwork must be soothing nature landscape scenes, preferably from local beauty spots.

      Oh, and kittens to play with.

    • Mimz says:

      Hmm

      I’d love some wine, the best wine. Fresh Sushi, All types of salads, best assortments of cold meats and some chicken – ohh, ostrich would be my preference, love ostrich meat (try to keep healthy somehow),
      a treadmill, white or light colored walls, wide windows, sun blocking curtains, can’t have flowers in because i’d die of allergies, oh yea only cotton bedding and linen, squeaky clean (again, dust allergies), white clean warm towels, a bath, aromatherapy candles, bath salts, tv, music… candy vending machine (so it would cost me to eat junk an i’d think twice before indulging).. Playing cards and board games. Music, music, music.
      is it bad to admit i’d like the best weed to relax after a tough night? I know it’d get me arrested though. Tough call…

    • teacakes says:

      let me see – I’d want
      a king-size four-poster bed (not that hard)
      Frette sheets
      All the necessary facilities for my cat – cat tree, litter box, specific brand of cat food
      Diptyque candles placed around the suite (in holders that my cat can’t get at)
      fridge stocked with Haagen-Dazs green tea ice cream and prosecco
      Bookshelf
      a wall-to-wall large screen to watch movies/Netflix on
      Selection of movies/tv show box sets as per my requirements (really into Korean dramas right now, the one about the alien lover absolutely has to be featured)

    • Bridget says:

      Really good champagne, Simply Cheetos, Boom Chicka Pop, Red Vines, and a veggie platter.

  11. Loopy says:

    So they get paid these crazy fees and on top of that rob the promoters blind with their crazy demands.

  12. Sixer says:

    My rider: cheese and pickle sandwiches, no tag teabags, 6,472,406 ball gags in various colours and styles.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      …and what will you be gagging with all those ball gags pray tell?

    • TotallyBiased says:

      Look, Hiddles is off the promotion tour. Can you get by with 2 or 3 mil less ball gags? We’re a little short this week.

  13. Felice. says:

    I read somewhere that they put these things in the contract to make sure that the people read every last line.

    My rider would be an air purifier, full afternoon tea with Rose champagne, cat friendly room with robot litter box, and 4 volcano candles from anthropologie.

    • Kitten says:

      I was trying to think about what I would want for my cats…litter genie is a great idea!

    • Petee says:

      Van Halen did the no brown M&M’s just for that very reason.To make sure the rider was being read.But how come Van Halen wasn’t so annoying?

    • Wren says:

      Yes, but that’s for the venue. This is the hotel rider. It’s very important to make sure the venue reads the whole thing and follows it because there are a lot of safety concerns and technical specifications spelled out. So throwing weird details in is a good way to make sure the whole thing was read and followed. But the hotel rider is just about where they’re going to crash that night and do you really need to make strange demands over that? (If they’re the same thing, excuse my ignorance.)

      • TotallyBiased says:

        The talent (no, really, that’s just what JayZ and Maybe are called, not a judgement call) puts what they want in the rider to their contract with the promoter, who may be handling all or part of the tour. The promoter handles contracts with the venue and the accommodations.

    • jwoolman says:

      I’ve thought about one of those automatic litter boxes, but my cats would spend all day hopping in and out of the box to trigger it so they can watch and grab. It would be even more fascinating than the old copy machine or printer (whose output and input had to be protected from busy paws).

  14. ds says:

    oh Kaiser, I’m pretty sure you just gave Kanye an idea regarding the gator ceiling! A friend of mine worked at an EDM festival, and those talent less (lacking a quality description for them) have the worst riders, and are acting like pricks most of the time

  15. My two cents says:

    Musicians on a real tour, vs a “Leann Rimes tour,” would certainly deserve some treats when traveling to a new show daily for up to a year. I bet riders for people like Carrie Underwood are far less demanding than riders for arrogant people like these two. I’m sure some are quite eccentric and would be very entertaining to see.
    I just have to say I think there are far better rappers in the biz than these two. Dr. Dre and Eminem for starters.

  16. Anna says:

    Honestly, Jay-Z’s demands are really not so outrageous. Basically, he doesn’t want to be bothered, wants to support his own business (since drinks will be purchased, they might as well be his own label), and needs a safe environment for his kid. Shocker — she only drinks organic, whole milk! So do my kids.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      I mean if I’m a millionaire I do think I’m officially switching to organic everything, lol.

      These lists weren’t so bad.

  17. Jen says:

    I worked for a promoter for several years and these are really nothing crazy. Hell, the Beach Boys had 14 pages of food restrictions/requirements and quite largely (18 pt font) announces that “Corn is not a vegetable, corn is a grain”. I laughed for half of my work day with that one. Besides, all of that crap is negotiable and can be lined out before anything is signed. Most of it is there to ensure that you’ve actually read the contract. I get the child proof restrictions. Totally legit request.

    • Jen says:

      Oh, and then people wonder why the tickets to concerts are so pricey. The cost of these riders get shouldered onto the fans.

    • jwoolman says:

      They should put

      23. One-layer trays of M&M’s with colors arranged in order of the electromagnetic spectrum.

      52. Just kidding about the M&M’s.

  18. Belle Epoch says:

    JLo sounds worse! Only white furniture? Can you imagine the nuisance?

    What about Mariah?

  19. iheartgossip says:

    They both have turned their career into Reality Show beings. Neither one have produced good music in a long time. JayZ rides off Bey’s coattails (as well, she does he) and Kanyee is a total reality show ‘star’. GO away – we have real music to listen to

  20. WinnieCoopersMom says:

    Jay Z sounds chill compared to Bey. Have any of you read about her rider? Metal straws only and some other crazy things..there may have been an article on here about it a while back. Guess fame and fortune turn everyone into a diva

    ETA, here we go: http://www.celebitchy.com/297041/beyonces_tour_rider_includes_hand-carved_ice_balls_red_toilet_paper/

    • jwoolman says:

      Well, maybe she hates the taste of plastic (like me). But I would go for glass straws rather than metal.

  21. Pandy says:

    Kanye’s request for black towels … I would have thought to hide Kim’s troweled on make up, but she apparently doesn’t wash it off in front of him ha ha? These people need to sit the hell down.

  22. MC says:

    This article and ones like it is one of my my biggest pet peeves as a production person. Riders are created and meant to be red-lined and edited as part of negotiation. Most of the time when people have requests in their riders that seem overly-specific or odd to an outsider it’s because they’ve previously had a negative experience in regards to that. As to the liquor/food requirements, that is status quo and venues frequently red-line that section and offer a buyout or just say that they don’t provide alcohol to performers.

    People live on the road and riders are necessary to make sure that they have an inkling of what to expect wherever they go. It’s not just to flash around prestige and brattiness.

  23. Dawn says:

    Well I see Jay Z as a grown man whereas I see KanYe West as stunted at the age of 15.

  24. Cpa77 says:

    The only thing relevant about this article is that someone thought it was relevant enough to write about and so many people thought it was relevant enough to read about. (Myself included, although this article was sent to me by a relative and I only read it after it sat in my inbox for several days, just in case it was worthwhile, which it wasn’t). We like to say that celebs are entitle and self absorbed but we are the reason why. Articles like this and the responses that follow are exactly the reason why celebs get inflated egos. Because we obviously care about even the most trivial aspects of their lives. It’s all beyond boring as far as I’m concerned. For the record I am a fan of both Kanye and Jay-Z, musically. But I really couldn’t care less about what type of vase they prefer and I can’t for the life of me understand why anybody else does.