The Beastie Boys were forced to pull out of gigantic rock festival All Points West after Adam Yauch was revealed to have cancer. Jay-Z filled in for them, and last night, made what some are considering to be music history.
Jay-Z's last headlining date at a festival was at Glastonbury in London, where he became the first rap headliner in the history of the festival. The gig provoked Oasis to say something bitchy about it, and he responded by opening the show with a jokey rendition of "Wonderwall."
This time, he was a little nicer, and possibly answered the demands of the people: after a large countdown clock played out, Jay-Z launched on stage with a cover of the Beastie Boys' classic Licensed To Ill track, "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn." He's now the first rapper to headline a major American rock festival, and maybe the first rapper to cover the first act to open up hip hop for white guys. He dedicated his entire set to Yuach, paid tribute to Michael Jackson, and via most of the reactions popping up so far, crushed it. He probably won over a few non-believers, too. The guy's talent, business savvy, and class is simply impressive.