Jay Z dedicates song to Nelson Mandela in LA

The rapper closed his Magna Carter set with a tribute to the late politician

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The Independent Culture

Jay Z has paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela with a song dedicated to the anti-apartheid South African leader.

The US rapper chose to honour his hero with hit track “Young Forever” during a Monday night concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

“We want to dedicate this song to Nelson Mandela,” he said to the crowd, before closing the show. “A great man, spent 27 years in prison, came out to be president. All dreams are possible.

“Tonight I’m living my dream in front of y’all. So anyone out there who got a dream, y’all chase that motherf****r down as hard as you can.”

Black and white pictures of Mandela flashed up on the arena’s screens while Jay Z encouraged fans to “let that great man stand as an example of what you can do”.

What some concert-goers noticed, however, was that the rapper had laid down the exact same tribute to Trayvon Martin last July after the 17-year old African American was shot dead by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida.

Jay Z had dedicated "Young Forever" to Martin during his summer tour, leading some critics to claim that Monday's sentiment lacked depth.

"Young Forever" samples Alphaville's graduation favourite "Forever Young" and includes the lyrics, "I'll be alive for a million years, bye byes are not for legends / I'm forever young, my name will survive".

Yesterday’s funeral for Mandela, who died last Thursday, saw world leaders including US president Barack Obama and prime minister David Cameron celebrate his life at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.