His Global Express World Tour, which marks the first time a hip hop artist has undertaken such an ambitious itinerary, is coordinated to coincide with his work for the UN’s Water for Life campaign.

Jay-Z kicked off the seven week, 29-date tour September 9 in the headliner spot at the inaugural Coca-Cola Live Festival in Krakow, Poland. Rounding out the tour are his first ever Australian performances, October 25 – 28, as part of hip hop event Roc Tha Block.

The Roc Tha Block lineup also features Rihanna and Ne-Yo, both of whom are part of the Def Jam roster. Other Def Jam artists will appear as special guests at various shows over the course of the tour.

Since the far reaching international tour will take Jay-Z to several regions around the globe affected by the world water crisis, he has joined forces with the United Nations to help bring attention to the plight of the more than one billion people who don’t have access to safe drinking water.

While much of the world takes water for granted, there is a global crisis in which an estimated 4,500 children die daily from preventable diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Jay-Z recently explained what motivated him to get involved in the campaign.

“After hearing and reading some of the startling statistics about the lack of clean water, I realized that I needed to bring attention to this issue. I know through joining with experts through the UN and partnering with MTV to bring the word to our communities, we can make a difference,” he said.

While on tour, Jay-Z will visit devastated areas as well as communities where some aid has been received to illustrate both the extent of the crisis, and the progress that is possible. These stops will be documented by MTV for a special, “The Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life,” which premieres November 24.

Fans can also follow Jay-Z’s progress on the tour by logging on to WaterForLife.mtv.com to read his tour diary and see photos of the rapper on the road.

MTV and the UN will offer a variety of educational and Internet resources in connection with the documentary with the aim of educating and inspiring young people who may not be familiar with the crisis to take action at home and abroad.

At a press conference for the campaign, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, “The water crisis, like so many issues confronting our world, can only be fully addressed with the creative participation of young people everywhere. Working with MTV and Jay-Z, all of us at the UN hope this campaign will motivate youth to take action both in their own lives, and in support of broad eco-friendly initiatives.”