The rap and jam worlds collided on this date 11 years ago, when Jay-Z sat in with Phish at Keyspan Span
in the rap mogul's hometown of Brooklyn. Hova emerged in the middle of the Vermonters'
second set for fun takes on his own "99 Problems" and "Big Pimpin'" to the shock and awe
of the crowd.
What we remember most about that night was just how much Jay-Z seemed to enjoy himself. The
rapper was retired from performing at the time and really vibed off the crowd. After "99
Problems" Jay turned to the band and said, "you guys is hiding all this huh?" And then
addressed the audience with the exclamation of "I felt it!" He also responded to someone
in the crowd with, "what's that mean?" and to this day we'd love to know what he was
referring to. Musically, the Phish/Jay-Z collaboration wasn't earth-shaking, but coming
less than a month after the quartet announced they would break up after an August visit to
Coventry, the two-song guest spot was a "I can't believe that just happened!" moment that was
for fans. Perhaps for the band as well as Phish delivered two of their finest shows of the
decade over the next two nights in Saratoga Springs, NY.
"They just reached out to me to do something," Jay-Z told Rolling Stone about the memorable night. "I always believe in just
good music and bad music, and I want to try new things. I saw this as a great opportunity.
I went out and had a great time, and I've never performed in Brooklyn like that. That was
beautiful." While Jay admitted to Rolling Stone he hadn't listened to Phish's music before
he was asked to perform with them, he said "I just kept hearing their name and how strong
they was live, how big a following they had live and that they've been doing it for like
twenty-one years. That was amazing to me. I was intrigued."
Check out footage of Jay's backstage hang with Phish:
Watch Jay-Z sit in with Phish on "99 Problems" and "Big Pimpin'":
[Published on: 6/18/15]