Blimey, the hip-hip star certainly knows people - and they've all joined him on tour...

JAY-Z has enlisted the help of a few famous friends to take the place of R KELLY on the ‘BEST OF BOTH WORLDS’ tour.

Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, [/a] and [url=]Mary J. Blige are amongst the names who have joined the rapper onstage in New York and New Jersey.

As previously reported, R Kelly was booted off the tour after alleged incidents with security guards and the audience. He has filed a law-suit for $75 million for damages and costs, after alleging he was pepper-sprayed by a member of Jay-Z’s team and that his lighting rig was sabotaged.

“There is no way that we would sit and watch someone who has contributed so much to our music and culture like Jay-Z be abandoned the way he was abandoned by this R Kelly dude,” said [a] to MTV. “We understand the importance of our responsibility to our fans and to hip-hop. It doesn’t surprise me, because R Kelly ain’t hip-hop. In any event, the gift of the situation superseded the curse because as a result of the curse came [five] nights of hip-hop history.”

“I’m a friend of Jay-Z, and I would have to say I’m also a friend of R Kelly,” [a][/a] said. “It’s a tough situation to be in the middle of, but you gotta understand that we are all artists and we gotta watch each other’s backs. That’s what friends are for. I don’t really like the way it went down, but at the same time I’m trying to keep it positive.”

Jay-Z is expected to take the tour, renamed ‘Jay-Z And Friends’, south to the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Friday (November 5).