Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jay-Z Delivers at Glastonbury

When Jay-Z took to the Pyramid Stage for his headline performance at Glastonbury, it was with a guitar around his neck to open with a few bars of Wonderwall, Jay'Z's own little comment on a certain Mancunian questioning whether a hip hop act is the right musical genre for the Glastonbury headline slot. Well, the answer is simple - when that hip hop act is one as talented as Jay-Z, of course it's the right choice. Once the Brit Pop opener was out of the way, Jaz-Z launched into more familiar territory, with "99 Problems But the Bitch Aint One", but to describe the rest of the set as hip hop might be over-simplyfying, as Jay-Z used a great number of samples and covers from other artists, bringing a great variety to his offering, as well being accompanied by a cracking live band. We can remember hearing AC/DC guitar riffs, Smack My Bitch Up by the Prodigy, Rehab by Amy Winehouse, the Knight Rider sample from Punjabi MCs, a cover of American Boy by Estelle and Umbrella by Rihanna. Of course, Jay-Z included a few of his own classics, and standing out for us was Hard Knock Life. Contrary to rumours, there were no guest vocalists, and the only vocal support provided to Jay-Z was from Memphis Bleek, his hype man, friend and co-rapper, who joined in for a few songs.

Late in the set Jay-Z spoke to the crowd, "So they said you guys don't want me to be here tonight ... said you guys weren't into hip-hop. I got one question, where's the love?" The crowd's enthusiastic response proved the selection of headliner correct.


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