2004 was kind of a bittersweet year for me. Not to date myself, but it was the year I graduated high school. It was the year I started college. It was the year I saw more Phish shows in a single summer than I've caught in the last nine (I basically did the entire summer tour, including the muddy trek to Vermont for the disasterous Coventry festival). It was also the year my favorite band, Phish, decided it was time to hang it up for a bit. Five years, in fact. When you see how terrible and strung-out they look in this video from the summer of 2004, you can understand why. Especially Trey. Glad they're looking A LOT healthier these days.
Anyway, a crazy video gem from the summer of 2004 has surfaced on the Interwebs. It's a rare candid video of Jay-Z chillaxing and hanging out backstage with Vermont jam-rockers Phish, presumably before their show on June 18, 2004 at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn. In the middle of Phish's second set, Jay-Z walked on the stage in his native borough and performed a rendition of "99 Problems" and "Big Pimpin'" with Trey, Mike, Fishman and Page. It was a classic Phish surprise in what was supposed to be the first leg of the band's final tour. Needless to say, the Hova stepping in on a guest set brought down the house.
Rap fans will note that the video was shot at year after Jay-Z released The Black Album and opened The 40/40 Club. His collaboration with Lincoln Park was in the works. At the time, Jay-Z was also planning on retiring from music himself (...HA!). A few months later, he would be named president of Def Jam. In the clip, Trey asks Hov about the club, a mutal friend they have in common (Drew Katz), and other "I'm-a-business, man" projects Hova had in the works at the time. The rapper mentions starting a clothing line (obviously Roc-a-wear) and trying to get an ownership stake in the NBA Nets franchise. That leads to a pretty amusing conversation about NBA commissioner David Stern, who made some sort of bizzare claim that he managed Phish. Who knows what he meant: Both artists have played Madison Square Garden so many times over the past 20 years (... and are notoriously chummy with the management there) that Stern's claim might not be too far from the truth.
Check it out:
Here's a video from their performance together. Funny note from this performance, for those who might not be down with the Phish from Vermont. As the legend goes from the Brooklyn Phish shows, apparently there were a lot of really bored locals in the crowd and nearby as vendors. When Jay-Z came out, they pulled out their phones to text and go wild about catching a rare performance from Hov (H/T for the anacdote from the show). It was a special night in the BK:
See ya in the lot in a few days, Phish fans. As BroBible's token Phish fan, you should throw me a follow on Twitter here.