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Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Sunday, 29 June 2008 11:24 UK
Jay-Z puts on world class show

By Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Jay-Z took a dig at Noel Gallagher by appearing with a guitar

It was the set that Noel Gallagher was dead against, but rapper Jay-Z has given a world class performance at this year's Glastonbury.

After all the controversy and build up, the hip-hop star has had the last laugh after one of the biggest crowds of the weekend watched the first ever hip-hop headline slot on the Pyramid Stage.

Gallagher, who claimed that hip-hop had no place at the festival, even unwittingly opened the set.

Before the controversial star even appeared, a short film montage was played on the huge screens surrounding the structure.

It began with a quote from Gallagher who, on hearing the organiser Michael Eavis had booked the Brooklyn born rapper to play the festival's top slot said: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

The film then included a series of images which included the Queen, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and George Clooney made to look like they were endorsing Jay-Z's appearance.

They said you weren't into hip-hop. One question Glastonbury, 'Where is the love?'

But just when you thought that would be the last dig at the brothers Gallagher, Jay-Z, (real name Shaun Carter) had another trick up his sleeve.

He appeared on stage with a guitar slung over his shoulders to the tune of Wonderwall, one of Oasis' biggest hits.

He then proceeded to lip synch, albeit pretty badly, to the song, leading fans on a singalong.

He eventually cast off the guitar and announced:

"For anyone who didn't get the memo, I'm Jay-Z and I'm f*****' awesome."

Jay then crashed into one of his biggest hits, 99 Problems, using a sample of the classic rock song Back In Black by AC/DC.


The Brooklyn born rapper kept the audience sweet with lots of UK references, using samples of Prodigy's Smack My B***h Up, Amy Winehouse's Rehab, and American Boy by Estelle. Duffy's first Glastonbury experience

At one point he cheekily suggested his 'jewels' were being guarded by the Queen.

Despite rumours of guests including Chris Martin, Linkin Park, Beyonce and Kanye West, Jay-Z carried the show on his own shoulders.

It looked like a statement of intent that he was determined to win over Glastonbury on his own.

Beyonce Knowles
Beyonce Knowles checks out Jay-Z's performance from the wings

Visually, he used some striking images including President Bush and presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Jay was charismatic and engaging throughout the show but if there is one negative, it was that most of the audience didn't know much of the material.

Other than when they were encouraged to participate in a bit of call and response, 'Baby I love…Hova', many of the tracks were lost on people.

As he neared the end of his performance, Jay-Z asked people about the controversy surrounding his set.

He said: "So, I hear you guys didn't want me here tonight?

"They said you weren't into hip-hop. One question Glastonbury, 'Where is the love?'"

A spectacular encore of his track, Encore, was a highlight of the set.

And it confirmed organiser Michael Eavis's faith in the rapper's headlining abilities.

Festival map

Jay said: "Glastonbury, I want to thank you, we came from Brooklyn, New York to be here tonight.

"This was a beautiful moment."

In many ways, the set has put Jay-Z back on the UK festival map.

He was due to appear at the Reading and Leeds festivals in 2003.

But he pulled his performance shortly before the festival was due to start, apparently blaming recording commitments. That was the same year he announced his retirement from music.

But in 2006, Carter returned with the album Kingdom Come which sold 680,000 copies in its first week on sale in the US.

The knock on effect of a successful Glastonbury is that the rapper has reached a new audience at the festival and watching at home, who won't have bought his music before now.

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