JAY-Z paid tribute to the Beastie Boys with a rousing rendition of their hit song NO SLEEP TILL BROOKLYN as he opened his set at the All Points West Festival in New Jersey on Friday night (31Jul09).
The rap superstar was announced as a last minute replacement for the hip-hop group at the event after Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, aka MCA, was diagnosed with cancer in the salivary gland. The trio subsequently cancelled all of its scheduled concerts to allow Yauch to undergo treatment.
Jay-Z - who hails from the same New York borough as the rap trio - made sure Beastie Boys fans were not completely left out by bounding onstage and kicking off his set with the group's ode to their hometown.
He altered a line in the song to acknowledge the fact he was playing his first-ever festival in North America, replacing the lyrics, "Beastie Boys at the Garden", to "Jay-Z at All Points West", much to the delight of the crowd.
And, after running through his extensive catalogue of hits including Big Pimpin', Show Me What U Got, Encore and 99 Problems, Jay-Z gave a special shout out to Yauch.
He told the packed crowd, "I wanna dedicate this whole show to MCA - get well soon!"
The gig also marked the debut performance of the hip-hop mogul's new single Run This Town, which was unveiled last week (24Jul09). Many expected a special appearance from R&B beauty Rihanna or rapper Kanye West, both of whom feature on the track, but Jay-Z kept it simple and performed with his live band and longtime sidekick Memphis Bleek.
The first day of the three-day festival also saw live sets by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Vampire Weekend, who kept fans rocking despite the heavy rain.
Tool and Coldplay are the festival's other top headliners, with the British rockers wrapping up the second annual event on Sunday (02Aug09).