RWD’s Saturday soldiers – who’ve just just JUST recovered from yesterday’s Radio 1 Hackney Weekend – have filed their report on the day’s festivities. Let’s just say Nicki Minaj was great but Jigga and his sick selection of special guests stole the show…
Descending on Hackney Marshes to find massive tepees, the world’s biggest artists and revellers with painted faces instead of rusting goal frames, the world’s moodiest prima donnas and Sunday ballers with muddy mullets was a nice surprise as we arrived in E9.
Broadcast LIVE across YouTube and various BBC outlets, Kasabian, Ed Sheeran, Example, Rizzle Kicks, Leona ‘Bleeding Love’ Lewis (joined by Wretch 32), Jack White , Rita Ora, Delilah, Jessie Ware, Sean ‘Crazy Hair’ Paul, Boy Better Know, Flo Rida (who actually killed it with Wild Ones), D’banj (and his entourage of hype men), Swedish House Mafia, Calvin Harris and too many more to mention were all on good form.
Excelling though was Nicki Minaj (complete with Tim Westwood introduction) and when she reeled off the lyrics to Roman’s Revenge the crowd were at her
feet pink boots. With her Barbz left, right and centre Beez In The Trap felt like 100,000 people were singing alongside. “How many of ya’ll know what real love is?” the Trinidadian-born rapper erupted before giving the definition. “Where you wanna give ‘em some love and then you hate ‘em!!!” Moment 4 Life and Trey Songz’s Bottoms Up soon followed, the track in which Nicki asks (“Do you hear me?”) the only thing we could hear after such a call to action were the Barbz and Nicki pleased them by reciting Hold Yuh, an annoying micro clip of Monster and then thanking her UK fans on behalf of her Young Money affiliates (at that point Bedrock dropped) before leaving on a sonic highs of Starships and Super Bass. “Goodnight London,” ended her set as she handed her crimson crystal encrusted mic to a roadie. Big set.
As we awaited an even BIGGER set, Swedish House Mafia - not that we could see what Axwell and co were doing in the madness that was going on in the Dance Arena – and Sean Paul entertained. Get Busy, Give It Up To Me, Got To Love and “new stuff from the new album, girl” impressed the fans but at that point we braved the rain and disrespectfully left his set for the head headline act, Jay-Z.
After a long bloody wait in the drizzle – bad karma for not staying at Sean Paul and the 1Xtra Stage we thinks – the LCD screen went black, the drums of the intro played and Jigga appeared as if from nowhere. Joined by Rihanna and the rhythmic Someday in Athens sampling Run This Town his set had begun. Camo jacket, Nets cap, black hoody… the Roc was in the building. Meanwhile dressed as a biker babe Rihanna let loose on the hook, fans soon forgot it was raining. “Hackney, I just want you to know one thing,” Hove stated, just in time for, ‘You're now tuned into the mother**king greatest,’ intro to resound across the Marshes as Dirt Off Your Shoulders killed it.
I’m A Hustla, Jigga What ignited the party but that wasn’t enough for Shawn Carter. In the rain. In Hackney. He wanted more. “Is that all you can do? Take it up to 100? That’s like 95… [waits for crowd to react] 96… [waits for crowd to react] 97… [waits for crowd to react] 98…” which led to 99 Problems. Smart move. With Beyoncé apparently just in front of him he reeled off ‘97 Bonnie and Clyde, Girls, Girls, Girls and Swagger Like Us. The perfect time to bring out his second guest… new Roc Nation signee M.I.A. The Mitcham-bred artist gave us Paper Planes and Bad Girls – much to her new boss’ approval – and Jay-Z’s set ‘ended’ with an impressive rendition of Empire State of Mind, sans Keys of course. Or so those who left thought…
ENCORE OF THE
YEAR, DECADE, CENTURY began with the biggest American flag we’ve even seen illuminating (pulsating with excitement if you will) to the sound of Otis Redding’s sweet sample ‘It makes it easier, easier to bear…’ The opening single of Watch the Throne, Otis, was here and so was Kanye West!!! Going back-to-back the rappers performed the tracks much like they’d done on tour and the only thing louder than the crowd’s reaction was lime-green sole on Kanye’s Nike Air Yeezy 2s. No Church In The Wild, Who Gon Stop Me and Lift Off smashed it but with Jigga informing, “we ain’t got much time left!” we were treated to THREE helpings of Ni**as in Paris. Big. Big… and BIG!!!
See you next year as they’ve GOT to do another one.
Images by BBC
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