Happy belated birthday to the legendary rapper and musical artist, Jay-Z!
The pop culture icon, who many consider the greatest rapper of all time, turned 53 years old yesterday.
Believe it or not, Jay-Z has deep ties with the city of Philadelphia dating back to 2012.
A decade ago, the Brooklyn, New York native took to the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum to announce a new music festival to be held yearly in Philly that he would curate while partnering with Live Nation.
That festival is called Made In America, which is still going strong to this day and sees music fans of all ages flood the Benjamin Franklin Parkway each Labor Day weekend.
It only made sense that he would go on to co-headline the first year of the festival with none other than one of the biggest – if not the biggest – bands to come out of the 90s, Pearl Jam.
You know I had to be there!
I even had the chance to meet Jay-Z backstage with some of my buddies from the Philadelphia Flyers organization!
One of the cooler things I ever got to witness during a concert actually happened later that same night.
Late in Pearl Jam’s set, they welcomed Jay-Z to the stage and in a genre-blending collaboration between two titans in their respected genres, performed a spin on the rapper’s classic track, 99 Problems.
It was incredible and a once-in-a-lifetime type of moment I was fortunate enough to be there for in attendance!
Pearl Jam put their grunge-like spin on the guitar stabs from the original track as well as big rock drums.
It was awesome!
I have it from good sources that they only rehearsed their spin on 99 Problems with Jay-Z for about 10 minutes total!
My friend and Pearl Jam bassist, Jeff Ament, said he just stood behind the rapper and every time he bobbed his head, Jeff would hit the bass.
It just speaks to the incredible talent both Pearl Jam and Jay naturally have that they could put together a performance like that in such little time.
Jay-Z is actually no stranger to rock music, though.
In 2004, he released a joint album with Linkin Park titled, Collision Course, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts.
A few years later, he went on to have a public feud with Noel Gallagher from the band Oasis.
Gallagher claimed that Jay-Z, nor any other hip-hop artist, should ever headline Glastonbury because it was meant to be a “guitar music” festival only.
Jay heard that loud and clear, so when he took the stage at Glastonbury 2008, he came out with guitar in hand while singing Oasis’ hit song “Wonderwall” in jest.
Pretty funny stuff!
Anyway, happy birthday once again, Jay-Z, and thanks for that cool moment back in 2012!
Join me weekdays 9am to 2pm right after The John DeBella Show and before André Gardner from 2pm-7pm. CONNECT 3 at 10am for FABULOUS prizes, Noontime Nuggets at 12noon, and you can win concert tickets throughout the show for many of the upcoming MGK Concerts. Text in your requests at MGKMGK or call 215-263-WMGK. I end every show with a voicemail from my late father Jack Cord because he always left the coolest voicemails on my machine and phone.
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