Jay-Z goes head-to-head with Noel Gallagher at Glastonbury

There are no guests, but HOVA is in fighting form on Pyramid Stage

Jay-Z headlined Glastonbury tonight (June 28) in front of one of the largest crowds the Pyramid Stage has ever seen.

The rapper tackled the controversy over his top slot billing head-on from the first moment of the set.

Before taking to the stage, the stage’s video screens played Noel Gallagher‘s recent statement, “I don’t want hip-hop at Glastonbury” (see below).


It ended with Gallagher saying, “Jay-Z? no fucking chance”, as the rapper took to the stage and mimed along to Oasis‘Wonderwall’.

He then launched straight into ’99 Problems’, which was spliced with AC/DC‘s ‘Back In Black’ guitar riff.

Introducing ‘I Know’, Jay-Z then told the crowd: “For those who didn’t get the memo, I’m Jay-Z and I’m pretty awesome!”

The crowds booed as a big picture of US President George Bush appeared on the big screens, as Jay-Z then freestyled about the US government’s slow response to Hurricane Katrina‘s impact on New Orleans and its effect on poorer black communities. He ended his rap with a definitive “fuck Bush“.

A picture of Democratic hopeful Barack Obama then appeared on the screen, and Jay-Z dived into a version of ‘Takeover’.

Following it with ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’, he then sampled John Carpenter‘s ‘Assault On Precinct 13’ soundtrack for ‘Punjabi’.


“Shit, put some light back,” asked Jay-Z after performing ‘I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)’.

“I can’t see how many people are out there, everybody in the field make some noise! Shit this is too crazy, everybody in the field help me out.”

He then set about getting the crowds and flags to sway together as he teed-up ‘Excuse Me Miss’, declaring “that’s so beautiful out there”.

Later, during ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ the first real rap-a-long of the night kicked in, as the audience joined in with the chorus, before a freestyled rap followed, with Jay-Z rhyming: “Show me your knickers/I might let you do it if you don’t tell the Mrs“. He then added he was just “taking the piss”.

Rihanna‘s 2007 worldwide smash ‘Umbrella’, co-written by the rapper, followed, with the singer’s vocal played over the PA as Jay-Z added his rap live.

“So here we are, are you having a good time tonight?” he asked, ahead of ‘Big Pimpin”, before demanding the crowd “make some noise” before he kicked the track off properly.

“So they say you guys don’t want me to be here tonight,” Jay-Z told the crowd during a pause between songs. “They say you’re not into hip-hop, I’ve got one question – where’s the love?”

A version of ‘Heart Of The City (Ain’t No Love)’ followed, which sampled U2‘s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’.

With the rapper declaring it was a “beautiful moment” he kicked into the Linkin Park version of ‘Encore’, although the band themselves were not present.

Despite intense speculation, there were no celebrity guests during the set, although the star’s wife Beyonce Knowles watched from the side of the stage with festival organiser Michael Eavis.

Read Jay-Z’s response to Noel Gallagher and headlining Glastonbury on NME.COM now.

Jay-Z played:


’99 Problems’

‘Is That Your Bitch’/’Smack My Bitch Up’/’Rehab’


‘U Don’t Know’

‘Say Hello’

‘Roc Boys’

‘I Know’

‘A Milli’

‘Blue Magic’


‘Dirt Off Your Shoulders’

‘Jigga What’

‘Izzo (HOVA)’

‘Can I Get A’


‘I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)’

‘Show Me What You Got’

‘Excuse Me Miss’

‘Song Cry’

‘Girls, Girls, Girls’

‘American Boy’


‘Big Pimpin’

‘Hard Knock Life

‘Heart Of The City (U2 version)


Keep up with all the action from Glastonbury this weekend (June 27-29) as it happens on NME.COM. For news, pictures and blogs keep checking NME.COM’s Glastonbury Festival page. Plus make sure you get next week’s issue of NME on UK newsstands from July 2 for the ultimate Glastonbury review.

For even more Glastonbury coverage visit our sister site at Uncut.co.uk.


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