Jay-Z Guests With Phish In Brooklyn On This Date In 2004

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One of the most unexpected sit-ins in Phish history took place on this date in 2004, when hometown hero Jay-Z performed with the Vermonters at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn. Hova emerged in the middle of Phish’s second set for fun takes on his own “99 Problems” and “Big Pimpin’” to the delight 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 much needed 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, New York.

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“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’” via relariel:

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[Originally Published: June 18, 2015]

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